With IBM i on Power Systems, the future of your business can be more agile, scalable, and sound. But it’s up to you to sell your peers and executives on the low total cost of ownership of IBM i, and enhance your organization’s strong heritage on the platform.
In this one-hour recorded webinar, Chief Strategist Trevor Perry and Chuck Losinski raise your own awareness of IBM i’s modern capabilities and stir your passion. You'll learn the many ways you can represent IBM i in your business in order to:
- Raise visibility
- Preserve your investment in the platform
- Ensure that business applications are developed using the right tools
This recording is a must for IBM i users that need to educate their businesses about the platform, its planned future, how it fits business requirements, and ways to leverage IBM i. Prepare to be motivated!
A complete transcript of the webinar is below.
Chuck Losinski: 00:05 Hello everyone and welcome to today's webinar promoting the future of IBM i in your business. Coming to you from beautiful Eden Prairie right here in Minnesota, USA. We typically hold these webinars about every other week and we've got a whole bunch of good ones coming up. So, please check our help systems website under "training and events." Now, this event is a follow-on to our webinar we held just a couple of weeks ago. Here we had Dr. Frank Soltis discussing the evolution of IBM i in your data center. Today, we'll be learning how to sell IBM i to your peers, and raise the visibility of the platform to the executives at your business no matter where you work.
Chuck Losinski: 00:47 My name is Chuck Losinski. I'm the Director of Automation Technologies here at HelpSystems for the robot product line. My intention is to present a few things at the end of today's webinar that HelpSystems is working on to ensure that the IBM i platform is viewed as a technologically advanced and business-centric platform that it's really meant to be. Today, I'm pleased to be joined by Trevor Perry. And Trevor, I'm going to give you a proper introduction here.
Chuck Losinski: 01:17 Trevor Perry is a veteran of the IBM i community, and probably one of its most outspoken evangelists, blogger, and modernization spokesman for the wider IT community, and is also a consultant to companies on their IT modernization efforts. Trevor is a frequent and popular speaker at many industry events, and many of us have heard him speak at the COMMON conference. I specifically remember attending his How To Be An IT Survivor presentation at COMMON, and I remember walking in the door, and he asked me, "Why are you here?"
Chuck Losinski: 01:51 You know, the purpose of that is to kind of get you thinking and instill a little passion. He does have a lot of passion for changing the world for the better and wants all of us to be engaged in that endeavor, as well. He has a book out, which I'm sure you can find in several locations. Possible Amazon, Trevor. It's called Never Iron When You're Naked. And he's also working on another book called You Are Extra-Ordinary. Welcome, Trevor.
Trevor Perry: 02:19 Thanks, Chuck. I appreciate it.
Chuck Losinski: 02:23 All right. Today's agenda looks like this. We're going to talk, first of all, about promoting the future of IBM i in your business, and then we're going to talk a little bit about HelpSystems is modernizing your IBM i environment. And then we are going to get to some Q&A. And Trevor, I'm going to put you in charge of this presentation. All right, Trevor, take it away. And go full screen, if you wouldn't mind.
Trevor Perry: 02:51 Okay. So, I'm full screen at the moment. I'm looking at your slides right now.
Chuck Losinski: 02:57 Okay. Can you click on the top of your screen where it says "Trevor?"
Trevor Perry: 03:02 Yes. "Assign," is that what we're looking for? Make presenter ... No, that's just me. Oh, maybe I can't see that. Well, this is fun. Just a moment. Just got your slides. I have to switch to mine, is that correct?
Chuck Losinski: 03:22 Yes.
Trevor Perry: 03:23 Okay. Don't know where that is.
Chuck Losinski: 03:26 Okay.
Trevor Perry: 03:28 Forward and back. There we go. Thank you. All right, now I can do this. So, these are my slides. So, thanks Chuck and I really appreciate being here. I have to say that HelpSystems are treating me extremely like royalty. So, I am enjoying being here tremendously. And the weather is wonderful. So, today, I'm going to give you my presentation that started out as promoting the future of IBM i as a bit of a dig to people who are sort of lost a little bit in the past. Part of that is the name. You'll have seen me on the worldwide web and other forums where I speak about the name a lot. The problem is, is the name is just the start of something really big. What's really big is the platform, and what is this platform? A lot of people don't really realize where its come from and where its gone. A lot of them know that it sort of had this nice past and it used to be called something else, but they don't really talk about it in present terms or future terms. They talk about it in the past.
Trevor Perry: 04:30 Some of that is just not quite understanding and there are a lot of myths. Today, I'm going to dispel some of those myths, I'm going to talk about it. For what it's worth, the platform actually is simply now an operating system called "i", the letter "i." And while that's difficult to Google, we were told when it was released that we should call it IBM i. That is not a trademark name. The logo that you see here, i for business, is actually just a motto, which is fabulous, and we'll talk about that in a minute as well.
Trevor Perry: 05:01 So, the idea here is to talk about what the past is, the present, and the future of IBM i. Then we're going to talk about how you can promote or what you can do and a little bit of justification. One of the things I can't answer today is how to do an ROI for yourself and your company. At Enterprise 2014 just a week ago, I was asked how I could promote IBM i and justify IBM i to two different companies. One had four 795s and one had one 720. All I'm going to do today is point you at some information that will allow you to go find more information and find promotion material that you can use to help build your justification and give you some ideas on the way.
Trevor Perry: 05:45 So, with that said, let's talk about the future of IBM i. Starting with the past, we all know about the historical past. Here's my family tree. You can actually find that if you go to blog.angustheitchap.com and there's a link on there for the family tree. There's three pictures. You can see we have this glorious history. Some people actually complain that it didn't go far enough back and complained that they have the whole System p side. But if you look at everything that's happened, at the bottom is the Power Systems server, and that was released in the year 2008. Since 2008, which is now six years, and in IT terms, that's really quite old, we've actually been an operating system called IBM i running on Power Systems.
Trevor Perry: 06:34 So, when we got the System i replaced because it merged System i and System p. It was very similar to the System 38, System 36 merging together. It was bigger though because much more has changed since we had the history, since we had the AS/400. And a lot of stuff that was in our operating system before, which was previously called OS/400 and i5/OS is now in the virtualization layer of the stack that we use. So, we are now just simply, IBM i, an operating system running on a Power Systems server. A lot of us have struggled with calling it a name. We don't know what to call it. Some of us call it The IBM i because it sort of invokes this history of The 400. But you don't call Windows, The Windows. Windows runs on a PC, IBM i runs on Power Systems servers.
Trevor Perry: 07:24 So, we live in a new world. It's very different than that whole AS/400 was everything. It used to be our applications, and our operating system, and our hardware, and everything. You could look at a box and say, "That's my 400." And you could say, "Sign onto the 400." The problem today is, is we have the same green screen. It looks exactly the same, but under the cover so much has changed. The hardware, particularly, and then the layers of how you actually deliver that. But it's amazing that we can still do that all those years later.
Trevor Perry: 07:54 So, it's really quite a fabulous platform. Quite has a very rich history. But in 2008, it changed quite dramatically and some people still treat it like it's before that. Now, if you've got a tablet and you're still using it like a text phone, that's about the same thing. There are so many amazing things you can do with this new platform in 2014 and beyond that if you are still using it in a similar manner to how you used it back in 1988, which is a very long time ago now, you are probably doing the platform a bit of disservice. Today, I'm going to encourage you to step up.
Trevor Perry: 08:33 Here's a short version of it. So, there's our years. That was a glorious 20 years until we got the Power Systems. But Power Systems is as big a replacement to the platform as AS/400 was at its time. We do not run a 400, we run on Power Systems these days. The names that were there in 1988, we heard hardware AS/400, software OS/400. In that history, we never really talked a lot about OS/400. In 2000, there was a bit of a faceplate change. We'll talk about branding later, but it became the iSeries, but still used OS/400. In 2006, they changed the name again of the hardware to System i, but the operating system was renamed to i5/OS. That sort of made us think we would have i6/OS, i7/OS. But then, in 2008, when they replaced System i and System p, merged them and called them Power Systems, they renamed the platform, the operating system to be world class for a world class brand like Power. As I said, it's called i, that's the branding, we call it IBM i.
Trevor Perry: 09:37 If you compare that with what's been happening to Windows, you'll notice that iSeries is around about the same time as XP. If you've noticed, we look at XP with a bit of disdain now because it's old, and in fact, it's been discontinued. And yet, some of us still talk about the iSeries like it's present. The same with System i and in fact, with Power Systems, we've now got Window 7 and 8 in popular use, and 10 now, Windows 10 about to be released. So, we need to be keeping up to date. There's your comparison, just so that you can justify that in your own mind.
Trevor Perry: 10:13 Now, the present of IBM i, I thought about this a lot, and what I've come up with is last year was the 25 or 25th birthday party for the platform, which started from the AS/400. Now, some people, again, think it's an older platform than that, but IBM chose to celebrate 25 years, and that was quite fabulous. So, what they built were 25 vignettes, which they released over a period of weeks, and each of those vignettes was something important about the platform. To me, that's the present of the platform. So, I'm going to go through quickly. A lot of these you know about, you understand, and I'm going to talk about the benefits. I'm not spending a lot of time on them. You can find these actually on Facebook on a page called IBM i 25, and I encourage you to go there and read them all.
Trevor Perry: 11:00 So, let's start with them. Integration, obviously "I" stands for integration. That's really what the essence of this is. No other platform, no other operating system is built for integration from the ground up. If you look at the benefit, it hides the complexity, and makes products simple and easy to use, and highly reliable. If you think about that, Windows doesn't have that. A lot of people are not telling their business that this is what it's about. When you use a brand like 400, that doesn't suggest integration. So, "I", which has been in the name iSeries, System i, was chosen for integration, and that's really the key of this platform. It is integrated across so many things, and we'll talk more about that too.
Trevor Perry: 11:43 So, the next vignette was user groups. Obviously, user groups are very, very important. This afternoon, I'll be speaking to the Q user group here in Minneapolis. Really, IBM i is still strong because of its user groups. A lot of them gave come and gone, but some of them are coming back again with the help from people like HelpSystems. The user groups are growing. In fact, just recently, most of the user groups have experienced a resurgence in their attendance. I encourage you all to go as soon you possibly can to your local user group.
Trevor Perry: 12:16 Obviously, the AS/400 is a very strong part of the history and the legacy of IBM i. It really was a new state-of-the-architecture. The key part of that was it was an unmatched solutions portfolio, and this really remains the same. While it's a more smaller portfolio than ever back from the 25 years ago, it's very strong. In fact, it is so strong that people are coming back to it again. Some who went away, and new vendors are now coming back. When PHP was announced on the platform, [inaudible 00:12:47] CRM bought their application immediately, and found success with that running on the IBM i application. Because the solutions portfolio application systems was the name and really systems and solutions has been the key to the platform.
Trevor Perry: 13:03 The TIMI, which is called the technology independent machine interface is an abstraction layer. The best part about this is that we can move from one generation of a processor or different desk technologies without any disruption in our applications, in our business. We can actually upgrade the hardware, we can build a better infrastructure with our platform because we have the TIMI layer in there. So, really, there is an investment protection for business. Again, there's a key that you need to be able to tell your business that the application architecture, the platform architecture with the TIMI really enables us to respect and protect that investment that we've made.
Trevor Perry: 13:44 Single-level storage again is amazing. It's where everything, memory hard disk or anything appears as a contiguous address base. Again, the developers are not having to worry about this. It's taken care of. It's an integrated operating system. It really is being called many times an operating environment. But the single-level storage doesn't require you to have a DBA, it doesn't require you to have a ton of DBAs. We saw in an instance where there was 200 article services replaced one IBM i with the Power Systems server and they needed about 100 DBAs to handle all of that. The IBM i didn't have one. Obviously, if you're going to handle you database and your applications better, you might need a database engineer. You need to read more about that, just look up that, and that would be under the name of Mike Cain from IBM.
Trevor Perry: 14:36 So, the operating system continues to evolve, new technologies come in. We got SSDs without even thinking about it. They're used and we don't even have to go spend out time managing and sorting all the data out where it belongs, it just happens for us. It's a really powerful benefit.
Trevor Perry: 14:53 Subsystems is really a virtualization of workload. We've had it forever. It came from the System 38. In this instance, it enables us to basically say, "This group of applications or this group of users is treated very, very separately and very, very carefully." So, you can match the resources and the priorities of the workloads to your business goals. So, you can say, overall, if I want to have my interactive users treated better than my batch work, you can do that or vice versa. It's really up to you how you manage that. It's your choice. You have a lot less servers. And obviously, if you're managing less servers, then your total cost of ownership is going to be cheaper than x86, and that's been proven over, and over, and over again.
Trevor Perry: 15:38 Object orientation, another vignette. Obviously, the key part about this is that it really protects IBM i against malware, against viruses, and against attacks. There has been no known virus for IBM i and the number of security breaches on the platforms is really down to how many people leave their system open and treat it like an old system. We have a lot people who still have passwords that are 10 characters. They still tell users passwords. They still share passwords. All of the things that in the modern world you don't need to do on IBM i and object orientation actually supports and helps that tremendously. So, it is one of the most secure IT systems for business without having to spend a lot of effort, without having to hire an entire security team.
Trevor Perry: 16:30 Obviously, the integrated database is very, very key and very important. The best part about it is it's fully SQL compliant. A lot of people looking at their system like it's an old system don't realize how you can access data from the outside. This is one of the really key things. We have a lot of customers who take their data off, put it into a SQL server, into a SQL server database, and there's no need. In fact, other customers just go directly to the SQL database that's on the i, directly to it, and it's scalable, and it's powerful, and it can grow with you, and it's optimized for those two things, which is I/O -intensive and compute-intensive workloads.
Trevor Perry: 17:09 So, your database is a really key part to why this platform has lived on, why this platform has a strong future. And the really important part is it's integrated into the operating system. You don't buy a separate integrated database, which helps reduce the total cost of acquisition, and because it's built in, it's connected to the object oriented and object oriented security, so everything works together really well. We've had this forever. A lot of people don't realize how important this is as a benefit. When you're talking to your business about the future and about the value of IBM i, this is a really key part.
Trevor Perry: 17:45 Virtualization, now running on IBM i on Power Servers, we now have a entire virtualization layer that can actually change the way that we build systems and deliver applications. For software as a service, SaaS is becoming one of the key IBM i models. As we move into that with many service providers, virtualization allows us to deliver resources where they're needed, it allows us to move partitions around without disruption to the business. We now have the ability to have truly 24/7 through virtualization, and that's a really key benefit again of IBM i on Power.
Trevor Perry: 18:28 System integrity, again, built in. There's hardware-enforced integrity, there's operating system integrity. It's digitally signed, and again, that system integrity is a fundamental design point and it's really key to making it a very secure system for business. So, if you've got vital data and allocations, protecting them on IBM i is a lot simpler, a lot easier. Obviously, you have to pay attention to any security that you use, but the fact that you have the tools built into IBM i doesn't mean you should be lazy about it. What it means is you have less work to do and less maintenance to support that.
Trevor Perry: 19:03 ISVs, we have thousands of software vendors. Because there's a common database, a middleware foundation, every client, every software vendor can actually work with other clients. What I see is I go to customers and I see software vendors like HelpSystems and software vendors that are doing modernization on the front end, and software vendors who are doing modernization on the backend. They're all together and all working on the same place. That's why there's a strong ISV community. It's a lot simpler to be able to do this. Yes, you have to sometimes handle multiple release versions, but IBM has made that even easier with their technology refreshers on IBM I 7.0 and 7.2.
Trevor Perry: 19:46 So, the world is actually getting stronger and better for us because what IBM does for us and for ISVs, as well. One of the sad things is that you could actually run in 1979, your S/38 1979 applications, you could run them on the 400 in 1988, and they'd probably run today as well. That's sad because a lot of that application has a poor, chunky, clunky user interface because it's green, and it's probably got some techniques and some business logic that we would really like, and we'd want to encapsulate it. But we could take it to our new platform on IBM i and wrap it because it has an integrated language environment, and the ISVs can use that to leverage the best languages for the job, the right tool for the right job.
Trevor Perry: 20:33 International is really important. Double-byte character systems allows IBM i to support manage language versions. I've seen customers who've done such a wonderful job, I've seen vendors done a wonderful job, where they have the same applications running in two countries with the one development effort. That's really fabulous and IBM i supports and allows that.
Trevor Perry: 20:54 Business partners. Without the business partners, we wouldn't really have the degree of penetration of IBM i into the world. They work, a lot of them are very, very strong in their hardware, and they can keep us up to date. The only thing that I've discovered with business partners is some of them don't really understand the platform as well as you may. So, sometimes, you may have to go educate them. But they're out there, and most of them when I've talked to them are willing to learn, and you'll find that the business partners make this platform strong. And also, that's helped in building the whole partner world for IBM, which has been wonderful.
Trevor Perry: 21:32 Web services, there's a ton of really smart genius people at IBM who work on this platform, and now they're available to us with web services. So, if you want to do something ... One of my favorite examples is RPG Open Access. With Open Access, you can actually have web services build you an Open Access handler. You can then deconstruct it, understand it, and you can get into Open Access very, very quickly. Very powerful and a strong benefit.
Trevor Perry: 21:58 Out-of-the-box. One of the problems when you deliver the system is that it's just in this box that looks like a box unless you're building a big 795. But with the 720, which is a lot of the customers, majority of customers in IBM i world, it just works. You plug it in and it works. And while there's a whole entire infrastructure, the operating system, the hardware, the middleware, the virtualization, it's all done for you and you don't have to worry about it. While it's there, sometimes that also means it's not visible, but it's there. The technical complexities are masked. You don't have to learn them, you don't have to worry about them, and it behaves and runs like a business system.
Trevor Perry: 22:35 Obviously, RPG along with other application languages there as well. But with the integrated language environment, the rational development tools, and the latest in RPG, and in the free format. This actually was, the vignettes were built before the full free format. This is a high modern, you know, high-level modern language for today's world. What we've discovered is Java programmers coming in can read full free format RPG and can write full free format RPG very, very quickly. So, we are bringing back more RPG developers. Part of that is you finding them, and that's one of the struggles.
Trevor Perry: 23:11 All the middleware is integrated. If you want a web application server, there's so many amazing things you can do with that. If you want to actually take one of your existing programs that's running and expose it as a web service, it's all built in, it's all integrated for you. You run a few wizards and you have an amazing applications that's service enabled very, very quickly. It's all available to you.
Trevor Perry: 23:33 The portable applications system environment is an integrated AIX runtime. If you want to bring something to the platform that's running under AIX, it will work out of the box, inside of PASE, inside of IBM i, and it's native, and it has access to native IBM i resources. You don't have to manage two operating systems. It's a fabulous runtime environment for AIX. We've actually seen from Domino many years ago through PHP and now things like PowerRuby where they're taking advantage of that PASE environment. It's fabulous and it's growing the platform.
Trevor Perry: 24:06 And of course, under the covers is POWER, POWER hardware. The POWER processor is growing. If you've seen the latest in POWER8 and the rumors about POWER9, it's just an amazing platform. On top of that now, if you look at OpenPOWER and the Open Source movement to take POWER out into the world, we might find that IBM i is now going to be able to be run alongside a lot of the other POWER systems that are running out in the world. So, that may help us for our future as well.
Trevor Perry: 24:37 PHP came to the platform five or six years ago, maybe a little bit longer, but it was quite a phenomenon because nothing everything got picked up as quickly as PHP. The best part is Zend, who basically is supporting PHP for us, have found a way to tell the world about IBM i. If you go to a ZendCon, you'll find they talk about IBM i a lot. There's more people who are aware of IBM i and there's more people bringing their PHP to run on IBM i on POWER. It's an amazing language. It can be written as object-oriented or procedural if you like, which is why many RPG programmers pick it up very, very quickly. Part of it is, is it is that perfect companion to your RPG applications.
Trevor Perry: 25:21 Now, user interface, traditionally we had the 5250 and that was really fabulous, but modernization and Open Access are enabling us to deliver modern user applications, and I'll talk about that again in just a minute, as well.
Trevor Perry: 25:35 Reliability. There isn't even any question about reliability. If you talk to anyone who's had a POWER Systems server with IBM i or one of its predecessors, an AS/400, iSeries, System i, all of them have a reputation for just not breaking and running. And we hear occasionally somebody lost a disk, and even though, the number of times they ever lose data, the number of times they're not still running is really rare. So, it's absolutely fabulous.
Trevor Perry: 26:02 Automated service. You know, IBM i phones home when it has a problem. This has been an amazing thing. I've been at customers where they didn't know something was wrong and IBM called them and said, "You've got something wrong." This is really a powerful and fabulous thing.
Trevor Perry: 26:17 This week in Rochester, the large user group, which is the top ... Right now, there's about 100 companies who belong to the large user group. The first time they've actually enabled POWER Systems champions and IBM i champions to speak. This is going to be a wonderful time. I get to speak, I get to present this session to them. They're very eager to learn and keen to learn. They learned from IBM, they have a very close relationship with IBM, they drive a lot of what happens into the product. If you are a large company, you should jump and see if you can join the large user group immediately.
Trevor Perry: 26:56 Client success stories. If you actually go to IBM/systems/i, you'll see a page that has client successes all over it. You'll understand that Rochester is actually working for its clients. It's a really fabulous thing. They call it the Rochester Way. If you've been to Rochester, you see it. You see it amongst the people, you see it amongst the IBM i team, and it's really a strong support of their customer platform. This is something that other platforms don't have and again, is a really strong benefit for IBM i.
Trevor Perry: 27:28 So, those are the 25 vignettes. Yes?
Chuck Losinski: 27:32 Breathe. We'll give you a chance to breathe here for a second. I have opened a polling question related to your application modernization bullet point a little bit. Are you stuck in a green screen application or have you or are you in the process of upgrading to a graphical interface? Feel free to answer that polling question. And also, we would be interested in knowing if you have pursued a PHP project. Feel free to chat that in. We'd be very interested in knowing if you've gone down that pathway.
Trevor Perry: 28:07 Cool. Thanks, Chuck.
Chuck Losinski: 28:08 Very good. Yeah.
Trevor Perry: 28:09 So, now, very quickly, the future of IBM i. What is it? We have a lot of people who've been screaming. Recently, somebody said, "The red books have been missing and the tools, the documentation is gone." What had happened was, is IBM rearranged all the POWER documentation under POWER, under IBM i, AIX and LINUX, and somebody screamed and said, "Well, that shows the death of the platform." This has been going on for, I believe, 25 years. There are certain individuals in this industry who would like ... And they claim they're in our industry, they claim they're supporting us, but their business is actually built for taking people off the platform. Recently, you'll have seen several companies come into this platform and start, and realize you just can't do that.
Trevor Perry: 28:55 There's been several studies, in fact, there was a recent one. I don't have the links at the moment. I'll try to get them back to you, Chuck, on the latest studies about the platform and what's really going on, rather than just people screaming that the sky is falling. We see that because IBM have announced a roadmap. Now, I did get this and this is one step out, because this talks about IBM i 7.1 technology refresh 8, and IBM i 7.2. Just this month, IBM i 7.1 technology refresh 9 and IBM i 7.2 technology refresh 1 were announced. How fabulous is that? And this is their commitment to us. IBM has continued to do this, and if you have a look, this goes for a very long time.
Trevor Perry: 29:42 They're working on their release after 7.2, they're working on their release after 7.2. and after that. So, they're working on it. They have now managed to change the way that they release new functionality, major functionality with technology refreshers, so that you don't have to wait for a very short time and try and upgrade to a new operating system version. So, it's been quite fabulous. This response has been fantastic. People are screaming that 7.1 is four years out of date, but four years out of date with the technology refresh 9 is pretty close to 7.2. So, it's not out of date, and they're keeping it current. We have to understand that. Running on POWER8 now is really key. That's the new platform under the POWER Systems servers.
Trevor Perry: 30:28 If you see this chart, and then if you see the next chart, which actually talks to us about the support. You can see on this chart that there's a date on the right. So, 25. You've probably got a little arrow going past that to 26. That means that we have another 12 or more years where they're going to support just the current plus the planned operating system releases. That means that by that time, we will have had the IBM i operating system running on POWER for almost 20 years, coming up 20 years, and that's going to be fabulous.
Trevor Perry: 31:04 So, if you've got a complaint that they've rebranded too many times, this is gone in six years. You need to understand that IBM has officially committed to this platform beyond 2025, as you can see in this chart. They won't physically commit to beyond that, of course. In fact, this was a big struggle from what I understand, but now we have it, it's out there, this is public, and they share it with people if you need this kind of thing.
Trevor Perry: 31:32 There is a document called the IBM i Strategy and Roadmap that can be found on the IBM i homepage, and that's fabulous. In 2012, we had Colin Parrish talk about it and he said, "You will find out commitment to our IBM i clients, ISVs, and business partners is solid and unchanged. We continue to make substantial investments in the future as an important strategic element." That was 2012. Well, in 2014, Doug Balog released his. He's the new POWER Systems general manager. He said, "I want to assure you that IBM is committed to the IBM i platform and it's key to our broader strategy of investing in enterprise systems and storage."
Trevor Perry: 32:12 So, you must understand, that with the recent changes where they've sold off their PC Division of their System X Division, as well, to Lenovo, you know that they're divesting themselves of the things that are distracting them from enterprise systems. So, now that they've got focus back on enterprise systems, and IBM i is a key part of that. You must download this strategy document and use it when you need to.
Trevor Perry: 32:38 So, that's the past, the present, and the future of IBM i. Promoting IBM i is a little bit of a challenge, and I'm going to throw it to you very quickly, and I'm going to run through some of these slides really quickly. But the information is there and you'll be able the find it. Promoting IBM i is something that you should do. I've broken that up into four steps. Part of it is community consistency. The community talks about the platform like this. IBM i, i5/OS, iSeries, iSeries, AS/400. There's no consistency. The trouble with that is that we look from the outside like a dysfunctional community and we're really not. We all have the passion. We're all IBM i geniuses. We're all IBM i champions. We just don't look at the platform in the same way, and we need to start doing that.
Trevor Perry: 33:30 Back when our pro-developer was very active, they had a page done. You can see down at the bottom there, it says, "Securing SQL activity on AS/400." In 2013, a vendor had the nerve to sell something on AS/400. But if you look really closely at it, you see even on their drop down, they actually have IBM i. They don't even say AIX ... Sorry, they don't say 400. So, they're really being inconsistent and trying to step up. You'll look down at the bottom there, somebody said, "Please step up." We struggle. I found it, downloaded it, and I said, "Why don't we just switch it? Lead with IBM i and then put it all of the rest of the names that you need for search engine optimization."
Trevor Perry: 34:13 That's all we need. It's a very subtle change and a very simple thing, but if we can get the community to do this, and I can tell you that one person has an impact. If you see a vendor and you ask them to do this, there's strength in one person. Vendors have done that, including IBM, and you also can get your friends. The community out there that's very strong can actually jump up and down and change the world. Now, I just noticed that Robin through something up and said, "Maybe IBM has to step up?" Well, that's the problem we have is we keep blaming IBM and I'll talk about that as well.
Trevor Perry: 34:50 So, IBM i on POWER Systems, that is what this platform is. What we need to be is a united community. Yes, we need to get on IBM's case and we have, and I've got tons of stories about where IBM has changed things because we actually raised our voice. A lot of us raise our voice to our peers, a lot of us raise our voice in the community and complain. A lot of us say, "There's no use." And you know what? There's a strong history of IBM responding and listening to us when we talk to IBM and treat IBM with the respect that they're asking us for. Which is they've given us this amazing platform, and we need to step up and support it as an amazing platform, not continually complaining about what happened and what changed.
Trevor Perry: 35:34 Branding is one of the things that we always talk about. We don't know, but I'm going to show you something. Wikipedia, the answer to everything, says, "Rebranding is the creation of a new name, term, symbol, design, or combination, with the intention of developing a differentiated position in the minds of stakeholders and competitors." And IBM did that. In fact, somebody we know, Starbucks did that as well. And you know what? Nobody stopped buying Starbucks, and nobody complained that Starbucks changed their branding. Because it wasn't a name? No, they were still modifying the branding. All they did was change a really old, ugly looking logo with a naked woman to a modern logo. But it's rebranding and that's what IBM have done. BP have done it, 3M have done it, LEGO. We didn't stop playing with LEGO because they rebranded, we stopped because we became adults and thought play was a dirty word.
Trevor Perry: 36:24 Apple has changed, and yet, I can tell you now in the IBM i world there are so many Apple freaks that are complaining about IBM's branding but not Apple's. It's quite fascinating.
Trevor Perry: 36:33 So, here's the branding. Originally, it was called AS/400. That was not an actual official brand. It was actually one that was used in the community. When, in 2000, that IBM decided to consolidate the name, call it eServer, they had to have a platform for us, so they called us AS/400 iSeries. And they had a pSeries, and a zSeries, or a Zed, and an xSeries. So, it was an entire rebranding of a line. We got personally annoyed because they modified our fabulous name, but it wasn't to do with us. It was do with IBM rebranding. They did the same thing in 2006 when they had System, and they made System i, System p, System z or Zed, and x. We look at it going, "It's a personal affront to us," and yet, IBM is marketing and branding for them, not for us. And they rebranded i5/OS, as well.
Trevor Perry: 37:23 So, now when they brought POWER out they rebranded the platform to IBM i, and they're stuck with that now for six years, which is fabulous. A lot of people don't understand why they did that, and it's because of the strength of the POWER brand. That's going to remain strong for a long time to come, and that means we can ride that wave. IBM is sending a lot of stuff to POWER Linux right now, and people are complaining about that, but i is for business, and we will get that overflow.
Trevor Perry: 37:51 So, here, if you have a look at the branding. We had this with POWER7 and now we have it with POWER8. We have AIX, Linux and i For Business. We are the only ones, the only operating system that has the words "for business." So, when Linux is sold, they say, "I want to run my business." They'll say, "Look at that. I can run i For Business and we can do that." You'll notice just a little trick. If you want to be a bit of a smart mouth to some of your friends, just tell them that AIX and Linux both have an "I" in their names, which is fabulous for us.
Trevor Perry: 38:21 So, marketing, let's understand marketing a little bit. Both Coke and IBM were two of the top ... They were actually the top two recognized names on the planet, so you know they must be doing some marketing. What's different, and in fact, now the top four include Apple and Google. So, there's several different companies now. And of course, Facebook is coming up there, et cetera. But you know that these are the common brands, so IBM must be doing some marketing. Coca-Cola does consumer marketing. That doesn't happen for IBM i. It's not a consumer product. In fact, a lot of people don't know the Mars company and what they do. You might think of Mars as being, well, just Mars bars, but it also includes things like Uncle Ben's rice, Whiskas cat food, Dove ice cream and chocolate, Orbit gum. But they market very differently. So, IBM needs to market really differently.
Trevor Perry: 39:19 Here's their first page from a little while ago. Their opening page to IBM.com. In fact, for a while they were selling pure data, and then they're selling smart planet, smarter planet, et cetera, et cetera. But in the end, they've got three main things that they sell on their page. That hasn't changed very much, even back from when it was pure data just a few short months ago. Have a look at us. We're one-third of 123 ... Oh, sorry. We're one of 123 things, and IBM i is one-third of that 123 things.
Trevor Perry: 39:55 IBM is not going to market IBM i any more than those other 123 things. In fact, this is just the ones they have one their homepage. We need to understand that IBM's marketing is not the marketing that we would prefer. They do sell POWER Systems, and they do, if you look further down on the page, you'll find IBM i. Then you can switch to IBM i. And in fact, it leverages the fact that we've got a heritage of 400 iSeries and System i. But this is an IBM i page, and on the IBM i page is a lot of information. I ask people, "Have you been there?" And the answer is, "No." They're complaining about the platform, but they haven't been to the page that describes the platform.
Trevor Perry: 40:32 So, to you, your entire business may be IBM i running on a POWER Systems server, but to IBM it's really simply just one-third of 123 things that they've got on their homepage. So, understand that, then you'll realize that IBM won't market the way you want. You're not a marketing genius that would understand IBM. We just don't have that. We just have to understand what they're trying to do, which means we have to leverage it.
Trevor Perry: 40:58 There is marketing, have a look. On this page, you've got client success stories. Go have a look at them. There are some amazing ones in there. There's a ton you can't talk about because there's a competitive advantage to have IBM i. It's one of the best-kept secrets. So, grab hold of these client success stories and use them when you're selling to your business. Look at this, Liverpool Football Club, "The last time I mentioned this, somebody said, 'Well, that's why they're having a bad year.'" I didn't like that but it was funny. Marketing Watson was one of the best marketing campaigns on the planet. Now, people all around the planet know about it. Smarter Planet is very strong. You can see it everywhere. IBM does market and we get caught up in there. There are Smarter Planet IBM i videos and you can find them very, very quickly.
Trevor Perry: 41:44 IBM markets on YouTube. They had a whole, for Technology Refresh 6, there was a whole set IBM i, Why IBM i videos. If you want to, go and look at those, and show those to people. There's a ton of information in there that really sells, and pitches, and shows the value of IBM i applications, security, DB2, For Business. Go read them, they're fabulous, and a lot of people don't even know they're there. And why? A lot of people are not looking at IBM marketing on YouTube, but they are. There is IBM marketing. It's happening everywhere. Certainly, you have to fight the IBM i woman that sometimes gets in the way because it's IBM i, but you can sort through that rather than complaining that you have to sort through. There's not a lot of bad noise and bad information when you Google IBM i. Twitter, Twitter had IBM POWER Systems, a whole IBM i hashtag, and an IBM i twentyfive campaign. It's out there. It's easy to engaged in Twitter. It's happening. There's a lot of information there. Facebook had the IBM i twentyfive campaign. Go to Facebook and look at that. It's Facebook.com/IBMitwentyfive. Read the vignettes, read more detail, steal that information, use that information for your own marketing campaign.
Trevor Perry: 42:58 LinkedIn, everywhere there's a IBM i professional group. What you've got to sort through is the myriads of AS/400 groups of people complaining about the name, and you'll also may have to fight me for that as well. Of course, it's different when I'm in person or when I have my voice. Online it seems to be a little too direct for some people when you argue the name. So, if you're struggling and you want to talk about the name, just blame Trevor. It's the easy way out.
Trevor Perry: 43:23 There are blogs. If you go to IBM Systems Magazine and you have a look on the top page, you get the blogs. And look at this. How many years ago would have not expected that IBM employees, IBM i team members who are blogging. There's also on DB2 for i, Mike Cain has a blog, another IBMer. An iPro developer that's now moved to System i developer, Welcome to Modernization blog, that's Tim Rowe. He's an IBMer. Go read those. Those are the people who are engaged. Developer Works has RPG Café. There's a whole IBM i page on Developer Works. This is marketing from IBM and we're getting it. And IBM have a champion campaign and a champion program and those champions are talking about the platform. You are all IBM i champions. The difference with these versus you is they're making noise in the industry and you're making noise amongst your peers. So, you're a champion as well.
Trevor Perry: 44:20 There's even photos on flickr, and look at this. This was their POWER champions getting inducted. It was absolutely fabulous. So, the current branding is POWER8, right? It has IBM i, AIX, and Linux on it. Remember that.
Trevor Perry: 44:34 So, what's your passion? Ask yourself these questions. Is this just what you once did or do you want this in your future? If you're willing to invest in IBM i, then make that effort. It's not a big effort. It requires you just using, first of all, a consistent name with everybody else. And whether you like it or not, it is the branding that we've got. IBM i on POWER. It's very, very simple. The problem we have is a lot of people are 5250s. What does that mean? This is getting to be a joke. People are calling us this. In fact, recently, I went on a diet so I wouldn't be, but some people say it stands for 50 years old, 250 pounds. If you are, jump up and down and say, "I'm proud to be a 5250." It's just a thing. But stop calling IBM i an old name. There's the names. The name from 2008 is IBM i on POWER Systems. That's the branding. We've had this for more than ... We've had i in the name for longer than we ever had 400. iSeries was only around a short time, as well, six years, but now we've had POWER Systems and IBM i for more than that, and so we know that we've got it for coming up at least 18 to 20 years longer. So, stick with it. Jump on it now, it's time.
Trevor Perry: 45:48 Here's your family tree. Somebody didn't like my old family tree, so they said, "Build me one that looked like a tree." So, I put a tree on it. You can go get that. It's on my blog, blog.angustheitchap.com. It's free for you to use. Go steal it, send it. Now, I want to ask you this dirty little question. When these two merged, the 36 and the 38, they became the 400. You never called it a 36 or a 38, you called it a 400. But when these two merged, p and i, and became a POWER System, what name did you use? You called it an AS/400 and that seems quite silly to me. It sounds funny, but it's one of those things we just need to step up and stop doing. The current branding is i For Business on POWER.
Trevor Perry: 46:32 Now, I do have a campaign here. You can actually find this on my blog. It's Lamborghini versus IBM i. I'm going to run through it really quickly. What I did was I compared all the V12 Lamborghinis and I did a bit of a chart and talked about all the different things. I compared IBM i up to POWER8 now, so through the AS/400 models, and this is just cool information. It took me a whole to collate it, but it's absolutely fabulous. If you look at the latest one when we get to POWER7 plus and then POWER8, we don't even know how big the CPW is anymore. We've lost that. But it's really amazing and I did chart through that as well. You can find all of that. Here's the interesting part. When you compare this, nobody stopped buying a Lamborghini because the name changed, but they were all complaining about IBM being rebranded. This is a good comparison. We're both best of breed, industry leaders, we're both constant evolving, latest in technology, and there's rebranding happening all the time. But if you have a look at our CPW versus the maximum power of a Lamborghini, the solution is IBM i is better than Lamborghini. Use that kind of silliness and you'll have a lot of fun with that.
Trevor Perry: 47:36 So, branding is this, IBM i For Business on POWER8. It's our platform. So, when you're speaking, you might say "I" or "IBM i" or "i on POWER" "IBM on POWER." There are so many others that are just wrong. People think, "Oh, I've got to have a better name because I don't like that." All we need is consistency. When we're writing, we need to write IBM i or IBM i on POWER Systems. We've got a lot of people who write a title of an email that just has the letter i in it. It doesn't help for Google. If we don't post this, we won't be able to search it. It's a bit of a catch 22. It's really easy to do. If you want to stop, I've got a couple of other things for you as well to handle those complaints.
Trevor Perry: 48:15 A lot of people keep using it like an older server with green. I can show you this. That green screen that you looked at ... Oops, I can't see those. That green screen there that I can't show you because apparently my slides didn't come over. This is called Microsoft. But all of those are wonderful. Look at that. What a wonderful graphical user interface that is. That's actually a tablet and it's gooey. What I find is, and I apologize for that, what I find is that graphical user interface makes it look like IBM i, green screen makes it look like an AS/400. That's one simple thing that we can do. We've got lots more platforms these days to get to.
Trevor Perry: 49:30 Here's my quick mower analogy. If you want to mow your lawn, you used to have a 38. You got an engine with a 400. You got a ride on with an iSeries, a better ride on with a System i. But POWER Systems, there's no mowing. You need an IBM i attachment and that's what IBM i is. If you look at this one here, this is my favorite. Again, you can get that from ... I'm going to put it out on blog.angustheitchap.com. I4everyone.com is currently dormant, I'm trying to get it back together. But this is actually one of my favorite comparisons. Stick that on your wall and show people the difference in the world.
Trevor Perry: 50:02 A couple of marketing campaigns we did, which really made people crazy. But in the end, ultimately, send me your ideas or create your own site, make your own noise. Use this one, "In the 20th century, this was a 400. It was the coolest server. The 21st century, this is POWER. It runs i and it is the coolest server now these days."
Trevor Perry: 50:24 In Word, use auto correct. In Google, lead with IBM i when you're searching and being found, you need to lead with IBM i, otherwise you won't be found. People are stopping their searches for iSeries, AS/400, and things like i5. You've got to have those in there for search engine optimization, but you might type IBM i so that we can find it.
Trevor Perry: 50:43 Understand there's a difference between marketing in a product and the audience. Just because he calls it a 400 doesn't make that a 400. That is IBM i running on POWER, no matter what he calls it. Understand the difference in marketing. That's a really key thing as well. When you're marketed to and told that the platform is an old platform, step up and ask them to step up and say, "It's IBM i and POWER." Keep up to date.
Trevor Perry: 51:07 There's so many things that you can do, so many places that you can go. I'm going to run through these really quickly. I've showed you these already. The blogs, the information on the net. Everywhere you go, there's information about i that people don't see. Go to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook. Go to RPG Café. Go to your community. Go to your user group and tell everybody about this amazing platform.
Trevor Perry: 51:30 iBelieve is happening. I'll be speaking at that very soon in November in Europe in six dates in two weeks. We spread the word there about IBM i. It's fabulous. Go to schools, teach an IBM i class, ask for interns, go get some interns from your local schools and have them come in and teach you what you don't know about IBM i. Push through the feeling of being stupid. You're not. Just because you can't learn something doesn't mean you're stupid. It means you're ignorant and ignorance can be cured with knowledge, but you feel stupid, you stop. Push through that feeling and you will modernize your own skills.
Trevor Perry: 52:06 You have to talk to your company, your external customers, your internal customers to justify you need a business case. There are tons of business cases, RDi, SQL. I've got one for you if you want to use RDi. In SEU, I work five days a week. The same amount of work can be done in RDi in three days. This has been proven over and again. If it takes me three to five days to get comfortable, and to get proficient, it takes me about three to five weeks, then the first case is it's going to cost me about 25 days. If that's the case of that, it's 12 weeks I get a return on investment. How fabulous is that to get a return on investment to make me 60% more productive than I am today just by investing in a five day training class.
Trevor Perry: 52:53 So, those are some business cases that you might want to go build. In the end, you can IBM You and i blog, IBM Systems Magazine blog with Steve Will, and he talks about this. As I've just discovered, there's a brand new release of this study. But if you look at this, the total cost of ownership for IBM i is significantly less than X86. You've got these charts that you're able to use and the TCO versus TCA for all platforms there. X86, Windows servers, and IBM i 7.1 POWER Systems. You'll find that the cost, acquisition and ongoing costs are cheaper on our platform. We need to spread this word as much as we can.
Trevor Perry: 53:37 So, Chuck, I'll breathe for quite a while now and hand it back to you.
Chuck Losinski: 53:43 Well, you have fired me up, Trevor. I just want to take just a couple of minutes and talk about a couple of things that we're working here at HelpSystems regarding modernizations. You know, a lot of people don't realize that the robot products, as well as our other product lines, have been on a modernization path. So, you know, looking in the distant past, of course, Trevor mentioned the green screen. That was Robot Schedule present. This is our graphical interface for Robot Schedule. Robot Schedule is our most popular product here at HelpSystems. Thousands of companies use it across the world. Every day, it runs millions of jobs. It's kind of very modern graphical interface. I talk to customers every day and many of them don't realize that we have a graphical interface. Like you said, Trevor, it might just take a little bit of effort to learn how to use the new interface and you become that much more productive. There's tools and things you can do in a graphical interface that you just can't do inside of a green screen. The developers can do things that can make the end user much more productive.
Chuck Losinski: 54:53 Here's the new graphical interface for our Power Tech network security tool. Our browser interface comes with a dashboard. Setup is all done through graphical interface. Modern look and feel. This is our browser interface to our robot network performance monitoring tool. Depending on your footprint that you're looking at this data on, of course it'll reformat itself. Browser interface, graphical, all this data is coming from the I.
Chuck Losinski: 55:23 Trevor, you also mentioned that, of course, the IBM i is a great platform for database support, SQL support. That seems to be one of our most popular topics when we do have our user group meetings. We tend to get a lot of people in for those. And you're absolutely right, awesome platform for SQL support and as a database server. Of course, we have modern query tools like our SQL tool for querying that data.
Chuck Losinski: 55:51 What's down the road for us and what's down the road for the IBM i? Well, HelpSystems is devoted to the IBM i platform and we also are devoted to POWER. So, you're going to see more and more support for POWER, AIX, and Linux as we go down the road. Our brand list looks like this now. We are still probably about a 80% centric IBM i company, but we do have more and more multi platform tools. Windows, Unix, and Linux. Also tools that combine those technologies into one homogeneous solution. So, if you're looking for data center solutions, give us a call. We'd love to talk to you.
Chuck Losinski: 56:33 Also, we have a market place survey going on. Trevor has talked about participating in the community and telling everybody what you're doing. What I'm going to do is I'm going to chat out a link in our chat area to this market place survey. So, what we're doing is we're collecting information about what our customers and non-customers are doing with their POWER System. We're going to be sharing that with the community over the next year or so. We hope to have this published early on in 2015. So, we're sending out that link as much as we can in our marketing material, as well as our webinar, so please feel free to take a few minutes. And it will take a few minutes to fill out the survey, but it is a service to the community.
Chuck Losinski: 57:24 Trevor, do you have any questions for us? Do you have any questions for your listeners?
Trevor Perry: 57:30 I guess the one thing that happens when I present this session is people still come up and say, "How can i do something for me?" Part of that is we just have to think a little differently. As developers on the platform, we tend to live in our development world every single day. We've just got to step out of that for a minute and take a look a the bigger picture. We've got to research a little bit more. So, the question I would ask you is, "What have you looked at today? What blogs have you read? What have you kept up with? Have you even seen the IBM i homepage and what is happening in the future of the platform?"
Trevor Perry: 58:06 The information's available to us. The issue is that a lot of us aren't using it. A lot of us are not talking about it and we think that we're stuck in some kind of past. So, it's really easy to find. I've showed you a ton today. You will be able to find some of that just starting at the IBM i homepage and looking for those blogs. So, what have you done today? That would be my question.
Chuck Losinski: 58:28 Trevor, I really appreciate you plugging local user groups. Those are a great way to get the word out and to learn something new. So, that's my challenge to the community today is learn something new about IBM i. Thanks everybody for attending our webinar. Appreciate your time today and Trevor, really appreciate you participating with us today. Everybody have a great day.
IBM i was built to manage modernization, data growth, and more. HelpSystems surveys IBM i shops in different industries around the world and publishes the findings in the annual IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. See how IBM i playing in the marketplace—today and tomorrow.