System i Shops Win Innovation Awards
Published: April 10, 2006
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
As part of the festivities at the COMMON midrange user group meeting two weeks ago, IBM handed out its second annual IT Innovation Awards to System i customers. More than 50 companies applied for the awards, and five took home the prize.
IT Jungle was invited to the awards dinner, but we missed it because we were a little thin on the ground at COMMON. That was because Alex Woodie, our products editor extraordinaire, was off on his honeymoon after a wonderful wedding ceremony in San Diego with his lovely bride, Carol, that Saturday in San Diego. (Alex had planned his wedding for after COMMON, but Hurricane Katrina moved COMMON to the wedding weekend.) We were jet lagged as all get-out, maybe a little hungover, and had newsletters to get out. We would have liked to meet all the award winners personally to hear their stories because their stories, just like yours, are an important part of proving that this market is interesting and worth investing in. Mary Lou Roberts, our industry reporter, will therefore be calling all of the winners as well as the runners up to get the scoop for a story in a future edition of this newsletter.
In the meantime, here are the winners. Elie Tahari, the women's fashion designer (my wife has Tahari suits, which I know because I handle the dry cleaning in the Prickett Morgan household), won the innovation award for application deployment by creating a data warehouse and a dashboard for business managers that pulled various applications onto the System i and gave executives sophisticated reports without making them do queries and import data into spreadsheets. Quixtar, an online retailer of health and beauty products, won the innovation award for high availability by consolidating its workloads onto two geographically distributed System i5 570s that were clustered using Lakeview Technology's MIMIX software and IBM's WebSphere MQ message queuing middleware. Transworld Entertainment, a specialty video and music retailer located in the United States, won the innovation award for infrastructure simplification by consolidating its workloads from various IBM and non-IBM systems into a single System i5 server. The Canadian branch of the Bank of America won the i5/OS leadership award by integrating its i5/OS applications and boosting transaction processing by 115 percent. This increased transaction loading enabled the bank to cut IT maintenance staff by 22 percent and helped drive a doubling in revenue for a key business unit. And Moraine Valley College, in Palos Hills, Illinois, won the education innovation award; the college has been teaching AS/400 and iSeries skills for 18 years, and recently installed a System i5 running Linux so it could tech students how to support Linux adjacent to i5/OS.