Angus: Step up to IBM i!
After attending and speaking at COMMON Sweden in Stockholm, Data3 approached me to answer some questions for the latest user group magazine. Their magazine is published and available here. While much of the magazine is in Swedish, some, including my Q&A, is in English.
Here is the ‘interview’..
What Would Trevor Do?
Thank you for attending and contributing to our conference in
October. Among many things you are right now the lead of the
hashtag #ibmistepup on twitter. Could you please explain what
this is all about, and why it’s important from your point of view?
As you know, I am an advocate for improving the perception of the platform. IBM i is a modern, integrated, scalable, robust business platform running on the best hardware from IBM. Given the rich heritage of the platform and the longevity of the people and the applications, there are many people in the community who still regard the platform as the same as it was 30 years ago. For many of these people, the platform has defined their career, and as they get older, change is difficult as they are required to move out of their (very comfortable) comfort zone of AS/400 or iSeries.
When I attended IBM Power Systems Technical University, I talked to many people about the platform. I presented a session called “Promoting IBM i and its future to your Business”, and that sparked many conversations also. I discovered three very distinct groups of attendees, and while I did not talk with everyone, this seemed to be a trend. One group was scared and complaining bitterly about the platform not being the same as they knew it. Why they were even attending a Power Systems conference was a question I never asked. The second group were confused, wondering what to do with their platform, wondering how to move forward, wondering how to convince their business that the platform was the best business platform and worthy of investment, etc. The third group were positive about the future of the platform, the future of the platform in their business, and were extremely passionate and positive about their own future.
I have concluded that each group can be described with one word – in order: Conflicted, Confused, Confident. The most intriguing part for me was that everyone in those groups used a particular name for the platform. Conflicted people called it AS/400. Confused people called it iSeries. Confident people called it IBM i. What a revelation! I donít believe that by just using a particular brand name was the cause of these three conditions, but I thought that it might be the first place to start. If the community saw the platform as modern, integrated, scalable, robust, they would call it IBM i.
So I endeavored to use this thought to convince the community that we need to come together on our perception of the platform, and the brand is a good place to start. What came to mind was for the community to step up. I decided to start the Twitter campaign to ask the community to step up. I will tweet ideas and thoughts, and point out where websites and promotions are not geared towards IBM i. I will eventually build some support for this effort into one of my websites, and will provide material to help those who wish to become engaged. This effort is simply one more piece of noise to add to the community promoting IBM i and its future.
Please join in!
Wanna play? Twitter needs your #IBMiStepUp hashtag!