Spring COMMON Turned Out to Be Pretty Lively
April 3, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It is hard to say if the COMMON user group is a leading indicator or a lagging indicator of the state of the OS/400 ecosystem. I happen to think it might be a little of both. When things go bad, COMMON, just like the publishers who rely on advertising (as we at IT Jungle do), takes the first hit (making them a leading indicator), and when things get better, money goes into other areas first and then finds its way into trade shows like COMMON and publications like those put out by IT Jungle (making them a lagging indicator).
I still haven’t received an official or unofficial count of the number of paid attendees at the COMMON event in Minneapolis last week, but to my eye, there didn’t seem to be any fewer or more attendees than the past several events. (I’ve been to every COMMON since October 2001, and to a few before that.) If I had one observation from this COMMON, it is that most of the vendors seem to be a bit more chipper, even if the show didn’t have a huge influx of attendees. My guess is that the economy perking up 18 months ago is finally percolating into the OS/400 economy, and ISVs and resellers are making a little more money. Attendees seemed to be in better spirits too, which would tend to indicate that they are happier with the economy and what IBM is doing with the AS/400, er, iSeries, er, System i. The machine. You know what I mean. And vendors told me that even though there were not necessarily a lot more feet on the floor at COMMON, they stopped more often at the booths and wanted to talk about solutions and solving problems they have. This is all good news.