Angus: Justif-i

Why is it, that when someone in our industry is confronted with the issue of them using an out of date name for the platform, their first reaction is not “Oh? Tell me more about IBM i!”?

In promoting the promotion of IBM i to our community, I find that about 40% of those who are not using the correct branding for the platform, don’t understand that Power Systems is a new generation of servers, replacing System i and p, and running IBM i. About 10% apologize, and promise they will never use an old brand name again – which lasts about four and a half minutes.

The rest, immediately offer some excuse. They justify their ignorance with some tired, vapid, inane ‘reason’, that somehow makes them feel good about their ignorance. There is so much pushback in our industry about using the current branding, that it makes us look quite feeble as an industry. Nothing will suffice for these naysayers. Nothing IBM does will ever prove to them that the platform branding will continue for a long time (in I.T. years). Nothing the community does will ever convince them that the current branding allows us to be, once more, a community united around something wonderful.

For some people, it is a simple lack of education about our platform. Simply put, it is IBM i on Power – how difficult can that be? For some, the complaint is about too many name changes – based in truth, but is really FUD. For others, the complaint is that IBM does no, or the wrong, marketing – again, FUD. For lots, the complaint is that the name is hard to use and hard to google – maybe, but if we actually started to use it, those would not be valid complaints.

For even more, the complaint is that the name is something “I don’t like”. So? It is the name we have, and if you have already complained about the frequency of the name changes, don’t expect that IBM will change it again based on your whim and lack of marketing skills. Unfortunately, due to this ego filled excuse, we now have people using the wrong name for the platform, which only confuses the issue even more. It is sad that a few bruised egos can really have such a negative impact on the promotion of our platform.

I often wish I understood psychology, so I could understand the determined effort to avoid change amongst our community. I expect that soon, the groundswell will overtake the ignorance, and those who are currently complaining will either be laughed at for their ignorance, or get with the program.

Who will you tell today about IBM i? Who will you ask to start promoting the future of our platform? It is time to stop the negativity, reclaim our passion for the best business platform on the planet, and move forward.


Aaron BartellJuly 10th, 2012 at 10:43 am

>Who will you tell today about IBM i? Who will you ask to start promoting the future of our platform?

I am curious to know who Trevor Perry will tell (today/this week/ this month, whatever timeframe you want to pick) and how will you tell them to adopt the IBM i? This is not a loaded question, I am just curious how you pitch it.

angustheitchapJuly 10th, 2012 at 10:59 am


I run around the planet speaking at conferences and consulting to customers, most of whom have IBM i. While the IBM i brand is usually recognized, the trend is to continue to reference the old branding, and I work to promote IBM i every time.

The last software company conference I spoke to also included a plea by the president to their customers to promote IBM i and its future. He suggested that AS/400 is now an out of date platform, and we should be promoting a modern platform such as IBM i on Power.

When I start a consulting engagement with a customer, and I hear that their AS/400 is fabulous, I tell them that this week you will hear IBM i from me, and it is the evolution of their AS/400. If the conversation leads there, I educate them on the platform, and talk about some of the new things that can be done with IBM i – RPGOA, RDPower, PHP, IAS, for a start… Typically, by the end of the engagement, the IBM i term is being used by one or more of the customers I.T. team, and there is often a push to stop saying AS/400 completely.

Some customers promise they will stop right away, but they can’t. Some customers continue to use their IBM i like an AS/400 and aren’t willing to put up any find of fight. I try my best to stir the passion for the platform in its current form, and it works more than it doesn’t. The best approach is to get them excited again about the platform, and get them to make some effort to recognizing that IBM i is not AS/400, and while AS/400 is a wonderful legacy, IBM i is our future.

And that’s just the beginning for me…

How about you?

Aaron BartellJuly 10th, 2012 at 6:02 pm

>How about you?

To be honest I am a mixed bag of nuts right now. I’ll just leave it at that for the time being 🙂

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