IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - May 2017 - 30
With any given release, many
of the best new capabilities and
features have come directly from
the user group community.
"As a company, we get great
feedback from user groups about
what would help to make us
more successful in the marketplace," says Butterill. "We have
such a broad range of clients and
industry solutions, it really helps
us get feet-on-the-street, direct
input, and it has always helped
us in formulating what we're
going to put into releases."
Over the years, tens of thou-
sands of IBM i customers
around the world have
downloaded Zend's PHP products
for i for numerous web and mobile
application development initiatives. They have user groups to
thank for that.
"More than 10 years ago, COMMON North America and COMMON Europe ranked putting PHP
onto the system extremely high,"
says Butterill. "Because of that,
the offering manager at the time
pushed forward and worked with
Zend to get PHP into IBM i."
A more recent example of
Outside of the
Many Power Systems users have been working in their company for many
years, without sharing their experiences with users from other companies.
At user group meetings and conferences, "the hands-on, experienced users
are there to explain to other users or customers what they did with the tools
and technologies to achieve their goals," says Torbjörn Appehl, IBM champion and president of Data3/COMMON Sweden.
the power of user
groups is free-format
RPG. Butterill says that
was a high-priority requirement
from all of the IBM i advisory
councils. "We worked hard to provide that support and delivered it
in IBM i 7.1 TR7."
Along with exchanging ideas
on how to improve technology,
user group members are discovering creative new ways to implement those technologies.
"These groups are a great
way to talk to someone who
solved a problem in a way that
you hadn't even thought of yet,"
says Butterill. "So users aren't
just getting an advanced look
at the technologies coming
up, they're also learning new
strategies about how to use IBM
technology to solve real business problems."
Ultimately, user groups are
bringing together the best ideas
and business strategies in the
marketplace today. Users are
learning from other users-and
IBM is learning from them.
"User groups allow us to stay
very connected with our customers and our partners, so we ensure
that we're delivering what they
want," says Butterill. "From our
perspective, you really can't ask
for more than that.
Eve Daniels is a Minneapolis-based
30 // MAY 2017 ibmsystemsmag.com