System i Blogger

Apr 21 2008   7:23PM GMT

IBM i name change is not good for everyone . . . I guess

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

I reported a few weeks back that IBM changed the System i and i5/OS to “i for Business” and the hardware was going to be called POWER. This as one person put it was a no-brainer. While I see the move as a positive thing for the entire power based community and the platform as whole some poeple like Ken Jack don’t see it the same way as I do. I would also like to point out I have always been one to complain about things I don’t think are right but in this case IBM is right and Ken is dead wrong.

Ken said on his site:

“In their ongoing efforts to kill name recognition, confuse the marketplace, and drop sales to all time lows, Big Blue has once again changed how they refer to one of the finest thinkin’ machines to ever hit the market. But if it walks like an AS/400, it talks like an AS/400, and it looks like an AS/400, then it’s probably an AS/400. This is an homage to IBM’s ingenious Attention Deficit marketing strategy.”

Ken, Ken, Ken, tisk tisk. It’s easy to be stuck on the term AS/400, I can see that. Some people I know still call it “da 400” and we all still know what they are talking about. The term AS/400 never really explained what it meant, what it did or why you needed it. AS/400 I always felt was a cryptic term for the system and IBM used to make the “old people” happy. I don’t think IBM has driven the numbers lower, the price of the system, the number of options in servers to IT managers, and the longevity of the platform and hardware makes it a slow seller.

While IBM has struggled to market the platform well in the past I think over the past 3 years the marketing has been better and have failed to hear anyone including myself come up with a decent marketing plan to date. While it’s not my job nor is it your job it can’t be an easy system to market. While we are at it when was the last time you saw an AIX commercial, a Solaris or SUN commercial or even a Windows Server ad? I have not seen many of them doing much of anything and I think over all the numbers are down for all three big companies. The point you need to take away from this is the offering is now stronger and a name is just a name. If you going to get stuck on the name then I can’t help you. That is some kind of issue you need to work out in the dark with your thoughts, as for the rest of us we are moving forward and while the shirts are cute they are a bit backhanded to the bulk of the community how liked the new logo and ideas coming from IBM.

I got my feet wet on an AS/400 and that will always be my story but I advanced as the system has and I would beg that you do the same with your thinking.

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