Separated by Oceans, United by Purpose
To help celebrate the international scope of the IBM i business, our guest blogger today is HaiBo Yu, Senior Manager for IBM i database, Web integration & Lotus development at the IBM China lab in Beijing. His story illustrates how, when it comes to IBM i, integration is about more than the product, it’s also about the team. Read it, and then join the conversation on Facebook.
My first impression of IBM i was formed in a conversation nearly a decade ago: “Rochester takes a lot of pride in the iSeries as one of the most reliable, scalable and easy to use platforms in the world. We think a lot about what things mean to our iSeries customers…, they are much more interested in running their businesses…” I heard this from Jeff Vettel, the first Rochester, Minn., colleague I met when we established the team in Beijing to work on IBM i projects in 2004. From Jeff’s words, I realized the great value and differentiation this platform offers and told myself that I would try my best to keep the great reputation our Rochester team has built in the IBM i community. This has been kept in mind and passed on to anyone who has since joined the team.
Time goes fast. Many of us were single when we established our strategic relationship with the Rochester team, and we have since gotten married and had children! At the same time, we have delivered a lot of good things together with the Rochester team in IBM i 5.4, 6.1 and 7.1. And we have gradually accepted more responsibilities in our work too. We started with small projects, mainly on testing, but were eventually able to work independently in areas the China team covers. For example, we not only have developers and testers working on key features, but also have strong leaders participating on the business architect team led by our Chief Architect, Steve Will, for setting overall strategy and doing release planning.
The China team understands well what the key factors are for IBM i to be a successful platform running serious business applications. We believe and are deeply integrated into the culture the Rochester team has created – the processes to ensure high quality, the tradition to think in a customer’s way and the spirit of innovation to meet the needs of an evolving business environment. As we’ve grown, mentoring from the Rochester team has always been important. A lot of people in China, including myself, have mentors in Rochester. This helps us not only develop deep skills and business insights, but also be truly integrated as a global team. We do appreciate the efforts of our mentors, and we also remember to enjoy our time together when we get a chance to meet each other face to face either in Rochester or in Beijing.
With a strong development team in Beijing, we hope we can benefit our local market and customers too. We have established various channels and programs to help them. In China, we have an annual IBM i event named iWorld where IBM, customers and business partners gather together to discuss the latest updates of IBM i and share experiences. Our development team is involved to help plan the agenda and provide speakers and support staff. Besides that, throughout the year we also hold several Study Tours to invite customers and business partners to our lab for workshops and discussions about IBM i strategy, hot technologies and other topics of interest to them. We also have one-on-one interlocks with some customers for their unique questions/concerns. With our support, Chinese customers feel they are bridged with the WW community, know more of what global customers are doing and have more influence as to what this platform should do to meet their needs for business growth. Besides that, we have had chances to talk with WW customers when we attend LUG and COMMON, or do presentations at the Rochester briefing center. Meanwhile, our Rochester colleagues also have opportunities to speak with and meet Chinese customers during our Study Tours.
What will you be doing in 2020? None of us have a clear answer about ourselves yet, but IBM i’s support life cycle already extends beyond 2020 with our current planned deliverables. I’m looking forward to the next celebration of IBM i with my colleagues and customers all over the world, and also my grown-up daughter at that time…