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Common PowerUp Fort Worth 2024

The IBM i community is alive and well! Check out our thoughts on the conference, key points of discussion, and time spent exploring the Fort Worth area

PowerUp-Logo
Common PowerUp Fort Worth 2024-Collage
PowerUp 2024 Write Up Conference floor with people

A solid mix of eager students and seasoned professionals

  • It’s always great to see IBM i centric teams traveling from around the world to connect, share ideas, and learn new things
  • While navigating the expo, we ran into familiar faces and made several new connections with individuals from the States, Mexico, Germany, and the Netherlands

Creativity is key!

  • Several vendors had quite a unique approach to drawing attention to their expo area including free hot sauce, polaroid photo opportunities, as well as live podcasts
  • Our Dutch friends over at Remain Software invited Dima on for a quick chat about integrations (Thanks Wim and Kirk!)

Click here to view the episode

live podcasts-Remain with Dima

Maintaining the IBM i workforce

  • A notable topic worth discussion
  • We chatted with several attendees who explicitly noted their internal IBM i workforce will be getting smaller and smaller over the coming years and that more involvement from vendors will be critical when it comes to providing key areas of support down the road
  • This point is especially true for IBM i shops that have extremely small developments teams in addition to homegrown applications with little to no documentation
  • While the challenges a changing workforce will pose is quite evident, it’s important to note that with the right pro-active strategy, maintaining current applications as well as future proofing them will be much less painful when working with the right partner

Trending topics of discussion

  • AI on the IBM i: Kind of a no brainer in terms of all the social media buzz, but it’s great to see the diverse variety of speakers presenting on this topic
  • Security: Definitely noticing more and more sessions on this vertical each conference we attend
  • VS Code: Liam Allan’s session(s) on this topic are always a good time!

Modernization

  • A slogan featured on a large majority of vendor booth banners
  • The only new note with this topic is the increasing amount of teams who were seeking to modernize their IBM i based systems and were stopping by each booth to explore what each vendor had to offer
  • From the perspective of someone such as myself who focuses more so on the sales/marketing side of the business, it’s interesting to hear how different teams interpret “modernization” as well as what the goals and/or roadmap is for their organization over the coming years
  • Several attendees stopped by our booth to chat about APIs, events, and process automation, what these processes entail, as well as how they are performing integrations as of today
  • Bill Onion over at Briteskies hosted a great session exploring several integration methodologies, pros and cons of each, as well as crucial points to keep in mind related to security
Time spent exploring the Fort Worth area

Time spent exploring the Fort Worth area

  • Always nice to stretch the legs after expo hours 🙂
  • Several cool restaurants, historic buildings, and plaza’s just minutes away from the conference center
  • Little Red Wasp was one of our favorite food & drink spots

Partnerships

  • Seemed to be on the agenda for several vendors around the general vicinity of our booth
  • One interesting note was the eagerness of international IBM business partners who are seeking to expand their partner network in order to provide more diverse offerings to their existing customers
  • I’ve had the chance to join several conferences during my time here at Infoview and noticed a lot more emphasis on the partnership side of things this year alone
  • Despite the busyness in our day-to-day office activities managing projects with existing customers and working on various internal initiatives, partnerships can offer key areas of value and should not be overlooked. You never know when a conversation could spark into a referral or joint engagement.

IBM’s continued investment in the “i”

  • IBM hosted a huge booth and had several senior members of their team in attendance
  • It was great to see their reps interacting with attendees and even stopping by vendor booths to see what each attending team had to offer
  • A member of the IBM team stopped by our booth to chat about our experience with customers reliant on the IBM i system, specifically with areas of frustration/improvement related to user experience
  • Last but not least, the team unveiled the new soon to be released IBM i mini
Common PowerUp Fort Worth 2024-Conference floor IBMi

Conclusions

  • Despite the constant chatter noting many organizations relying on the system will be migrating off, it’s very apparent that many plan to remain on the platform and are still willing to invest in new tools and resources to expand system functionality
  • Conferences like COMMON are an ideal gathering place to meet fellow enthusiasts, partners, as well as existing customers you may not get to connect with in person normally.
    • We had the chance to join one of our longstanding customers for lunch as well as another for a much-needed on-site visit – (always nice to attach a voice to a face!)
    • Being that almost everyone in the field works remote and seems to be the new norm for most of us the IT field, it’s important to attend in-person events, especially for the younger generation who may have never attended an event like this before
  • Time spent with fellow attendees during the conference is just as valuable as time spent after. Whether it be at a bar or similar activity, it’s always nice to hear great stories, banter, as well as talk about experiences outside of the “usual” realm of work activities. Much thanks to the Briteskies team on hosting us for a night out!
  • Investing time to chat with student attendees as well as those seeking their next job opportunity is equally important as gathering sales leads
    • As much as it’s great to grow your existing base of customers and/or partners, there’s a lot of notable talent out there that could very well bring new perspectives to your team

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