User Groups Provide Local Connections With a Global Reach
Read profiles on Power Systems and IBM i user groups around the world.
Image by Jennifer Maravillas
By Rebecca Lubecki05/01/2019
Large User Group (LUG)
Rochester, Minnesota // the-lug.com
Large User Group (LUG) includes more than 100 large global companies who have a significant investment in IBM i. Currently, over 53 million CPW is in use by LUG members. Member companies are active in many industries, such as finance, manufacturing, insurance and retail. The in-depth, technical and strategic meetings are held three times a year in Rochester, Minnesota—where the IBM i was born. Membership with LUG provides benefits and access such as participating in active discussion threads to receive answers to questions directly from other members, or from the IBM development team.
Power Systems Virtual User Group (VUG)
Virtual // ibm.co/2UvJOrx
The Power Systems Virtual User Group (VUG) lives out its name and is strictly online. VUG was started in 2007 (then called the AIX* VUG) to help educate IBM Power Systems* users on products, performance tuning, trends and directions. The idea was that a more informed user would be better at their job, making them and IBM more successful, and more likely to remain an IBM client. Generally, webinars are held once per month. The majority of speakers are subject matter experts and IBMers. Third-party products aren’t covered in the webinars, as the focus is to concentrate on technical material. Webinars average about 650 live attendants and about 4,000 views of replays uploaded to YouTube.
COMMON North America
Chicago // common.org
COMMON is the world’s largest user group of midrange IBM and IBM-compatible technology. The organization comprises more than 4,000 individual and corporate members. They represent more than 22,000 IT professionals involved with the IBM Power Systems platform and related solutions. The mission of COMMON centers is enhancing the careers of its members and it strives to do so by fostering leadership and providing accuracy, delivering educational seminars and aggregated content, providing industry-recognized professional certification, as well as cultivating networking and collaboration.
Georgia IBM Power User Group (PUG)
Atlanta // ibm.co/2TF73lH
Georgia IBM Power User Group (PUG) is a nonprofit organization with the objective of advancing the use of IBM Power Systems. Members of PUG meet generally on the third Thursday of January, April, July and October to foster the sharing of experience and expertise among the community.
IBM Midrange User Group (IMUG)
Nashville, Tennessee // imugtn.org
IBM Midrange User Group (IMUG) supports and promotes members’ professional success. With an emphasis on technical and management education for the IBM Power Systems platform, IMUG sessions and seminars cover such topics as security and disaster planning. IMUG membership entitles users to networking and support with industry leaders, full access to the IMUG website, COMMON membership and discounts, superior professional development and contact with vendors specializing in IBM midrange computing.
Metro Midrange Systems Association (MMSA)
Dallas // mmsa.wildapricot.org
The Metro Midrange Systems Association (MMSA) is a community of IBM i users. Members are offered access to information on IBM midrange computers, education from IBM and related solution providers and networking opportunities.
Mid-Atlantic Group of IBM i Collaborators (MAGiC)
Virginia Beach, Virginia // magic-ug.org
Mid-Atlantic Group of IBM i Collaborators (MAGiC), supports the IBM i user community, including IT professionals and independent software developers and vendors, within the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region, including Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and parts of Pennsylvania. MAGiC delivers in-person and online peer networking, continuing education, trend watch and analysis, and more. Through conferences, industry-leading speakers, live and downloadable online labs and other cool perks, members gain insights and training. Members have regular meetups and an annual conference.
Grand Rapids Midrange Meetup
Grand Rapids, Michigan // bit.ly/2Hrvi07
Midrange Meetup welcomes everyone within the community of IBM midrange system users to share ideas and knowledge over a drink. These gatherings are laidback, where individuals are encouraged to stop by within the time frame and share stories of experiences with the technology. New tools and products aren’t promoted here, as these meetups are strictly about networking. This group isn’t affiliated with IBM or the West Michigan IBM i User Group.
St. Louis // gateway400.org
The Gateway/400 Group is made up of companies in the St. Louis metropolitan area who are users of IBM i. It keeps members current with the latest developments, tools and trends for IBM Power Systems and IBM i. The Gateway/400 Group is an opportunity to share experience and ideas with other IBM i professionals in the area. The group holds meetings with a featured after-lunch session on hot topics presented by special guest speakers, IBMers or members of the group. In addition, the group occasionally has all-day sessions covering core topics about Java*, RPG and other areas of special interest.
Oak Brook, Illinois // omniuser.org
The Omni User is Chicagoland’s largest and oldest association of computer users. It specializes in the IBM midrange platform and associated computing devices including LANs serviced by the midrange platform, remote computing equipment and peripherals. OMNI holds monthly dinner meetings to share educational and practical experiences. It mails a monthly newsletter to more than 1,100 IT professionals based in and around Chicago. Membership is open to anyone with an occupational interest in the IBM i. OMNI is also a recipient of a grant from the Maxava iFoundation, which was established to provide assistance to nonprofit organizations working to grow and strengthen the IBM i community.
Southeast Michigan IBM i User Group (SEMIUG)
Rochester, Michigan // semiug.org
Southeast Michigan IBM i User Group (SEMIUG) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a forum for area IBM i users to gain new skills, keep informed of upcoming changes of this dynamic platform and network with other IBM i professionals. The group meets monthly from September through June (excluding December). Many of SEMIUG’s speakers are IBM i experts. Additionally, the organization utilizes the talents of its membership whenever possible.
Fort Wayne, Indiana // statususer.org
STATUS is an IBM i user group dedicated to providing education, support and community for companies and individuals alike. Meetings consist of a gathering/networking time, a meal and a speaker. Dinner meetings are typically held during September, November, January, March, April and May, while breakfast meetings are held in October and February. STATUS speaking topics include system administration, development, tools and utilities.
Twin Cities IBM Power Systems User Group (QUSER)
St. Paul, Minnesota // quser.org
The Twin Cities IBM Power Systems User Group (QUSER) group provides members with the opportunity to network with peers, share ideas and tips, and become knowledgeable on topics relevant to the IBM i community. QUSER is continually moving forward with a new agenda structure and support from various groups. Additional support is provided by IBM, COMMON and corporate sponsors, all are committed to the success of the QUSER group by providing guest speakers, contributing education funding, and providing discounts to attend popular events such as COMMON’s POWERUp conference.
West Michigan IBM i User Group (WMSUG)
Grand Rapids, Michigan // wmsug.net
West Michigan IBM i User Group (WMSUG) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening and growing the IBM i community. The group presents timely information to CIOs, directors, managers, analysts and programmers who utilize the IBM i platform. Meetings are held from September through May and typically kick off with coffee and treats. WMSUG’s board members are highly knowledgeable in their fields, including an IBM liaison, chairperson, program director, webmaster, treasurer and secretary. A roundtable discussion takes place on a particular topic.
Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professional Organization (WMCPA)
Elm Grove, Wisconsin // wmcpa.org
The mission of the Wisconsin Midrange Computer Professional Organization (WMCPA) is to provide education and training opportunities for midrange professionals, to encourage and promote networking opportunities for member organizations and to share their knowledge and experiences with one another. WMCPA membership is open to any person, company, group or organization with an interest in midrange systems. WMCPA dinner meetings are typically held from September through May, with the exception of March. In March, WMCPA holds its annual spring technical conference, which is a two-day event.
Midrange User Group of Western New York (MUG)
Buffalo, New York // mugwny.org
The Midrange Users Group of Western New York is a nonprofit. Organized in 1984, MUG represents Western New York and is based in the Buffalo area. Members represents managers, analysts and programmers working together in the information systems field on midrange-class computers. Dinner meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of most months September-May. Members are also welcome to contribute to the newsletter or any committees.
Fairfield Application Systems User Group (FASUG)
Wilton, Connecticut // fasug.org
Fairfield Application Systems User Group (FASUG) is a nonprofit organization with the objective of advancing the use of Power Systems servers. Members of FASUG meet monthly to engage in a networking registration hour and buffet dinner, followed by a guest speaker. The presentation entails a specific topic of interest to the Power Systems community.
Long Island System User Group (LISUG)
Syosset, New York // lisug.org
Long Island System User Group (LISUG) is dedicated to the education of system professionals in Long Island, New York, that utilize IBM Power Systems running IBM i. LISUG offers a variety of benefits, including discounted monthly meeting fees, an annual pre-pay option, COMMON membership, free and discounted COMMON learning courses and discounted fees to LISUG special events. Meetings are held monthly (with the exception of June, July and August). The meeting format consists of a pre-meeting followed by a cocktail hour, which is then followed by dinner and the main presentation. The format changes for May, when the group typically holds a May Education Day.
New England User Group (NEMUG)
North Attleboro, Massachusetts // nemug.com
New England User Group (NEMUG) is a nonprofit organization whose growth and development keeps pace with the business computers introduced and marketed by IBM. The group currently has over 200 companies running IBM i on its roster, with an active membership of more than 30 companies participating in the monthly meetings. In the past, NEMUG meetings have dealt with several areas of interest, including programming, data communications, operations, systems concepts, management topics and techniques, conversions and more.
New Hampshire Midrange User Group (NHMUG)
Manchester, New Hampshire // nhmug.org
New Hampshire Midrange User Group (NHMUG) is a nonprofit organization working to grow and strengthen the IBM i community. The group provides a vehicle for the exchange of information relating to IBM midrange computers for the common good of the membership. NHMUG draws on the most knowledgeable and talented professionals from companies and, if necessary, professionals from outside of its membership to address topics of consideration. The group meets several times from September to June. NHMUG serves New Hampshire and some of the surrounding areas of Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts, and actively participates in the Northeast User Groups Conference, which is held each spring in Framingham, Massachusetts. NHMUG is also the recipient of a grant from the Maxava iFoundation, which was established to provide assistance to nonprofit organizations working to grow and strengthen the IBM i community.
Northeastern System Technology User Group (NESTU)
West Caldwell, New Jersey // nestu.memberlodge.org
Northeastern System Technology User Group (NESTU) is a nonprofit corporation in New Jersey. It has hosted hundreds of events and has become one of the largest IBM i technical user groups in the country. NESTU hosts monthly dinner meetings, which offer an opportunity to interact with other Power Systems professionals. Dinner is followed by a presentation given by an industry expert. NESTU attracts some of the industry’s top speakers, including IBMers from the Rochester, Minnesota, and Toronto laboratories.
Toronto User Group for Power Systems (TUG)
Toronto // tug.ca
Toronto User Group for Power Systems (TUG) provides a professional forum for the presentation and exchange of ideas that pertain to IBM i and related subjects from the technical, management and end-user perspectives. Members are encouraged to provide for and engage in research, professional studies and other educational programs to help benefit the IBM i community. Meetings are usually scheduled for January, March, May, September and November.
Vermont Midrange User Group (VTMUG)
Burlington, Vermont // vtmug.org
The Vermont Midrange User Group (VTMUG) provides IBM i educational information and related presentations at a low price. VTMUG is affiliated with NEUGC, which runs a conference each spring in Framingham, Massachusetts. VTMUG meets regularly to discuss technical and management topics related to the IBM i. Presenters may be from IBM, vendors, consultants or members of the group. Anyone interested in IBM i may attend the meetings. Membership is free and costs for individual events is minimal.
Orange County Educational Advancement Network (OCEAN)
Costa Mesa, California // ocean400.org
Orange County Educational Advancement Network (OCEAN) is the largest IBM Power Systems user group west of the Mississippi River. Its primary mission is to serve as an affordable educational resource for individuals and companies working with the platform. Educational sessions are presented through guest speakers at the group’s monthly meetings, special events and at the annual IBM i Technical Conference and Vendor Solutions Expo. Additionally, OCEAN provides the IBM i community a relaxed environment for networking within the Orange County and broader Southern California region. The group holds monthly meetings on the third Tuesday of the month from January through November.
Utah IBM i Professionals Association (UIIPA)
Murry, Utah // uiipa.org
The Utah IBM i Professionals Association (UIIPA) offers members access to information on IBM Power Systems servers, products, tools and updates, education from IBM, and related solution providers and networking opportunities. Meetings typically take place on the third Wednesday of each month.
Japan // uken.or.jp
The Japanese sister group of COMMON, iSUC is a group designed for IT skill development and information exchange of users, for users and by users. Session topics include project management, new technology, security, development and business applications. All speakers at iSUC events are volunteers.
Bettembourg, Luxembourg // comeur.org
COMMON Europe is a user community of IT professionals involved with the IBM Power Systems platform, IBM i and related solutions. Part of the broader COMMON International group, which includes North America, COMMON Europe encompasses 16 member countries, ranging from Austria and Belgium to Sweden and Switzerland. COMMON membership is open to all students, individuals and companies interested in business computing using IBM Power Systems and other platforms. Membership benefits include free admission to webcasts and virtual conferences, access to archived educational videos, reduced registration fees for in-person events, private access to the online member directory and special prices to obtain professional certifications.
Manchester, U.K. // i-ug.co.uk
A member of COMMON Europe, i-UG is nonprofit organization that meets four times a year for a one-day conference. The purpose is to offer members an opportunity to discuss IBM thinking and technology relevant to their businesses. Topics have included data security, compliance management and 24-7 data operations.
AIX Portal (COMMON Russia)
Russia // aixportal.ru
This AIX-focused user group is an active network of IT managers and specialists and part of COMMON Europe. Membership is open to all students, individuals and companies interested in business computing using IBM Power Systems servers. Membership benefits include free admission to webcasts and virtual conferences, access to archived educational videos, reduced registration fees for in-person events, private access to the online member directory and special prices to obtain professional certifications.
Switzerland AIX User Group
Zurich, Switzerland // ibm.co/2EWbe39
This group is for administrators and architects that are interested in sharing their expertise and experiences with the AIX OS on IBM hardware. This group’s goal is to facilitate the technical interchange to improve their company’s ROI and help the administrators (and management) feel at ease. Check in regularly for workshops, which dive into enhanced technical support and updates.
Austria // common.at
Belgium // common.be
COMMON Czech Republic
Czech Republic // common.cz
Denmark // common.dk
France // common-users.fr
Germany // common-germany.com
Slovakia // commonsr.sk
Luxembourg // common.lu
Netherlands // common.nl
Norway // commonnorge.no
Poland // common.org.pl
Peru // common.pe
Sweden // commonsweden.org
Switzerland // common.ch
IBM Power CPH Meetup
Copenhagen, Denmark // meetup.com/IBMpowerCPH
IBM Power STHLM Meetup
Stockholm // meetup.com/ibmpowersthlm
Rebecca Lubecki is an associate editor for IBM Systems magazine.