Reader Feedback on IBM Smart Business Moves into Italy
November 30, 2009 Dan Burger
If you want to get the juices flowing, just talk about how one might revive the Power Systems i platform. In the prior issue of The Four Hundred, we did a story on how IBM was expanding its Smart Cube i appliance into Italy and growing its Smart Business application portfolio in the United States and India. (See this link for that story.) Here’s what one reader had to say:
I quote: “When you look at what the application-centric approach did for the AS/400, iSeries, and System i, and you bring the attributes into the context of a solution, this allows the System i-based solution to be presented in a way that delivers the attributes of System i, the stability, security, and scalability within the context of the solution. You don’t get into the hardware and the operating system. I think that’s a good thing for System i,” he says.
When a customer looks for a solution and finds it across multiple platforms (let’s pick something generic like EDI, where we can agree there are a number of suites–all broadly similar–on a range of platforms), that customer is most likely to select the solution that works and runs on the platform he knows something about. By hiding the IBM i platform and only touting the benefits of the hardware/software combination, IBM loses the battle for hearts and minds.
Put it this way: if Microsoft–who we should agree knows a little about marketing–feels it benefits them to talk up the technology in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008, then doesn’t it make sense for IBM to do the same for IBM i? Otherwise you are competing on the basis of the solution that runs on Windows (which I know), and the solution that runs on the OS they don’t like to talk about? Which would you choose?
Incidentally, I put this argument to Ian Jarman recently and his response was that the synergy of marketing IBM i with the Power platform has been very good for IBM. I took this to mean it’s cheaper since it certainly hasn’t raised the profile of IBM i. He also confirmed that IBM has no plans to advertise IBM i as a separate entity. Then we had a presentation from iManifest EMEA 🙂
You certainly aren’t alone in your disagreement with Chip McClelland’s assessment of what’s good for the System i. Your points are valid and should be part of the marketing message that IBM promotes.
Thanks for writing.
Thanks for replying! It’s always nice to know I’m not alone in raging against the machine 🙂 Feel free to publish my letter–it’s not full of secrets of any kind. I just wish IBM would do more instead of hoping that initiatives like iManifesto do their job for them. The ironic thing to me is the amount of money that IBM is prepared to put into iManifesto is probably significant enough to count as an advertising budget. I assume it comes out of a different accounting bucket though.