COMMON and IBM Recognize Innovative Use of Power Systems Flexibility

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The members of COMMON North America recognized five organizations for their creative use of the Power Systems platform's flexibility at the fifth annual COMMON/IBM Power Systems Innovation Awards. Nominees for this year's awards were selected from five categories: business solution, Web solution, virtualization solution, energy efficiency, and education excellence.

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising 

This year's award in the business solution category was presented to The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising for its use of Power Systems and IBM i technology to create a "click to call" solution for the school's Web site. This unique application gives Web site visitors instant interaction with Fashion Institute representatives through use of IBM/3COM IP Telephony, IBM Lotus Sametime, and Java development technology.

Allied Beverage Group 

Allied Beverage Group won in the Web solution category for modernizing its ordering interface using Power Systems and IBM i to combine business critical, time tested application software with cutting-edge Web technology. "The innovations employed by both the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and Allied Beverage Group highlight the flexibility of Power Systems and IBM i and show how this platform helps businesses improve service and reduce costs when they need to most," said Randy Dufault, COMMON president.

Perishable Distributors of Iowa, Ltd. 

Prevailing in the virtualization solution category for 2009 was Perishable Distributors of Iowa, Ltd. The company, one of the nation's largest food distributors, replaced a need for multiple servers running different business systems, with a consolidated virtual solution on a single server. The company realized tremendous gains in efficiency and eliminated costly upgrades for many different servers.

United States Bowling Congress 

The United States Bowling Congress used Power Systems and IBM i to consolidate server use and improve data center energy management to win the energy efficiency award. Three separate servers were consolidated to one and an integrated power management solution was leveraged to optimize energy use. "Our virtualization solution and energy efficiency solution award winners showed how Power Systems can streamline IT practices and bring tangible solutions to business strategy challenges," said Dufault.

Metropolitan Community College of Omaha 

This year's award for educational excellence was presented to Metropolitan Community College of Omaha, Neb.. Faculty there implemented a new two-year degree option, titled Data Center Management. In the program, an IBM Power Systems platform using the IBM i operating environment, will play the dual role of supporting the college's internal IT needs and serving as a classroom for students. This configuration allows students to experience an integrated environment that uniquely prepares them for data center management upon graduation. "This  award shows how Power Systems technology can serve a broad variety of purposes," said Dufault. "The flexibility of the platform not only allows for solutions in today's business environment but for the training of tomorrow's innovators."

Nominees for the awards were evaluated on how well their solutions demonstrate business innovation, support outstanding achievement, and highlight value to their company, school, and end-user customers.

The COMMON/IBM Innovation Awards recognition event is part of COMMON's five-day meeting that takes place each spring. Nearly 900 IBM midrange users are attending COMMON's 2009 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Reno, Nev. to network with the best in their fields and learn about the newest products and best practices for leveraging midrange systems in their businesses. This year's meeting offers more than 500 educational sessions and the world's largest Power Systems Exposition.


COMMON is the world's largest users 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 (IBM i, AIX, Linux) and related solutions. For more information about COMMON, visit