The Four Hundred comenta a Frank Soltis a propósito de la iniciativa de socios de negocios del iSeries (AKA AS400) de tomar en sus manos la promoción del AS400. Dice Soltis sobre la política comercial de IBM:
"It has been clear to me that it's up to user groups and business partners to continue to promote the product," Soltis says. "That was something that IBM made a decision on sometime back in the 1990s. Lou Gerstner came in (as IBM chairman and CEO) and one of his first decisions was that IBM would promote IBM rather than promote individual products. He took the individual budgets that general managers had for advertising and consolidated them into one budget that focused on IBM. That has really never changed since."Es esta actitud de poner en segundo lugar la promoción de sus productos la que el iManifest intenta modificar, primero en Japón, y ahora en Estados Unidos.
"IBM does not have to market Windows," Soltis points out. "The world knows what it is and Microsoft does their job promoting it. The same thing with Unix. You don't see vendors marketing Unix. They market it from the standpoint that ours is better than anybody else's, but they don't have to promote the concept of Unix. With IBM i and z, both systems are well-known within their user bases, but not very well known outside of that. You have to really promote those. In that sense, i has suffered a bit because the rest of the industry does not promote IBM i. From IBM's standpoint, I don't think they see much difference among the platforms in terms of which ones require more marketing."Soltis estima que una actividad organizada y extensa de apoyo del iManifest en Estados Unidos impulsará a IBM a promover y participar en esta defensa:
Soltis compromete su participación en el movimiento:
"One of the things I admire about iManifest Japan is that it is very organized," Soltis says. "The group is made up of many people who have been together for many years. It is similar to the U.S. in that sense. They tend to work very closely. There is a lot of cooperation. That seems to be paying off. This is cooperation not just with the business partner community but also with IBM."
Get the numbers, get the cooperation, and get the organization within iManifest U.S. and IBM will get onboard. Soltis is sure of that.
"IBM will get involved in the iManifest in the United States, if iManifest puts together a good enough coalition. It has shown that it will do this by participating in iManifest Japan," he says.
IBM has co-sponsored at least two events with iManifest Japan that have promoted both the IBM i and the business partners products. Both have been described as successful by companies affiliated with iManifest Japan.
Although he holds no formal position with iManifest Japan, Soltis feels close to the developments going on there. He has a dialogue with key people in that organization and is discussing what has worked in that situation. The open communication should make things easier for iManifest U.S., but that's not to say it will be easy.
"I am looking at taking the iManifest message to the business partners and user groups, and that fits within the role that I am currently involved in," Soltis says. "I plan to continue this level of involvement for at least several more years. This is a way that I can contribute to the System i community. I think eventually you will see joint activities among all iManifest regions--Japan, EMEA, and the U.S. To me it would make a lot of sense to do this on a worldwide basis. Some of the big business partners that are worldwide in scope would probably see advantages in working across all geographies."Notable situación en la que una empresa descuida algunos de sus mejores productos en pos de un nuevo modelo de negocios, que deben ser defendidos por sus socios comerciales. Luego hablaremos de ese modelo... que quizá ya no sea tan beneficioso si no tiene el respaldo de aquellos productos que le dieran prestigio y reputación
Sobre el iManifest, su contenido original en la iniciativa japonesa.
Fotografía de Soltis, tomada de IBM Systems magazine, en un artículo acerca de su participación en la concepción del AS400.