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POWER > Business Strategy > Executive Perspective

Defining Community

Alison Butterill
Photography by David Bowman

Have you ever looked up the definition of “community” in the dictionary? I hadn’t, until I sat down to reflect on our community of IBM Power Systems* clients, Champions and partners for this perspective piece. The dictionary includes several definitions of community—the first of which is simply “a unified body of individuals.” But the definitions that I think more accurately describe our Power Systems community are “joint ownership or participation,” “common character” and “social activity (i.e., fellowship).”

What I see in our Power Systems community is much more than just a unified body—it’s a global social network that takes pride in a common interest and actively participates in improving and promoting IBM Power Systems servers, the IBM i and AIX* OSes, and the rest of the Power Systems portfolio of solutions. 

Gatherings Around the Globe

One of the most fulfilling aspects of my job is getting to spend so much time with our community at events and user groups around the world. In just the last two months, I will have been visiting with clients in Minneapolis, Dallas and New York, seeing clients at IBM TechU events in Dubai and Atlanta, meeting with clients and partners at the COMMON User Group Annual conference called POWERUp19, and done more than four webcasts to various customers around the world. At every one of these events, I learn about new and exciting innovations coming out of our community. And I am thrilled at the level of passion and engagement our customers and partners demonstrate, both in leveraging Power Systems solutions to innovate and grow their businesses, as well as in sharing their stories and insights to help support and guide others in the community. 

   Recently, two of our IBM Power Systems Champions, Liam Allan and Josh Hall, launched a bi-weekly podcast focused on the technical aspects of IBM i and the community revolving around it. If actions speak louder than words, I think that Liam and Josh’s commitment to this endeavor is a loud and clear message of support for the IBM i platform and the great future that lies ahead as the next generation of IBM i users continues to work, learn, and innovate together. Visit to learn more about the podcast and why IBM i truly is a platform for innovators, by innovators.

But the definitions that I think more accurately describe our Power Systems community are “joint ownership or participation,” “common character” and “social activity (i.e., fellowship).”
—Alison Butterill, Offering Manager for IBM i

Something for Everyone

More than a decade ago, some IBMers launched the Power Systems Virtual User Group (VUG), which meets virtually approximately once a month. IBMer Joe Armstong, who runs the group today, invites guests to speak on a variety of Power Systems topics, although many of the groups sessions are AIX focused. If you’re interested in learning more, email joe at or on Twitter at @JoeAIXvug.

  As we head into the summer, I am looking forward to the announcement of our newest IBM i Fresh Faces, which will be featured in the June issue of IBM Systems magazine, Power Systems. Until then, thank you all for being an integral part of the IBM Power Systems family. Our clients are at the heart of everything we do, and our team at IBM appreciates all of you and your contributions to this thriving community.

Alison Butterill is the offering manager for IBM i. She owns the responsibility for the IBM i business, including defining and guiding future directions and strategies.



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