Reader Feedback On Should We Just Call It Power i Now?
June 15, 2015 Alex Woodie
Last week’s story “Should We Just Call It Power i Now?” generated a mix of responses. While some thought the name Power i was an improvement on the status quo, others were hesitant to endorse yet another name change. Here are the top reader responses, edited for clarity.
IBM has done a really good job of confusing not only current system owners but everybody else as to what the system should be called, apparently even their own business leaders aren’t even sure anymore. Why can’t they just leave it be? Pick something, anything and just leave it for crying out loud! You don’t see Chevrolet/GM, Ford or Dodge renaming their products every time they make a change to them, why does IBM think they’re any different in this? Do they really think they’re fooling anybody by renaming it every few years? Oh look, IBM has a new product, wait, no, it’s just the AS/400 renamed (yet) again, nothing new to see.
If they really feel that they must change again, can they do something that brings more unity and/or simplifies the midrange? My own vote would be something like, “IBM Pi” for the Power i, or you could have “Pli” for the Linux variant, or “Pai” for the AIX variant. Or, they could hyphenate them, “P-i”, “P-li”, “P-ai”, Simple, and catchy, plus you can Google it!
–Ron Adams, Crane Chem Pharma & Energy
Keep “IBM i,” which has finally gained momentum. Users have become accustomed to it after a long struggle by Trevor Perry, et al.; Google’s index has caught up, too, now delivering appropriate IBM i search results.
Regarding the IBM i OS name: While I applaud the effort, as the current naming mess drives me up a wall, I think it should at least be an easily searchable name. While “Power i” makes a ton of sense, perhaps something more searchable would be preferred (if there could be some ground swell in the community to drive IBM). Perhaps Poweri (meh) or Power_i. Something at least to help with branding and Internet search unique (part of why “iSeries” is still used a lot in job postings). Probably a marketing person could come up with something concise and effective.
Our official comment would be that we much prefer IBM i. It’s taken this long to get more people to use that terminology and we’ve never heard our North American customers refer to it as Power i. To make yet another change now, especially without a real hardware or OS change, would add more confusion and more SEO work. Unless a name change comes with much more marketing from IBM we hope it remains called IBM i.
–Marcel Sarrasin, Quadrant Software/BCD
Alex, I agree. It is especially problematic for a developer trying to sell software into the market. What do we call it since every customer has a different name that they use? I have been using “Power i” for a while now and think it makes good sense. But it may just stir up a messy discussion all over again.
–Rich Loeber, Kisco Information Systems
They just need to rename it IBM CloudFrame, and it will sell millions again.
–Amy Kenigsberg, K2 Global Communications
For the past few years, I’ve used “IBM server” exclusively wherever I’ve been since we’re overdue for another name change and there hasn’t been a lot of confusion even in environments with Windows and Linux servers. IT staff tends to pick up IBM server faster than end-users however that’s always a work in progress depending on the community being supported and the culture that grew with it. Thanks.
I initially reacted negatively when I heard Mr. Gogh at COMMON; but now I think this may be a good way for us all to move forward! Thanks for the article.
I mostly call it the IBM i during training, after level-setting that it is really IBM i on Power hardware. Thanks for the article! It’s like the lost half sibling being shuffled between parents.
–Patricia Woodcock, IBM Rochester
Everybody in our office and warehouse calls it “The Four Hundred”!
Being a programmer for over 30 years, I sometimes appear “stuck in my ways”. Now that doesn’t mean I still code in RPG-II style, I do keep current with ILE methodology. But I don’t necessarily call the language RPG ILE, I still use the term RPG when referring to code, and I still call the platform AS/400. . . not just because it’s simpler, but because that’s what it was when it first came out.
Now, I like the name “Power i”, but I most likely won’t use it because it’ll probably change again to something else in the next few years. I guess some day I wouldn’t be surprised to find that advertisers will soon control the product names, just like sporting events and venues. Welcome this year’s new model, the “Lexus 400 Power i” from IBM!
I must say I enjoyed reading this article, very thought provoking. Reading your article, it suddenly struck me that we seem to be overcomplicating matters; I think it’s because we [the traditional IBM midrangers] have come from an integrated world where the OS was built into and associated with the box.
As we now have an option of which OS to use on the IBM Power systems, it cannot be inferred that we are running IBMi in the same way you can’t infer a server is running Windows, Unix or Linux.
I’m interested to know what people would call [for example] a Dell PowerEdge Server running Windows 2012 when asked what’s that in the corner; I don’t think anyone would say “that’s MS Windows on Dell PowerEdge.” I’d imagine it would be dependent on the audience and people would reply either “It’s a Dell PowerEdge [server]” or “It’s a Windows 2012 [box/server]”. More often than not, I’d expect to be told it’s a “Windows 2012” as only techie nerds would probably know what the server is and I wouldn’t know the difference between a Dell PowerEdge and a Fujitsu PrimePower server except, maybe, the badge (assuming it was branded).
My laptop is first a “Windows 7 laptop”; then a “Lenovo Thinkpad T530”. I’ve worked on IBM midrange since 1995, starting on the System/38 and confess I still occasionally refer to the “IBM i on IBM Power System” as the AS/400 or iSeries (depending on the age of the person asking). I’ve just looked to confirm and we’re currently running i5/OS on both our Power5 and a Power6 servers.
Having thought about this after reading the article and, I must confess to having difficulty just saying [or typing] “i”, I am going to try and answer the question in future with “it’s an IBM i box” [by referring to the OS]. Depending on the techie level of the audience, I might refer to the server and say “It’s an IBM Power System [5 or 6]”.
“Power i” is not really the answer unless we also start referring to “PowerEdge Windows” or “PrimePower Unix” [citing a couple of names from earlier]. Please note I have no idea if these servers can actually support running Windows or Unix – they are just names picked at random as examples.
Here’s the deal. By some stroke of luck and timing, I actually own the trademark to The Four Hundred. So if you ever just want to call it what people used to call it, official-like, and what we all know they all want to call it, you know where to reach me, IBM. I will sell the trademark to you cheap. A cup of good coffee and some marketing money dedicated to the cause out there in the ISV community and channel would suit me just fine. Absent that, I can live with Power i, and without the coffee, and still think you should help the community more.