Ever since the announcement of IBM i 7.2, many of us on the IBM team have been very busy talking about the release and the new Power systems with customers and partners. In fact, for me personally, this activity began several weeks before the announcement, with previews for various groups. I’ll touch on a couple of these events today.
The biggest event, in terms of raw numbers, related to the IBM i 7.2 release, was the annual COMMON conference in Orlando. The tone of the conference was extremely positive, from everything I saw. Oh, certainly, I received many requests from customers for new enhancements – this happens whenever I have the chance to talk with our users – but even these requirements were typically framed by words similar to “I love this system and what you are doing with it. But what I want to see ….”
Another big event, which was timed to occur after the 7.2 release, had more to do with gathering a segment of users who have more in common than simply the “Power + IBM i” system: the SAP on IBM i Summit. This event drew about 100 people from many parts of the world, representing more than 50 companies – many from the US, but also participants from Germany, Denmark, Brazil and even Indonesia. The participants were treated to a few general sessions on IBM i, such as the combined Trends and 7.2 presentation I delivered, but most of the sessions dealt specifically with using SAP on IBM i, including several sessions that described specific functions delivered to SAP customers who use our platform. The whole event was hosted by the SAP on IBM i Center of Excellence within our Lab Services organization, and could not have taken place without the joint development teams from SAP and IBM. Like COMMON, it was a great success.
But in addition to these larger events, there have been multiple other opportunities for us to share the message. As I type this, Tim Rowe is participating (with many other members of the IBM i community at large) in a series of modernization events in Europe, and I am on my way to Toledo, Ohio, to talk to a group of customers who are served by local partner DMC. I have also recorded some shorter presentations for COMMON, and will be recording a longer version of my IBM i 7.2 Overview soon, for their Web event in June.
I’ve also been preparing a series of blog entries on how our ISVs are driving new business and reinvestment. Recently, I have heard several great stories during my travels, and I decided the community at large needs to hear about how the technology we’re investing in is being used by our partners. So, you can expect to start seeing those stories appear here in the near future.
In the meanwhile, keep learning something new about IBM i and Power every day, from our IBM bloggers, from other bloggers in the industry, from the many articles written in the press, from developerWorks or on Knowledge Center. There’s a lot to learn!