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Quick Takes From the IBM i Community

IBM i Community
Illustration by Tim Boelaars

IBM i is more than an OS or a bunch of servers humming away in a data center—it’s a vibrant community that’s more than the sum of its parts, and that’s been the case since the platform’s inception 30 years ago. To illustrate that point, IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition caught up with user group leaders, business partners, clients and the IBM Power Systems* Academic Initiative to get their take on the IBM i community and the future of the platform.


USER GROUPS

What do you consider to be the most valuable attribute of IBM i?
Aligned with IBM’s pioneering history, IBM i is incredibly powerful and adaptable and progressive. It can do everything that’s needed, but not enough people know it. IBM i needs to always evolve, innovate and adapt according to customers’ existing and future needs, and it needs to arrive in advance, like the leader it is. —Laura Hamway, founder, MAGiC user group

What are the key differentiators between IBM i and other OSes?
The overall simplicity and broad capabilities of IBM i make members of the community believe, and rightfully so, that solving just about any business automation challenge is a relatively simple affair. Moreover, the system likely already includes the features and capabilities needed to solve the challenge. —Manzoor Siddiqui, executive director, COMMON

What makes IBM i users unique compared to other platform/IT administrators?
IBM i users are a close-knit community. MAGiC members aim to help each other learn and succeed, regardless of experience or whether they’re competitors in their fields. They value networking among peers from other companies who are doing the same things they are. They get energized by all of the possibilities they weren’t aware of, and they get excited to try them out. —Laura Hamway

What sets the IBM i community apart?
IBM i’s ease of use, investment protection, reliability and availability make it a rock-solid business platform, and our clients know it and are passionate about it. —Dawn May, former IBM liaison, IBM i Large User Group (LUG)

What attributes will keep IBM i vibrant and relevant in the future?
IBM i is relevant and will remain relevant because of its capability and its adaptability. Over time, i responded quickly to new technology opportunities and gave the community new and better ways to solve business challenges. Over the same period, the IBM Power Systems platform also responded to growing needs by supplying remarkably better performance without ever forcing I users to change one line of software code. —Manzoor Siddiqui


BUSINESS PARTNERS

What do you consider to be the most valuable attribute of IBM i?
Security. And people are worried about security in everything that they’re doing. You can’t pick up a newspaper or read anything online without hearing about the latest security vulnerability out there. People who run on IBM i, they’re still very, very secure. That’s something they’ve counted on forever and it’s still there today. —Andy Youniss, CEO and president, Rocket Software

What are the key differentiators between IBM i and other OSes?
Reliability, integration, security and the solutions portfolio come together to make a great system. —Alex Roytman, founder and CEO, Profound Logic

What makes IBM i users unique compared to other platform/IT administrators?
They demand more. They absolutely require availability and reliability and security. IBM administrators expect industrial strength in everything. —Andy Youniss

What sets the IBM i community apart?
IBM i IT professionals tend to be passionate and devoted to the platform. They really appreciate its benefits. There’s now also a unique blend between older and younger people that work on the platform, which is why you often see legacy applications integrate and work well with new and open-source technologies. Many people in the community, both younger and older, evangelize the platform and are influencers in their organizations to maintain and modernize the i. —Alex Roytman

What attributes will keep IBM i vibrant and relevant in the future?
It provides ease of management, integration and support for many solutions, including native and open source applications. All of these features are timeless in their value and speak to the vision of the system’s architects when they initially designed the technology decades ago. —Randy Watson, president, MPG


CLIENTS

What do you consider to be the most valuable attribute of IBM i?
As the big data revolution changes the way businesses operate, growing emphasis is placed on robust and reliable infrastructures. High-performance analytics, seamless transactions and impenetrable security are the requirements of the day. IBM i on Power Systems is the best reply. —Ranga Deshpande, president, COMMON Europe

What attributes will keep IBM i vibrant and relevant in the future?
Things like IBM Watson*, the user conferences, open source, the ability to maintain and modernize legacy source and the focus on continuous education are all things that are going to keep IBM i a relevant platform in the future. —Andrea Fletcher, software engineer, Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company

What are the key differentiators between IBM i and other OSes?
The integrated platform offers mobile access to its users; an agile, open-source environment to its developers; and high-performance, security, data encryption and minimum disruptions to the business. The IBM i roadmap goes officially until 2028 and the extended support assures a minimum of five more years, something just unheard of in the industry. —Ranga Deshpande

What makes IBM i users unique compared to other platform/IT administrators?
I feel like IBM i users are unique in the fact that they seem to be constantly looking for ways to improve what they’re doing by expanding and sharing their knowledge. I think that, in comparison to other platform users, we’re a relatively small group, so that contributes to a feeling of togetherness, which I think is pretty unique. —Andrea Fletcher

What sets the IBM i community apart?
The IBM i community is a loyal, global community with lifelong volunteers dedicated to the platform and their own enhancement. Its members are torch bearers because they know that it’s the best platform. —Ranga Deshpande


 

EDUCATION

What do you consider to be the most valuable attribute of IBM i?
Security is very important in today’s IT environment. Properly configured, the system is the most secure on the planet. Dependability is critical for companies today. IBM i is one of the most dependable OSes available.

What are the key diff
erentiators between IBM i and other OSes?
IBM i is an integrated OS. It comes with most of the software needed to run a business. Other OSes come with the core OS elements, but the company has to purchase additional software and software support to make the system functional.

What makes IBM i users unique compared to other platform/IT administrators?
IBM i users are a very dedicated group of IT professionals. The platform is 30 years old and user loyalty to it is remarkable. I frequently have conversations with IBM i users and the message is the same every time: It’s a reliable workhorse that has survived the test of time.

What sets the IBM i community apart?
This is the 30th anniversary of the IBM i and in many ways, the community is as strong as it was 20 years ago. How many of the midrange computer systems from the ’80s and ’90s are still around?

What attributes will keep IBM i vibrant and relevant in the future?
Small- and medium-sized businesses rely on the IBM i platform. There are many IBM i user groups that promote the technology and will keep it relevant for years to come. —Peter Glass, program manager, Power Systems Academic Initiative

Emily Peterson is a copy editor and social media specialist for IBM Systems Magazine.

Emily Peterson is a copy editor and social media specialist for IBM Systems Magazine.


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