• Subject: Re: CL enhancements
  • From: Chris Rehm <Mr.AS400@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 11:56:59 PDT

** Reply to note from Mark Lazarus <mlazarus@ttec.com> Sat, 21 Feb 1998 23:47:02

> I think we should stop making excuses for IBM and let IBM know that 
> despite the sizzling advances that will make the /400 cutting edge in a PC 
> market (i.e. Java, web serving), most of us are dealing w/ existing 
> application code that we will have to maintain and even add to for the 
> forseeable future.  Despite the wishful thinking / predictions of some, CL 
> and RPG are *not* obsolete.  The people and vendors that are buying, 
> writing and supporting application code on the /400 are expecting it to be 
> enhanced.  We expect the nuts and bolts to improve, more than (or at least 
> as much) as the snazzy GUI stuff.  If you look at the meat and potatoes of 
> the applications you'll probably agree that a GUI will not get your 
> invoices or pick tickets out any faster. 

Of course you are right in a practical sense, but perhaps wrong in an
economic one. 

I think part of what we are seeing is that those of us concerned about
practical matters, like existing installed apps, are becoming the vast
minority of the buying public. A company like IBM or Microsoft is in
business to make money. When the buyers want GUI, flash, and presentation
more than they want substance, performance, and dependability then IBM and
Microsoft cater to those demands to make money. 

IBM didn't follow this path quickly enough and it seemed as though they
were going to fail (the end of the Akers era). But they have learned it

I don't think IBM is in a position to try and win customers on technical
merit. Improving the infrastructure of the AS/400 will probably not make
them an additional dime. 

Take a look at it, what we (as IBM buyers) are asking for is to improve the
infrastructure of machines we already have so that we will not need to buy
new machines. We would also like to see these improvements for free. What
incentive does IBM have to fulfill this?

On the other hand, if IBM adds a bit of flash they can perhaps gain a
little market share. This means money coming in the door and new machines
going out. 

If you were an IBM manager, where would your priorities lie?

Okay, so let's try to put the request in a fashion that makes sense for IBM
to follow along. Add these improvements to 4.x only? Make them a cost
upgrade? Or show how they will sell more machines.

Your machine still does everything you bought it to do, this isn't a bug
fix or something that IBM promised you. So if you want something from the
vendor there should be a reason for the vendor to deliver.

I know that "Customer Goodwill" is going to pop up somewhere, so try and
quantify that. I mean, how many customers are going to note these
improvements and how many of the people who notice them are the people who
contribute to the buying decisions?

I am not against this! I am just trying to be practical.

>  -mark

Chris Rehm

How often can you afford to be unexpectedly out of business?
Get an AS/400.
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