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IBM i—For Innovators, by Innovators

May 9, 2019

If you’ve visited the IBM i homepage (and certainly you have, right?) you’ve seen the tagline we’re using to describe IBM i this year: “IBM i – A Platform for Innovators, by Innovators.”


The marketing team has been very busy helping us get ready to launch IBM i 7.4 and IBM Db2 Mirror for i. They’re also coordinating the new version of the IBM i Strategy and Roadmap whitepaper, which is almost ready for publication. They’re working with us as we tell the IBM i story to more analysts, such as Rob Enderle, who wrote a very positive article in eWeek entitled “IBM I: the Most Amazing IBM Product You’ve Never Heard Of.” (We can forgive his capitalization of the ‘i’, since he’s only just heard of it.) 
And, very importantly, the marketing team members are working with our clients to tell even more stories of innovation. You’ll remember that we had many, many new client stories last year as we celebrated the 30th anniversary. But we haven’t stopped. We continue to be contacted by more clients who volunteer to tell their stories.  The pages where these stories are told are:
I’m going to highlight a couple of the new stories below, but before I get there, I want to make a point: All of this innovation is working! It’s working for the clients who tell their stories, clearly. But it’s also working for IBM i as a business. About six months ago I talked about the IBM i business results we had been seeing to that point. That success continues.
Pic2.jpgIBM i had a full year of growth in 2018, helping IBM Cognitive Systems to continue its growth. And IBM i started 2019 with another quarter of growth—remarkable given the growth it was being compared to from the year before.
I know we in IBM would like to take some credit for this growth. We think we’ve been telling the story better. We know we have been delivering leading edge technology—in Db2, Db2 Mirror for i, open source and securing your critical data.  We’ve been innovating.
But really, the biggest credit goes to our clients and partners who’ve been using that technology to innovate for their benefit.
So let’s talk about a pair of new client stories that illustrate that.
Carhartt.jpgCarhartt is a well-known name in the workwear sector. They use many platforms in their IT environment, but IBM i is key to keeping their business running. As their story states that with the significantly increased capacity and throughout of POWER8 versus POWER5 and POWER7, Carhartt was able to move all of their IBM i workloads to just two POWER8 Servers. This reduced their data center footprint by more than 70 percent. The opportunity to consolidate their physical servers was very important to Carhartt, which meant a significantly reduced workload for their IT team. Michael Karasienski, an IBM Champion for Power Systems, says “Since we made the switchover, performance has been extremely reliable, the new IBM Power Systems servers have been in place for around seven months now, and they haven’t needed to be rebooted once.”’
I’ve met with the Carhartt team, and while much of what they have planned for the future remains confidential, it’s clear they’re anxious to use the innovative capabilities of IBM i and Power Systems to their fullest, while reaping the financial rewards of using them efficiently—“saving at least $1.1M a year based on just the reduced operational costs.”
Wijnen Van Maele
Winjen.jpgOur next client story, from Winjen Van Maele, should interest a great many of our clients who need to coordinate with suppliers and distributors.  Winjen Van Maele is a wine retailer who wanted to reach their customers directly.  Working with business partner CD Invest, they built their e-commerce site on IBM i. 
Success was followed by more success, and now they are innovating their wine selling, and their IT, by using Blockchain on IBM i. As their story states “Large wine distributors are starting to require suppliers to track information regarding the quality of grapes, where they were picked, how they are processed and even the length of time that a bottle has been stored. The company developed a blockchain application on IBM i, allowing them to track every stage of the product lifecycle for auditing, from grape to bottle to glass. This traceability is a crucial selling point for many wine distributors and retailers and will help Wijnen Van Maele stay ahead of the curve.”
The IBM i team in IBM is proud of our platform, and we’re excited to be innovators in the IT industry. Even better, though, is having our innovation put to work for our clients.

Posted May 9, 2019| Permalink