Angus: Time to stop the rhetoric

The 20i3 COMMON Annual conference is being held in Austin, TX this week. IBM have brought their IBM i 25th Anniversary celebrations. With that, the excitement in the community in attendance has been stirred, the passion is high, and the conference is buzzing.

There are, as usual, some holdouts. One prominent vendor is advertising their System i products – I stuck an IBM i sticker over that. Several vendors are promoting iSeries solutions, and attendees are generally giving them grief. The excuses range from “the customers call it that, so I have to” to “the platform is dead” to “IBM i is just iSeries”.

All of these excuses are utterly ignorant, showing that the vendors do not understand marketing a product as opposed to marketing to an audience. Their marketing skills seem to resort to poor selling techniques when their first response to the “why iSeries” question is not a question, but a defense born of frustration.

Certainly, vendors – and the community, need to understand and learn how to market IBM i products to an audience which includes IBM i customers, iSeries customers, AS/400 customers, and the occasional System i customer. However, this should not preclude them from understanding that while we have a strong legacy (proven) starting with the AS/400, we have had IBM i on Power Systems (which is a NEW platform, BTW) for five years.

IBM i has proven its longevity. While customers may be holding out, vendors have a responsibility to educate, support, and promote IBM i – the future of our platform. They must upgrade their marketing. And, the ignorant defense of “thats what the customer calls it” needs to be removed from the equation. If you are a leader in our community, you will be a leader, not a follower.

And the rhetoric of “the platform is dead” or “the platform has no future” or “the platform is dying” needs to simply be dropped from the vernacular of those vendors who are in this industry for the long term. Not a whisper, not a mention, not a hint of that FUD should be uttered from anyone in our community.

Then, when we hear that FUD, we know it is coming from those who wish to migrate us from the platform, and we can act accordingly.

Leave a comment

Your comment