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Fashion school proves fertile training ground for the Smart i

Fashion school proves fertile training ground for the Smart i
Photo courtesy of Dennis Fletcher

When IBM Systems Magazine last spoke to Roxanne Reynolds-Lair, CIO of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), the school was the first to implement the IBM System i* IP Telephony solution. If you need a refresher on that October 2007 article, see “Right Place, Right Time” (

That kind of advancement might have been enough for most organizations, but not FIDM. Since then, it’s deployed several new innovative solutions that helped FIDM land a 2009 COMMON/IBM Power Systems* Innovation Award. The latest is the business-intelligence (BI) tool Smart i. Not only did Reynolds-Lair and her IT crew implement this solution, but they also assisted in its development. As a result, other IBM i users have access to a tightly integrated BI appliance that’s been battle tested in the real world.

To learn more, IBM Systems Magazine recently spoke with Reynolds-Lair about Smart i and collaboration.

Q: When we first talked, FIDM was already breaking new ground. Now there’s more. What drives this?
A: The bottom line is that the business of the college drives what we do. So, if the business needs something and it’s worth investing the time and effort in it, we do it, for the sake of the college. I’m already looking at another new product, LotusLive*.

A term has come out, “prosumer,” where the end users are actually part of the development process. As a consumer, you’re helping influence the direction.

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at



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