As everyone probably knows by know the big issue at COMMON was one of
marketing and educational relationships.  Both of these points were
hammered in at the soundoff session.

Marketing/Brand Image

If you have complaints, ideas, or concerns about marketing and the AS/400
brand image Julie Furey is the IBMer that has overall responsibility for
this.  She can be reached at jfurey@vnet.ibm.com.

Malcolm Haines was present at COMMON.  I believe Malcolm works for Julie
but I am not sure about the relationship.  He works in this area and I
found him to very interesting and approachful.  He gave a session on the
AS/400 brand image and I found it to very enlightning.  Malcolm is
responsible for the CD-ROM 'The Case for the AS/400' which I found to be
interesting and entertaining.  If interested you can reach him at
mhaines@us.ibm.com.   I think he would be very interested to hear our
opinions.

Education

I had heard a rumor before COMMON about some sort of educational program
that IBM had in place and was suprised to find out that it did exist and
had for some time.  Another one of IBM's best kept secrets.  They do have
information available on the web site.  I had a hard time finding it but I
will include the text of this page.  If you are interested on the Partner's
In Education program and want to find out more you can email
pie@vnet.ibm.com.  BTW, I am planning on inundating some colleges in my
area with information about PIE and the AS/400 (cost of ownership, OS
reviews, DB reviews, ComputerWorld reader surveys, and other white papers).
Here is the text from the PIE page:

AS/400 Partners in Education

 Partners in Education is a unique program designed to
 expand AS/400 skills in the marketplace.

 Through this program an IBM Business Partner or Customer
 can sponsor a college or university. IBM will donate an
 AS/400 system to the school and the Business Partner or
 Customer and school will work together to develop a
 curriculum to meet the needs of the sponsor and the
 surrounding business community.

 Benefits
 Working together means we all benefit. Business Partners
 are able to develop and enhance their AS/400 skilled
 resource base. Universities can develop a comprehensive
 curriculum to meet market needs and increase student
 placement rates. IBM can expand AS/400 awareness and skills
 to meet customer and Business Partner needs. Students
 develop practical skills that will enable graduates to get
 a good job - FAST!

 How the Partners in Education Program Works

 IBM Business Partner or Customers:

    * Submits proposals to IBM outlining plans for
      partnership
    * Installs CPU and provides entry level education to
      facility participants
    * Provides ongoing support and assistance to education
      partner
    * Ensures that a satisfactory curriculum is developed
      and implemented; reviews curriculum annually with
      partner

 IBM

    * Donates AS/400 with software to the college or
      university
    * Ships CPU directly to sponsor or school
    * Provides ongoing educational opportunities to facility

 College/University

    * Develops and implements (with sponsor) AS/400
      curriculum
    * Responsible for any additional upgrades, features and
      peripherals

 Additional information
 For additional information about the Partners In Education
 program E-Mail:
 pie@vnet.ibm.com.

 Or to view a list of colleges/universities with AS/400
 programs follow this link:
 Colleges/Universities providing AS/400 curriculum

 Testimonials
 Enterprise Rent-A-Car views this program as a true win-win
 situation: the opportunity to expand our greatest asset -
 our people - while providing a valuable service to the
 community."

 Craig Kennedy
 Enterprise Rent-A-Car

 "This program provides a much-needed link between the
 academic environment and the workplace."

 Arkansas Systems, Inc.
 ARKSYS

 "Our relationship with our sponsor, First Coast Systems,
 has been a win-win relationship...We're seeing more of our
 graduates move into the AS/400 world."

 Max Burns
 Georgia Southern University


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