Connecting with IBM i ISVs
How to make the IBM/ISV relationship work for you.
By Steve Will06/15/2020
This post is a little different than what I normally write. Typically, I write something that I think a large percentage of the IBM i community needs to hear, and if I write something about an event, I’m generally inviting any and all readers to attend.
This post is, as I said, a little different. This post is directed at the people and companies out there who write software for IBM i, and then make their living by having other users pay for it. In other words, this post is for IBM i Independent Software Vendors–ISVs.
So, before I go on, what should you do if you’re not an ISV? Well, I do have a suggestion: If you feel like your IBM i ISV would benefit from a closer connection to IBM, then I encourage you to send an e-mail to that ISV with the link to this blog post. We want to reconnect with them, so if they hear about it from you, we’ll all have a better chance of making the IBM/ISV relationship work even better for you.
So, got it? If you are not an ISV, send the link.
If you are an IBM i ISV, please, keep reading.
Dear ISV: I imagine you’ve noticed it, too, but let’s be clear: Our shared clients–the IBM Power Systems users who run your ISV software–have made it clear that many of our ISVs are disconnected with IBM’s Power Systems strategy, and in particular, our IBM i clients have been raising that issue, especially as it relates to long-lived ISV solution packages.
In response to that, the IBM i team and the ISV team (the team inside IBM’s Cognitive Systems organization which focuses on ISV relationships, education and enablement) have been working to reengage with ISVs, as part of a larger strategy of renewing relationships with ISVs for all of Power Systems. This blog post talks a bit about the efforts we (IBM) have taken so far, and lets you know what’s coming. It’s our intent, and our hope, that we’ll be able to connect with you – better than we have in the past few years–so that together we can help our shared clients succeed, and by doing so, we can also have more success. ISV and IBM.
I want to let you know a couple of key things before we move on: if you feel as if IBM has not been as active talking with ISVs in general, and you in particular, as we have in the past, that could be true. Some of our relationships with ISVs are very strong, but for some ISVs, we know we’re not as connected as we should be.
Sadly, one of results of this “disconnectedness” is the perception that IBM has pulled back from IBM i as a platform–and that is not true.
From the information on our IBM i site on ibm.com (bit.ly/ibm_i_home) to the strategy & roadmap white paper which shows the IBM i roadmap into the 2030’s (ibm.co/2JyPuhb), to the large number of client stories showing innovation on IBM i (many of them enabled specifically by ISVs who use the latest capabilities on IBM i–bit.ly/IBMiClientInnovation) to my own blog, which has talked about the influx of new developers on the IBM i development team–it’s clear IBM is serious about the future of IBM i.
One way we can start to improve our connection to you, as an ISV, is if you allow us to send you information. You see, privacy laws being what they are, we need your permission to opt in to ISV-related e-mails. So, if you are willing to be on our list of ISVs who get notified about ISV programs, please send an e-mail to Linda Alkire–email@example.com–and let her know you’re interested. In fact, she’s a good starting point if you have questions about anything in the ISV program.
One of the first signs of this new effort started in early 2020 with a series of webcasts targeted at ISVs. A number of ISVs–including IBM i ISVs–have been attending those webcasts, and we’re glad for that. However, we know there are literally thousands of ISVs around the world who have not even been aware of those webcasts. Each of them has been recorded, and the PDFs are available for each of them, also. It’s a monthly series in which each webcast talks about a different aspect of what IBM has been doing with Power System, always with the idea of educating ISVs. We’ve talked about “cloud;” we’ve talked “open source.” We are planning more in this series. For example, sometime this summer, a webcast will happen with details related to partnering opportunities between ISVs and IBM, including the latest Solutions Edition program.
The webcast series is one of many useful things available on the Power Systems ISV Resource Center. Note the Webcast Series link near the top of the page: https://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/systems/power/isv-resource-center
Please take a look at the whole page. It also points you to places where you can get access to virtual machines if you need them, for example.
Very importantly for you IBM i ISVs, though, we have already scheduled a comprehensive webcast for the fall. It will take place on September 10, and will be recorded for those who cannot attend live.
The title: IBM i and ISVs–Reconnecting to Drive Client Value
In this session, I’ll be joined by Alison Butterill, IBM i Offering Manager and other IBM leaders to talk specifically to ISVs who have IBM i solutions about the market, the ways in which ISVs and IBM can work to address the market, and the key technologies which can drive client IT transformation -- while also driving business for everyone involved.
You can register for the webcast at this link: ibm.biz/BdqKpq
Why wait until September? Well, a couple of reasons, but the primary one is that we want time to spread the word about this event. This timing gives us a chance to spread the word–through things like this blog post. Also, we know the summer is not the best time to contact people, and while this year is unusual, we don’t want to have this webcast get lost in the summer holiday/vacation schedule. And, to be as open as I can be at this point, we have some other things in the works which we’ll be able to talk about more in September.
Thank you for reading this post, and I truly hope you will take us up on our offer to reconnect. The many, many thousands of clients we share around the world often tell me how much they love IBM i, and how much they depend on it in conjunction with your solutions. We’ll all succeed if we can find more ways to move those clients into the future together.
Steve Will is the chief architect for IBM i, responsible for strategy and planning related to the OS.