I have been Chief Architect for several years now, and I can honestly say it’s the best job I’ve ever had. There are challenges every day, I get to keep learning new things, and I have an opportunity to talk to many, many people who care about our platform.
Some times are better than others, though, and this past year has been fun for a very solid business reason. We’ve been growing.
At the beginning of 2011, IBM released its 4th quarter 2010 earnings statement, with our Power Systems growing at 6% YTY and our IBM CFO, Mark Loughridge, noting that we sold out of the low-end Power Systems models including the Power 720 and 740. Of course, that was good news for us, since those are the most popular models to run IBM i.
Fast forward to 3Q2011 and things got even better. In our 3Q results, Power Systems grew at 15% YTY, which was great. Even better was that that growth was in part fueled by IBM i software sales, which grew even faster at 19%. That’s right. IBM i grew faster than the platform itself. And, in fact, that makes four consecutive quarters of growth for IBM i.
There are many contributing factors to this growth, of course. As I talk to clients, one of the clear messages I am getting is businesses are investing and making a renewed commitment to their core technology platforms. As the economy declined in 2008-9, many businesses were forced to delay purchases and upgrades. But many also took a cold hard look at which platforms were really delivering for them. The people I talk to concluded that IBM i was right at the top of their list for cost-effective IT service delivery.
Now, as we gradually come out of the recession, many businesses are looking to catch up, upgrading to POWER7 and either to IBM i 6.1 or IBM i 7.1. Interestingly, in 2011, we have seen an acceleration of people going direct to IBM i 7.1. The reason? It’s just as easy to go directly from 5.4 to 7.1, you miss having to do another upgrade, and you also get easy access to new technologies with the Technology Refresh delivery mechanism we provide with 7.1. If you heard my webcast this week, you know I strongly recommend going directly to 7.1. You will take advantage of longer support and get faster access to new hardware and virtualization enhancements.
So, right now in Rochester, IBM i is growing and -- this is a big surprise for late November -- it’s not snowing (not yet at least). Next up is one of our favorite meetings of the year. The COMMON Americas Advisory Council will be here to review our roadmap and listen to client requirements for our next IBM i releases.
Twitter: #ibmi #power @Steve_Will_IBMi