COMMON Conference Reveals IBM Roadmap Includes Support for IBM i PDF Print E-mail
CIO News - Trends
Written by Chris Smith   
Friday, 11 May 2012 13:00

Power Systems exec notes that venerable and stable OS is included in latest IBM PureSystems offerings.

Colin Parris, Ph.D., general manager of IBM Power Systems, made it clear to attendees at last week's COMMON Conference in Anaheim, Calif., that IBM i is, and will continue to be, on the roadmap for support by IBM now and the foreseeable future as IBM developers busily work on the next full release of the OS to follow V7.1.

"Let me tell you about a new breed of system," Parris told attendees during the Opening Session. "It's something new we announced on April 11 (2012)...PureSystems. And IBM i is on that platform as well because IBM i is important to us. It's a vital piece of the Power family," Parris said.

As far as the frequency of new OS releases, Parris said it was feedback from customers that prompted IBM to change the frequency of updated IBM i releases from annual to every two years with technology refreshes in between every six months.

MC Press Online Photo
Colin Parris, left, general manager of IBM Power Systems, and Pete Massiello, COMMON president. COMMON is a "deeply valued community" Parris told the audience attending the Opening Session.
"We listened to you; we only have a major release every two years," Parris said. "But clients explained to us that doesn't allow them to reap the value of their investment if we flip it [only] every two years. We said, 'OK, what we'll do instead is more technology refreshes.' So what you see here are TR 1, 2, 3, and 4.

"When we introduce a new capability, we'll now have a major [refresh]. So, for instance, in TR4, we introduced live partition mobility, something we anticipated that we would do in the next major release. [But] why wait for the next major release? Let's do it now. So we have different way of thinking through things."

"Also, in terms of our commitment, you will see the chassis with the blue screen (pointing to a photo of a PureSystems computer)—that's what the PureSystems chassis looks like—a blue door. We have once more—as we promised in 2008 when we started with Power—in 2012 as we started with what we think of as a huge new breed of systems—we're leading with System i in there; System i is in there with us on this run."

Parris said it was a pleasure for him to attend COMMON, "Because it's great to understand that this is a deeply valued community and we see the value coming and being delivered in these systems," he said.

"What I always love when I come to these," he said, "there is a close linkage between the value that is delivered and the activity that is done here."You notice (referring to a student texting solution at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising--FIDM) that in the video …the fact that those students use text. [The FIDM IT department was] quickly able to deploy texting capabilities inside the System i boxes and have a whole new way of enlarging the experience for students. I think that's profound because that's exactly what this entire [host] of capabilities is all about. You react quickly to a change, you understand from the data that we're using less phone calls, you adapt this very quickly to use text and quickly deliver a solution. That's the essence of Smarter Planet. Those are the kinds of examples I love to hear, and I get them here at this conference all the time," Parris said.

Parris went on to introduce five new "IBM Champions"—people in the midrange community who promote IBM technology and mentor others in its use.

Meanwhile, COMMON President Pete Massiello pointed out that LIVETrack technical sessions streamed from the conference had increased from 9 to 13 this year. Sunday's opening session was available for free to LIVETrack viewers as was a session sponsored by SoftLanding on Leadership Through Technology presented by UNICOM Global CEO Corry Hong. Hong discusses how to align IT assets for better efficiency through consolidation and integration. The main content sessions in the LIVETrack series included:

  • Run IBM i Applications on Your iPad–Randall Munson
  • From STRPDM to RDP–Charles Guarino
  • VIOS in Action–Implementation and Tuning– Keith Zblewski
  • Beyond Query/400: Introduction to DB2 Web Query for IBM i–Gene Cobb
  • Disaster Recovery Primer: Ready, Set, Plan–Richard Dolewski
  • Step-by-Step Approach to Implementing Object Level Security–Carol Woodbury
  • RPG IV Does XML–Exploiting RPG's XML Processing Capabilities–Jon Paris
  • What You Need to Know and Understand to Do Successful IBM i Upgrades 6.1.1 & 7.1–Pete Massiello
  • Are You Listening to Others?–Conrad D. Feldt
  • Introduction to OO-PHP Fundamentals–Mike Pavlak
  • FTP Techniques and Tools–Drew Dekreon
  • Integrated File System Security–Margaret Fenlon
  • RPG User Defined Functions and Table Functions–Scott Klement

The full LIVETrack complement of sessions cost $299 for members and $399 for non-members.

MC Press Online Photo
Scott Klement, center, joins IBM Power Systems Champions from last year on stage with IBM GM Colin Parris and COMMON President Pete Massiello at the Opening Session of COMMON 2012.
Massiello also announced that the COMMON certifications program now includes a certification in RPG ILE in addition to the two certifications announced last year - COMMON Business Computing Associate and COMMON Certified Business Computing Professional. The organization president pitched the audience on the value of COMMON and the importance of its 18,000 members coming to the conferences saying that the value in expertise gained far outweighs the cost to members in the long term. He also pointed out the influence COMMON has through the COMMON Advisory Council, which works with IBM to define new features in upcoming versions of the IBM i operating system. Massiello said that 62 percent of the group's wish-list already had been implemented by IBM in either IBM i 6.1 or 7.1, and that IBM was working on the remaining requests for future releases.

Former COMMON President Randy Dufault (Ed. Note - subsequently reelected board president), who is director of solution development for Genus Technologies in Minneapolis, and Board Member Bill Hansen, owner of Manta Technologies, Inc., Castle Rock, Colo.,  were each presented with the COMMON President's Award for outstanding service to the organization. Scott Klement, IT manager and senior programmer at Klement Sausage Co., Milwaukee, Wisc., was awarded the Al Barsa Memorial Scholarship. Klement also was named one of five new IBM Champions for Power Systems by Parris. Others included Aaron Bartel of Krengel Technology; Jim Buck, Gateway Technical College; Ken Milberg, PowerTCO Solutions; and David Tansley, Ace European, Ltd.

Bruce Kimbrell from the Disney Institute delivered the keynote presentation, "Disney's Approach to Business Excellence."

Massiello noted that next year's annual meeting and exposition will be April 7-10, 2013, in Austin, Texas, preceded by the Fall 2012 Conference and table-top Expo Sept. 24-26, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. The COMMON Europe 2012 Congress will be June 9-12 in Vienna, Austria.










Chris Smith
About the Author:

Chris Smith was the Senior News Editor at MC Press Online from 2007 to 2012 and was responsible for the news content on the company's Web site. Chris has been writing about the IBM midrange industry since 1992 when he signed on with Duke Communications as West Coast Editor of News 3X/400. With a bachelor's from the University of California at Berkeley, where he majored in English and minored in Journalism, and a master's in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Chris later studied computer programming and AS/400 operations at Long Beach City College. An award-winning writer with two Maggie Awards, four business books, and a collection of poetry to his credit, Chris began his newspaper career as a reporter in northern California, later worked as night city editor for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, and went on to edit a national cable television trade magazine. He was Communications Manager for McDonnell Douglas Corp. in Long Beach, Calif., before it merged with Boeing, and oversaw implementation of the company's first IBM desktop publishing system there. An editor for MC Press Online since 2007, Chris has authored some 300 articles on a broad range of topics surrounding the IBM midrange platform that have appeared in the company's eight industry-leading newsletters. He can be reached at

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 May 2012 18:39
User Rating: / 1