I am writing this entry in the hotel just after the iBelieveNY event that was held in downtown Manhattan this week. We have received extremely positive (and constructive) feedback about the event and we are very happy to hear that so many people found it useful and informative. The things that stood out to me about the day were the energy of the audience and the insights of the speakers (present company excluded ;-).
Dr. Frank Soltis gave a compelling view of the history that has led to the IBM i as we currently know it and the incredible foresight that produced an architecture that others are still trying to emulate. It was also great to know that IBM had quantified what we already suspected - 95% of customers who leave the IBM i leave IBM completely. This is clearly strong motivation for IBM to keep IBM i as a vibrant and compelling platform and helps to explain why IBM have been happily reporting increases in both number of servers and total revenue for IBM i.
Pete Massiello provided a broad range of options for ways that IBM i programmers can advance their own skills and, in the process, leverage more of the latest capabilities of the platform. There was a veritable smorgasbord of options guaranteed to provide many opportunities no matter what your current skills or interest.
Alison Butterill demonstrated many different ways in which the IBM i platform is providing innovative solutions in diverse industries. The marketing being promoted by IBM themselves was also outlined to show the place it plays in a cohesive and coordinated campaign.
I tried to demonstrate that developers on the IBM i platform have many tools and approaches at their disposal to create amazing applications. Developers should be aiming for modern, connected and open applications that exceed user expectations. I also pointed out that we can each do our part to promote the IBM i platform and that if we do then the combined efforts will produce results beyond our expectations.
Trevor Perry then highlighted that even though we can be proud of the history of our platform, we must not get stuck in the past. The platform is advancing rapidly and we need to recognize that progress. Getting hung up on the platform name that we may have been used to does not help us to promote the value of the latest IBM i server operating system.
All in all, I felt that the sessions focused upon the many practical benefits of IBM i and the steps that we can take to leverage it's power, integration, reliability and scalability.