• Subject: Re: IBM Spin Doctors on AS/400 Marketing
  • From: DAsmussen@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 20:05:53 -0400 (EDT)

Al,

In a message dated 97-10-21 12:18:41 EDT, you write:

> For those of you who were NOT at Soundoff at COMMON in San Antonio.  I was
>  the first speaker (kind of a tradition), and I spoke about four topics
(and
>  my conclusions):
<<snip>> 
>  3.  AS/400 Marketing as perceived by installed base and mass public  
>       a critical problem in my opinion (and the topic of this post)
<<snip>>  
>  Well, as it turns out, Rochester is very upset about what I said about
>  marketing - item 3.  (I did not blind-side them about this fact, they knew
>  in advance.)  In fact there is a broad tradition of IBM being unhappy
about
>  what I say at Soundoff. The last time they were unhappy, I was complaining
>  about V3R1 quality.  (20/20 hindsight being what it is, I probably
>  shouldn't have used the word 'sucks'.)
>  
>  I spoke about the effectiveness of AS/400 marketing, Bob Tipton spoke
about
>  it, and the audience applauded robustly and lengthy for each of us, as
they
>  did for the others that followed us.  In fact, this is documented in IBM's
>  internal minutes from Soundoff.
>  
>  Personally, I've taken a lot of heat from Rochester.  When I attended the
>  Rochester Summit (a Business Partner event) two weeks ago, an IBM VP
>  attempted to perform rectal surgery on me (a polite way of saying... -
>  something better done by the Mayo clinic).

Yeah, someone posted an address a week or so ago to write regarding IBM's
marketing efforts.  I wrote and waxed (rather eloquently, IMHO) about the
effectiveness of the old M*A*S*H commercials, and how I now earn my living
from the platform but remember those commercials from the days that I didn't
(or any OTHER IBM iron, for that matter).  I also mentioned that the prior
week's USA Today "e-business" insert didn't even mention the AS/400 by name.
 I got back a response from the addressee's assistant, and a pretty much
boiler-plated "thanks, but no thanks -- we think we're doing fine".  WOW!
 The AS/400(e) was actually mentioned by name twice in this week's insert...

>  Now, the IBM spin doctors are saying that it was non-customers who were
>  complaining, not customers.  Let me say once and for all, the AS/400
>  Division has a communications problem.  I hear it every day from my
>  customers, and from AS/400 users throughout the world.  IBM would like you
>  to feel that this is a Business Partner issue, however this is a
>  diversionary tactic.  This is the equivalent of putting their heads in the
>  sand. (You would need a big desert, *SAHARA.)

Yeah, right!  It's the non-customers who can't find talent because nobody has
heard about the box.  From what I hear, IBM is again doing its level best to
toast the BP program -- especially "Partners in Development".  I think that
your desert should be *MARS.

>  The AS/400 is the best computer platform in the world, and the AS/400 is
>  IBM's best kept corporate secret.  (After all, Microsoft uses it!  Not to
>  mention a wealth of other technology firms like Gateway 2000, Packard
Bell,
>  COMP USA and Nintendo.)  We (AS/400 Divison, IBM BPs and AS/400 users)
>  are ineffective at communicating this message to the general public.

Hoooo-aaahhhhh!

>  If you hear this response from an IBM spin doctor, please set them
straight.

You betcha'!

>  PS:  This message has been blind copied to the appropriate people at IBM.
>  I purposely decided to not list them to avoid them being bothered.  I've
>  bothered them enough recently.

It would probably annoy them more than help us if everyone else piled on...

>  PPS: An IBM exec asked me to take the word 'bullshit' out of this memo,
and
>  I was happy to oblige.

Al, I'm having difficulty calculating just how many spots in this note that
that word should have come out of ;-)...

Keep It Up!

Dean Asmussen
Enterprise Systems Consulting, Inc.
Fuquay-Varina, NC  USA
E-Mail:  DAsmussen@aol.com

"A true friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere
else." -- Len Wein
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