The Buzz

Jun 21, 2013

Sharing the Cake


The day has finally arrived. We’ve been working on celebrating the IBM i 25th birthday for several months. We worked with IBM to create the 25 icons for the vignettes, planned our June issue with a special cover story and some memories, helped trickle out the 25 vignettes on our blog sites, shot video at COMMON and set up a commemorative website.

The website has our special June cover story with thoughts from IBM, business partners and customers and some of their favorite memories. It also has all 25 of the vignettes and the business partner remembrances. Nearly finished and hopefully up when you take a look are three videos we shot at COMMON on the community, business and technology of IBM i at 25. I hope you enjoy all the components!

IBM has been rolling out special campaigns too. It’s IBMi25 Facebook page has been a hit with the community, which has jumped on the bandwagon with sharing its memories too. It’s also just recently released a whitepaper of all of the vignettes and a really cool commemorative poster.

I’m guessing the IBM i community has been all over it, eating it up like a ravenous lion. We love this kind of attention, don’t we?

Now I’m a “newcomer” with only seven years in the IBM i world. I certainly can’t compete with the lifers that some of you are. However, you’d have to be blind or a complete outsider not to know that our community has always been a huge part of IBM i and its success. As the operating system celebrates 25 years, I think much of the credit for its longevity is its devoted and passionate user community.

So just to share the sweetness, here’s a roundup of some IBM i 25 goodies for you to enjoy. Consider it the cake. Happy birthday, IBM i!

IBM Systems Mag IBM i 25 website

IBM i 25 Facebook page

IBM i 25 vignettes whitepaper

IBM i 25 commemorative poster

Feb 05, 2013

Key Links for the IBM Power Systems POWER7+ Announcements

Today, IBM announced POWER7+ technology for its entry-level and midrange clients. I thought I’d provide you with a roundup of links that talk about this exciting announcement.

IBM Systems Magazine February cover story: IBM Delivers POWER7+ Advantages to More Clients

IBM Systems Magazine Web-Exclusive article with tech specs:

Steve Will’s Blog: Announce Day for IBM i 7.1 Technology Refresh 6

Rob McNelly’s Blog: IBM Expands the POWER7+ Server Family

IBM Power Systems Announcement Letters for the 710-760:

The IBM i Announcement Letter:
IBM i offers performance, usability, and integration enhancements

Dawn May’s Blog: IBM i Now Supports USB Flash Drives

I’m sure you’ll see a lot more coverage of these announcements but this should provide you with a good place to start. Happy Announcement Day!


Jul 16, 2012

What’s Your Digital Personality?

I have a new addiction. I love to watch TV and follow Twitter at the same time. Watching TV has become a community event for me. I’m amazed at what others pick up that I didn’t see and I love to laugh at their snarky comments and jokes.

If you’re 55 or older, you may be tempted to dismiss me as some young whippersnapper who just wants to do the latest, coolest trend. You’d be mistaken. Consider these stats:



Many, many others are just like me. In fact, YOU may be just like me. And the new behaviors of connected consumers—which include social viewing, distracted viewing and viewing on demand—are impacting media and entertainment (M&E) providers. Viewers talk about ads turning shows, providing instant feedback for advertisers. If we’re watching on demand, we want as few ads as possible so how do M&E providers deal with that?

IBM has looked into this too and has published its 4th Annual Digital Consumer Survey. The survey includes more than 3,800 consumers in six countries: China, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the U.S.

In today’s connected consumer landscape, how can M&E providers offer consumers entertainment experiences that are more relevant, and therefore perceived as more valuable? In short, IBM says, they must move beyond merely distributing digital content.

Today, M&E providers first need to think and act like B2C companies, no matter where they sit in the industry value chain. Second, they should target consumers’ specific digital personalities. Third, they must learn to deliver holistic, relevant content experiences—not just content alone. And finally, they must create new flexibly integrated, cross-channel digital revenue models that can deliver value comparable to traditional models.

So who are these digital personalities? The survey revealed four prominent types that are not age-based, but instead are based on the combination of degree of access to content and intensity of content interaction. They are:

  • “Efficiency Experts” are the largest group (41 percent) and see the adoption of digital devices and services as a way to simplify day-to-day activities. Efficiency Experts send emails rather than letters, use Facebook to communicate with others, access the Internet via mobile phones and shop online.
  • “Content Kings” are generally male consumers, who frequently play online games, download movies and music, and watch TV online. This audience represents 9 percent of the global sample.
  • “Social Butterflies” place emphasis on social interaction. They require instant access to friends, regardless of time or place. Fifteen percent of consumers surveyed reported they frequently maintain and update social networking sites, add labels or tags to online photos, and view videos from other users.
  • “Connected Maestros” are 35 percent of the global sample. They combine the behaviors common to Content Kings and Social Butterflies with even more sophisticated behaviors. They take a more advanced approach to media consumption by using mobile devices and smartphone applications to access games, music and video or to check news, weather, sports, etc.

I find myself touching all four personalities. I use Facebook and Skype regularly, watch TV online, and use my smartphone and tablet to stay up-to-date 24-7. As much as I use digital content to stay efficient, it’s not just about that for me. It’s also social.

So where do you fall in the four digital personalities? Can you peg yourself?





Apr 24, 2012

IBM Announces PowerLinux and PowerLinux Solution Edition for SAP Applications

Seems I’m suddenly hearing a lot about SAP solutions. Our May Power Systems issue, which hits desks in about a week, covers today’s big PowerLinux announcement. Jon and Susan wrote a recent blog about SAP on IBM i that garnered a lot of comments and interest. We’re working on an article about SAP and cloud for the July Power Systems issue. There’s even an IBM and SAP website. Today, IBM is also announcing the IBM PowerLinux Solution Edition for SAP Applications product. It’s SAP everywhere.

IBM PowerLinux Solution Edition for SAP Applications
is an affordable single-system SAP environment for midsize businesses, supporting up to 500 SAP users. The solution leverages preintegrated, Linux optimized, enterprise proven hardware and software at competitive pricing compared to traditional Linux x86 offering. 

IBM PowerLinux solutions leverage industry standard Linux, optimized for POWER7 with IBM PowerVM technology to deliver infrastructure services and industry application solutions in a virtualized, secure and resilient environment. As we’ve been hearing about this new PowerLinux announcement, solution pricing is competitive to x86 comparable solutions while leveraging the advantages of the POWER architecture, resulting in IT efficiencies and lower cost per workload. You can read more about that in the soon-to-be-released May issue of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition in an article titled, “Exchanging ‘Good Enough’ for Superior.” This solution runs on a two-socket 2U rack server that can be installed in a standard rack, so it can be deployed with other Power or x86 rack servers.

The IBM PowerLinux Solution Edition for SAP Applications:

  • Delivers SAP ERP services faster and more reliably with a robust, enterprise-proven platform
  • Is ideal for midsize companies looking for IT solutions that deliver higher quality and yet are still affordable for their IT budgets
  • Simplifies deployment and server management with a single server solution
  • Maximizes server throughput with advanced virtualization capabilities
  • Reduces licensing and operational costs with fewer servers
  • Is competitively priced to comparable x86 offerings

Midmarket customers face several IT challenges that this new product can help them solve, including Microsoft software support and upgrade costs, facilities and management costs, closed architecture and vendor lock-in, lengthy processes to acquire and implement applications and single-purpose servers, security, downtime, and inefficient infrastructure and server sprawl.

So how does this solution fit into the IBM SAP Alliance plays around cloud, mobility, ERP upgrades or analytics? Thought you’d never ask. The IBM PowerLinux Solution Edition for SAP Applications can be used to consolidate SAP systems running on single-purpose x86 servers, so it can be considered an ERP upgrade or become part of a cloud environment.

You can read more about the PowerLinux announcement or visit the new PowerLinux website.




Feb 15, 2012

Can Cloud Change IT for the Good, Forever?

In Aaron Bartell's article, “The Cloud Has Come. Is the Rain Good?” he throws out some forward-thinking ideas about how cloud could change IT forever. For example, could reboots be as simple as logging off and back on to get the latest version of an app? Could migrating to a new machine be an easy task with virtually no files to move? Could we eliminate the need for a full operating system for each user and instead just give the user a browser-based desktop with links to their applications?

Cloud holds many opportunities and risks. Are you ready to assess them and see how you can turn it to your advantage?

Leave a comment and we’ll have a conversation. Who will be first to tell Aaron he's off my rocker?