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Fall Conference Update

October 5, 2010

I'm giving several presentations at the Fall COMMON Conference in San Antonio this week. The fall conference this year is a bit different from the fall events that COMMON had the past couple years in that it's sort of a “mini” COMMON conference – a small expo and educational sessions over three days. The attendance at the conference is good and the attendance at my sessions has also been good; the questions/discussions/feedback I've gotten so far has been positive. Seating at breakfast and lunch today was somewhat crowded because of the good attendance, but that's a good problem to have. One of the other things I’ve observed is the many conference badges with green stickers denoting first-time attendees – it's wonderful to see those!

One of the things I always do at the beginning of my presentations is ask the audience what operating system release they’re using. My non-scientific results seem to show more and more of you are now on the 6.1 release, although many are still on 5.4.  Only a handful seems to be moving to 7.1 so far. If you are one of those shops still on 5.4, you have the question to consider – should you move to 6.1 or 7.1 for your next upgrade? 7.1 is most definitely worthy of serious consideration and would get you on the latest supported release of IBM i.

It's exciting when we've had so many new product announcements like we have had this year with POWER7 and the 7.1 release. It's important to provide education about the latest and greatest offerings.  But one thing I've learned is it’s also important to offer education on some of the other features that have been available for a long time. IBM i is so rich in its capabilities, no matter what the topic, I have discovered there’s a need for education. That's one of the nice things about the education COMMON offers; it has a good mix--focusing on what's new, but also providing education on key topics that, while not new, are of significant interest to users.  And it's because of this educational need that I write this blog – although, like this week, I sometimes vary off the technical path to provide thoughts on other topics.

Being active with the COMMON conferences has been a great way to meet and work with many of you in the IBM i community. I always appreciate the passion our users have for our products, and I especially look forward to comments about what you like, as well as input about what you think we can do better! Many times I'll talk with someone who’s having some problems and usually I haven't heard about the specific problem being discussed; in such cases, I'll generally recommend you work the issues through the Rochester, Minn. Support Center. They’re a great resource to use when you do have issues that need to be resolved.

There are a few other things going on this fall that I'll briefly mention:

The Large Users Group (LUG) is meeting in Rochester, Minn. this week. The LUG meeting generally consists of educational information between IBM and the LUG.

Coming in up just a couple weeks is the Power Systems Technical University. This conference has a very broad offering of educational sessions for Power Systems in general, along with technical information related to the operating environments that run on the Power hardware.

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Vienna, Austria for “Rochester Day.” Ian Jarman and I attended and covered information relating to the latest in POWER7, IBM i 7.1, Systems Management Tools and High Availability Updates. It was a real treat to visit Vienna as I’d never been there before and I was very impressed with the city. It looks like there will be some additional events coming up in November for COMMON Europe as well, and in a future blog I hope to share more about them.

Posted October 5, 2010| Permalink