I’ve been a bit silent on this blog for a while. Why? Conferences and Advisory Councils. (And a toothache, but let’s leave that out of the discussion for now…)
In the span of six weeks, I will have had the following opportunities to talk with, and present to, many parts of the IBM i community:
- April 29-30: COMMON Americas Advisory Council (CAAC)
- May –4: COMMON Conference
- May 17–18: IBM i ISV Advisory Council (ISVAC)
- May 22–24: COMMON Europe
- May 25-26: COMMON Europe Advisory Council (CEAC)
- June 5–10: IBM i Large User Group
Yes, this has been “conference season.” I've had a chance to give presentations on the latest releases of IBM i, on the reasons IBM i is unique in the IT industry, on the future of IBM i, and on the Software as a Service and Cloud capabilities of IBM i. Equally importantly, I've had the chance to talk about future requirements and potential strategy with several user groups.
I can’t stress enough how important submitting requirements through these user groups can be. We listen carefully to the kinds of enhancements our customers and ISVs want, and many times it's the passionate explanation of business opportunity from these groups that help us justify new investments.
In addition to requirements, though, I solicit input from these Advisory Councils on potential new strategies. Because the ideas are “potential” they don’t always come to fruition, but getting input helps us make the decisions and often allows us to make modifications before we actually implement those that do make it to the market.
An example of this sort of strategic input, which we can talk about now that we have delivered it, is the Technology Refresh (TR) concept. We exposed the idea to our Advisory Councils about 18-24 months before we shipped the 7.1 release, which was six months before the first TR. We took input, made some changes, and the entire deliverable was better for it.
At the most recent set of Advisory Councils, I've been asking for input on several other new concepts. Some may not happen – in fact, based on the feedback from CAAC and CEAC, I’m sure one will not. Some will eventually appear, but will take a while and will likely evolve, but getting feedback now is important.
I’ll be back soon with some good stories about Innovation Award winners and how they are using IBM i.
Twitter: #ibmi @Steve_Will_IBMi #COMMONUG