In just a couple of short months, two very important IBM i-related conferences will be held on two continents, and it’s time for you to start thinking about attending them.
The COMMON Europe Congress, which is organized by country-specific COMMON organizations throughout Europe, will be held the 9th – 12th of June in Vienna, Austria. This year is special for COMMON Europe because they celebrate 50 years of providing excellent educational and networking opportunities for their members. Last year’s conference in Milan, Italy was wonderful, and I am sure this event will be worthy of the same praise. I’ll be speaking, of course – telling people about the latest technologies from IBM i -- but I’ll also be there to listen to requests for future technology from our clients. And I can’t wait to see Vienna in June! Oh, and I see by their website that you still have a few days to get an “early bird” deal on your registration. So check it out.
The COMMON annual conference in North America will be held May 6th – 9th at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. We’ve been working with the volunteers and staff on preparations, and several of us will make the journey from the halls of IBM i development and services to share our expertise and, again, to listen to your needs.
One of the key goals of each of these user groups is to participate with IBM in influencing the direction of the platform for the benefit of their membership. Each group has an Advisory Council (I’ve mentioned them before) which meets with me and other IBMers to go over requirements which have been received from members, helping to prioritize them and hear how IBM is progressing toward satisfying them. Several requirements have been completed in the past year alone – the RPG OA announcement from a few weeks back, and the Software Group Subcapacity Pricing change were both examples – but we are never done.
Each of these Advisory Councils is looking for more members. If you are going to be at the conference, and are willing to take on some ongoing responsibility for representing the needs of IBM i clients, you should apply to become a member. For COMMON in North America, the page describing the CAAC, which has the application form, can give you more information. Time is actually running short to participate this year, but if you hurry, you could get to participate. The COMMON Europe Advisory Council’s call for new members has similar information for that group. Again, though June seems distant now, it is just around the corner for those who are planning it.
A couple of quotes from people on the advisory councils give you an idea what benefits you will get from sitting with us for a couple of days, hearing about our plans and giving us advice:
“CAAC membership gives me the ability to make my voice heard by IBM. I can voice both my concerns and ideas as well as my company’s needs directly to IBM and know that the message reaches the correct people to find a resolution.” – Brian May; Profound Logic
“Participating in the CAAC provided me with knowledge critical to making strategic business technology decisions.” – Roxanne Reynolds-Lair; FIDM, Inc.
I hope each and every one of you will strongly consider about attending user events this year in order to find out what’s going on with IBM i and Power Systems. I will be at the WMCPA conference March 20-21 in Lake Geneva if any of you are close by. There are many other conferences and user groups as well. But I especially encourage you to consider these two key COMMON conferences that serve as advisory venues as well as educational and networking events.
See you out there!
Twitter: #ibmi, #COMMONEU, #COMMONUG @Steve_Will_IBMi
*edited 3/6/12 to correct WMCPA dates