Common is also building up funds for a scholarship in honor of Al Barsa, the System i and Common legend who died last year. The award — a free conference registration and plaque — will go to someone that shows the sort of dedication to the System i community that Barsa did for decades. Common is looking for donations to the scholarship through the Al Barsa scholarship application form.]]>
Alliance@IBM, an IBM employee organization that doesn’t have official union status because it can’t get enough members, has speculated that IBM will fire 4,000 workers today, mostly in the services department. But System i developers are seeing the hit as well, with reported layoffs ranging from 400 to more than 800 in Rochester, Minn., the long-time stronghold location for System i development. Many of them are older software engineers who will have a tough time finding another job, especially in that area.
At the same time IBM is firing U.S. workers, it is hiring in China and India, a fact that rankles the laid-off employees. The New York Times reported that IBM has fired about 4,600 North American workers in the past few weeks. IBM calls this the normal course of doing business, and has often managed to keep these layoffs quiet by circumventing the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. By keeping the layoff numbers relatively small compared to its total workforce, and scattering them across multiple sites, IBM can avoid having to notify local and state officials of the firings.]]>
The show is April 15-17 in Orlando. More details on the discount are at the YiPs site, and more details about the RPG & DB2 Summit schedule are at the System i Developer site.]]>
Over the past two weeks I have been at two conferences. Though they were both unrelated to the IBM System i (one was for the Share mainframe user group and the other for AFCOM data center managers), it was a good indication that conference attendance is low. Expect the same at Common in Reno.
The Young i Professionals conducted a survey from its users on educational budgets this year, and the effect is clear. Though the sample size is very small (only about 70 users at this time), it’s still a decent indicator. According to the survey, almost 40% of people said that the current economy has caused all education spending within companies to come to halt. Another 26% said education spending has been cut. The rest of the numbers: about 16% said no change, 16% said it’s too soon to tell, and 3% said it’s increasing.
This is not a good sign, said the folks over at iDevelop, who said that stopping educational spending was “downright stupid.”
Admittedly when the economic climate is bad expenses have to be cut, but as we have noted before, this always strikes us as not only short-sighted, but frankly just downright stupid! Particularly when you take into account the fact that job satisfaction, loyalty and productivity is invariably higher among staff who are given adequate training opportunities.
The goal of the program is to be able to sell a new Power Systems machine to an end user in two phone calls. The first one is an introductory call to sell the general benefits of a new server over maintaining and old one, and is also in place for the sales rep to get info on the end user’s environment. The second one is a follow-up with a more detailed pitch that also includes discounts and more benefits to help close the deal.
The main crux of the sales strategy is to prove that the cost of buying a new Power Systems server is actually less than maintaining an old System i, iSeries or AS/400. From the story: “If you don’t have the cash and you are using an older box, then IBM wants you to look at your maintenance bills.”
Some internal IBM documents then spell out different examples of how users can presumably save more money in maintenance costs than they’re paying in capital costs to buy a new Power Systems server. One example compares the maintenance costs of an old AS/400 or iSeries 270 with a new Power Systems server, saying a user could save more than $600 a month in maintenance savings, which amounts to more than the approximate monthly lease cost of about $500 a month.]]>
The conference call will take place at 2pm Eastern, 1pm Central. For more details on how to dial-in (anyone can dial-in), visit the YiPs post on the event.]]>