iManifest EMEA Plans Webcast, IBM i Collateral
July 11, 2011 Dan Burger
The iManifest EMEA group is ringing the bell once again and hoping to bring together a more comprehensive cluster of like-minded IBM i enthusiasts willing to put effort into promoting the strengths and benefits of the platform to an audience that is largely ignorant or misinformed about IBM‘s midrange system. A webcast to present collective and collaborative ideas, as well as to solicit feedback, is scheduled for July 29 at 10 a.m. EDT.
Andrew Nicholson, sales and marketing manager at Utilities 400, an IBM i vendor based in the United Kingdom, serves as the group’s lightning rod and one-man public relations machine.
Nicholson notes that since the last iManifest EMEA webcast, which was held in mid-May, “there has been plenty of debate on the best way to best promote the IBM i to the wider market. There’s been plenty of discussion on the areas in which we feel the IBM i excels. We’ve recognized some common themes.”
The next phase, he says, is to create clear and concise messages that IBM i professionals can use to argue their cases effectively. The goal is to create a package of collateral material that makes a strong and persuasive case for the procurement or retention of the platform. The key to this, he says, is citing real business and technological benefits.
Providing decision makers with the data on which they can make good decisions seems like a real good idea. Improved data analytics is high on the priority list of nearly every C-level executive, according to the mountain of IT analysts’ reports that get churned out each month. But beyond all the data, there are still the “religious wars” that need to be addressed. These are the platform biases that undermine a fact-based thinking.
It could be a coincidence that the iManifest EMEA webcast is titled Singing from the Same Hymn Sheet, but it sounds like a subtle acknowledgement that long-held platform favoritism is being recognized. In order to overcome a bias against the AS/400 and its progeny, it’s going to take an unwavering evangelizing on the part of iManifest members.
“To this end,” Nicholson says to potential webcast attendees, “bring your ideas, thoughts and an open mind to this webinar to help develop our own set ‘ten IBM i commandments’ that allow us to sing from the same hymn sheet.”
Like its counterpart IBM i Manifest Americas, iManifest EMEA is attempting to recruit regional sponsors to support and coordinate marketing activities and lead efforts to boost participation. Nicholson several months ago described the organization’s status as “still at a stage where contributors can help shape direction.”
While iManifest EMEA and IBM i Manifest Americas battle to form organizations with appreciable membership and a jurisdictional structure, iManifest Japan is doing well on both counts. A core group of executives involved in iManifest Japan have made that organization the model for what the EMEA and Americas groups hope to become.
Additional information about the webcast can be found here.
The iManifest EMEA website provides insight into the organization, a list of vendors and professional organizations that support the group, a tally of financial pledges received, and an invitation to join the LinkedIn networking site specifically for iManifest EMEA members.