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November 01, 2012


Paul Fenstermacher

I'm sure there were many good ideas as is always the case in these types of settings. However, at my previous job I would not have had an audience for this subject since I was the i guy and of course I'm going to talk about the platform. What needs to happen is IBM and IBM Business Partners need to START getting the message out, that isn't happening. Quit leaving it up to us as users of the platform to try and convince our C level execs that it's the right thing to do.

Jon Paris

I would have agreed with you 2+ years ago Paul. But no longer. Just a couple of thoughts for you.

1) As the "i guy" it is _how_ you advocate that changes you from bigot to respected consultant. Personally I want to be seen as a consultant - not a bigot. Seen enough of them during this election period!

2) IBM will not do what you think they need to. They are a services company - why would they spend millions (and as I've said before they can't outspend MS) advertising a platform that will generate less consulting revenue? IBM won't and can't admit that publicly - but it makes sense.

They are running the kinds of TCO surveys and building the success stories that those of who choose to advocate can use.

As to Business Partners and ISVs - I agree - they have a vested intestin the future of the platform just as we do. There are things "on the boil" in that arena based on the ideas behind the iManifest initiative - watch this space.

3) As an employee of the company I feel I owe it to my employer to give them the facts to help them make effective business decisions. Many times if they really understand the facts they will choose IBM i. But I will never win them all.

4) It is my job and my career. I owe it to my self to know as much about the tools I use (IBM i) and the alternatives as possible so that I can do the best job I can.

Tim LaPosa

Jon, I agree with Paul...I think Jon you need to spend some time out here in the real world, on a daily basis, dealing with real CIO's that are continually degrading the IBM i as "Old Technology". I have been in the IBM midrange for 30 years, and the last 5+ in a company that was hell bent on getting rid of the IBM i, no matter how many ideas I brought in to improve and modernize the applications. We need some help from IBM and the Business partners to come out and show the "C" level people how the IBM i works to help the organization, because MS and their partners are doing it every day with their SQL and VM servers and window apps, so that is all the "C" level exec people see, and they think IBM has given up on the IBM i, and I alone can't fight this anymore, need some support from IBM directly....

Aaron Bartell

Agreed that the i Advocate session was quite excellent - probably the best I've sat in regarding people starting to be ready to productively do something about defending/promoting the IBMi within their walls.

I wanted to plug an initiative I am working on where I've put a "Why IBM i" Google Doc publicly editable on the internet for any and all people to contribue so we can start putting together facts as to why IBM i is an excellent machine to run a business. This document will eventually be summarized and migrated to the IBMi wiki page.

Add your $.02 here:

Mike Can made a good point (paraphrasing): Don't tell me what your solution machine is, tell me your requirements and let's look to see which system will meet them the best.

Paul Fenstermacher

A couple more things after sleeping on it. Right or wrong, none of the execs I ever worked with are as concerned with TCO as they are with TCA, total cost of acquisition. How much is the check I need to write is a common theme. We need help justifying the price we are given to get past the sticker shock. Second, I've never seen a magazine in the seat pocket of an airplane, where C level execs might see them, that has ads for iSeries solutions yet you can go blind reading MS ads. IBM does a fantastic job of marketing the platform at every i centric conference or event but they play a disappearing act outside of that.

Nathan Andelin

As for Paul and Tim needing more help to advocate for the platform, I'd suggest posting your concerns on the IBM i Professionals group on Linkedin, or post a question on Midrange Lists. Use social networking and professional email lists to your advantage.

Also, have you asked your IBM i BP to listen to your concerns and propose a solution?



I am a customer CIO who is a strong advocate of the business value of the IBM i. I feel that is is our obligation to help spread the word. I don't believe people whould "sit around and wait" for someone else to give a shout out to IBM i. Of course, in an ideal world all of us should be singing the IBM i song.

Yvonne Enselman

I find it interesting that a common response to the self empowerment of the IBM i community is frequently criticism of IBM. While I do agree the frustration is valid how does that help the topic at hand? The fact these sessions and articles are being written/presented and well received/attended indicates we want to know how to better our professional community without waiting for IBM to do it for us.

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