More significantly, we also held the first "iAdvocate Tutorial and Discussion" after the technical sessions ended one day. We had no idea how many attendees might decide to hang around at the end of a long day of sessions to learn about things they can do to advocate for the IBM i platform, both in their own shops and in the community at large. We were pleasantly surprised at the number of people who enthusiastically participated in the discussion. We had to bring in extra chairs multiple times due to the overflowing crowd in the room.
Mike Cain did a fabulous job of leading the discussion and left us with many thought-provoking tidbits as he discussed ways in which he has advocated for our favorite platform and database in competitive situations. For example, Mike asked, "What do Oracle, Microsoft and Apple have in common?" Answer: "É the pursuit of integration." The punchline, of course, being that they are struggling to achieve what we have had for years--so much so that we often take it for granted. It's a thought that we mused about here about 18 months ago in our open letter to Larry Ellison.
Mike Pavlak from Zend stopped by and was joined by IBMers Alison Butterill and Tim Rowe, who came up from Rochester just to join in the iAdvocate discussion. They made many excellent contributions, including the fact that many IBM i customer success stories are available on IBM's website and the fact that some new ITG studies on the value of IBM i will become available online soon.
We're currently working on gathering some of the materials discussed during that session so that iAdvocates everywhere can get help in keeping the IBM i front and center in their shops and beyond. We'll be sure to let you know when we have a website available to diseminate that information.
Many, many thanks to Mike Cain for sharing his wealth of experience on this subject in such a straightforward and entertaining way, and to Alison, Tim, and Mike Pavlak for joining in the discussion and providing pointers to additional resources. One more person to thank--Dan Burger for his inspirational piece about why we should all care about becoming iAdvocates.