Fincham Rides Point for iManifest EMEA
July 20, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Martin Fincham, the general manager of application modernization tool maker LANSA‘s EMEA region and an increasingly well-known blogger in the i community thanks to his My Midrange Meddle blog, is trying to get the independent software vendors, resellers, consultancies, and distributors in Europe to emulate the iManifest marketing program that was started in Japan earlier this year.
The Four Hundred reported on the iManifest initiative last month, and followed up with an article penned by Gordon Davies, a vice president at LANSA’s Asia/Pacific operations who has been reaching out beyond the AP region to let the rest of us know what the iManifest operation is and what it means. In short, the iManifest operation brought together 71 i-related partners, who want to communicate to the outside world their commitment to the i platform and its customers. Those partners put their money where their mouths are and shelled out around $100,000 in January of this year to buy a full-page advertisement in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (or Nikkei for short), which is the Japanese equivalent of the Wall Street Journal right down to having the main index of stock prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange named after the paper. Getting 71 partners in any community to agree on anything is quite an accomplishment, but they are all motivated by enlightened self-interest, and are keen on doing the marketing and promotion job that they believe IBM is not spending enough resources doing.
It is hard to argue with that sentiment. In fact, you’d have to be a fool if you thought otherwise.
Fincham may be funny, but he’s no fool. And neither is his employer, LANSA, or the other several thousand key ISVs and many thousands more resellers, consultants, and other partners who are the main people who represent the IBM midrange to real-world end users. Fincham, as he explains in his blog, wants to replicate the iManifest operation in the EMEA region.
Get out your chequebooks, lads.
“It was bold of our Japanese brothers-in-arms to announce their pledge in a national business newspaper,” explained Fincham in his blog as he threw down the gauntlet asking European i partners to pony up some cashish for a bold Power Systems i ad in a prominent financial newspaper in Europe. “The cost of such a public declaration sends a clear message of intent to the market and makes this initiative standout from other ‘flash-in-the-pan’ endeavours. While Europe has several pre-eminent business newspapers from which to choose, I am inclined to believe that the Financial Times has the best pedigree and broadest reach in Europe. The rate card for a full-page advert with European distribution is £69,800 (€81,000). We need vendors from the IBM i community in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to come forward and agree to participate in funding and forming iManifest EMEA.”
This all sounds like a pretty good idea, especially to the advertising sales rep at the FT who is going to close the easiest full page ad deal in his or her life.
Fincham is asking for 50 EMEA partners in the i community to step up to the plate, and suggests that different sized partners contribute different amount of funds to come up with the dough. His back-of-the-envelope math suggests that 40 of those partners should each contribute an amount equal to 1 percent of the total cost of the ad–that’s £700 each–for a total of £28,000. Another six vendors who are larger and can afford to kick in more would be asked to £3,500 each, for another £21,000, with another three partners being asked to shell out £7,000. That adds up to 49 partners, and the remaining seat will be given away as a freebie by the 49 founding members of the iManifest EMEA club. Fincham has put LANSA’s money where his mouth is and has committed to being one of the three top contributors to the effort; £7,000 down, £63,000 to go.
You can reach Fincham here to participate in iManifest EMEA.
So here’s what I want to know. Where’s iManifest North America? I got enough jobs, so don’t look at me. But someone needs to step up from the i partner community in the States and get the iManifest ball rolling here, too.