Soltis to Explain the Future of IBM i in Summit Keynote
February 21, 2011 Dan Burger
Frank Soltis, retired chief scientist of the IBM i and currently an activist for IBM i Manifest Americas, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the RPG & DB2 Summit next month in Orlando, Florida. It’s expected he will announce a new IBM i Manifest Americas initiative specifically geared toward IBM i developers and IT management during his discussion of the current dynamics within IBM i shops.
“Few people have any idea just how big the i is to IBM,” Soltis said in a statement released to the press. “I hope to shed some light on why the platform is not going away. Still, there’s no doubt that some IBM i organizations find themselves having to defend their use of the system. I plan to use this opportunity at the Summit to listen to the end users, to further explore the challenges faced by IBM i professionals in the workplace, and to proactively elicit feedback on iManifest’s plan to help.”
The opportunity for Soltis to talk and interact with the attendees of the RPG & DB2 Summit fits nicely with the IBM i Manifest Americas’ goal of preserving and expanding the IBM i base, says Jenniefer Halverson, chairperson of the association of IBM i advocates. Halverson credits System i Developer, the firm that produces the Summit, with reaching out to IBM i Manifest Americas with ideas for working with IBM i developers to support those who need to communicate the platform’s strengths to their management and channel their passion beyond the i community.
Just a few months ago, in an article published in The Four Hundred, Skip Marchesani commented on the trend that more attendees of the Summit are actively defending the use of the IBM i within their organizations. “The very best way to keep the IBM i in the forefront in the first place is to get serious about learning and using the functionality that the box gives you, before your business absolutely needs it,” he said.
Marchesani is one of four partners on the System i Developer team. The others are Susan Gantner, Jon Paris, and Paul Tuohy.
I agree with Soltis, Marchesani, and Halverson. Expanding skills and learning to exploit the capabilities that are built into the IBM i operating system running on Power Systems servers is the best way to overcome the perception that it is an outdated system. Whatever Soltis has to say about building IBM i awareness through the i Manifest initiative and being pro-education should be considered a positive step. It could well be the most important step that i Manifest Americas could take.