• Subject: Re: IBM Spin Doctors on AS/400 Marketing
  • From: John Hall <jhall@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 14:15:43 -0500

Chris Rehm wrote:
> 1
> >Well, the bitch was that we disagreed with the way the money was spent.
> That
> >situation has not changed.  As an AS/400 professional, I still have to
> >_SEARCH_ for any advertising related to the /400.  The ads that I
> remember in
> >1980 attracted my attention even though I _WASN'T_ an AS/400 professional.
> > "Computer Geeks" don't buy AS/400's, Management does.  If management
> isn't
> >familiar with the box, management buys what they learned in school (HP/9K,
> >DEC, or Tandem).
> Bullshit. "I want a new GL/AP system, buy me that HP I learned about in
> school!"
> No freaking way.
> Customers care about their own business. I just can't picture a VP of
> Finance calling the MIS department and saying, "Hey, I just saw a great
> advertisement for an AS/400. Is there some way we can get one of those to
> do accounting with?"
Well I can tell you it happened to me !!!

One portion of the management staff tried to force - they may still
suceed - us to dump our AS400 because it is old technology (unix & NT
are going to replace it), IBM is merging the AS400 & RS6000 because they
know the AS400 is on the way out etc etc etc.  AS400 was too expensive
and no modern software was available for our applications (ie not green

And yes the solution they offered was an HP9000 

Of course this was all BS but I was forced to defend a working system
against untried "NEW" technology.
This started about 9 months ago & is still going on.

IBM builds a good machine but they are weak on promoting it.

> People buy solutions. Hardware is only the solution if the problem was
> hardware.

Perception is 9/10ths of reality so if the problem is perceived to be
hardware then the solution lies
with other hardware ... !NOT

The problem is every consultant out there can sell you an NT based
solution and install it.  What IBM 
needs to push is the AS400 as a business solution.  Most consultants
which have come in and talk trash 
about the AS400 - why ?  Because they don't know anything about it &
they can't make any money off of 
it.  Not because the software package looks better but because the
system is a better long term 
investment.  What they seem to be pushing now is that the AS400 has
caught up to unix/Nt in providing internet capabilities. 

I need my managers to hear about how great IBM's AS400 is from somebody
other than myself.  I can bring in a business partner to talk about it
but the managers will just say 'yeah but that's all they know'.

As far as customers who want upgrades to old hardware (ie CISC V3R3) we
are one of those customers.
Why - because if we have to buy a new AS400 right now it might be an HP
9000.  The more life we can coax out of our existing system (1993 - try
running NT on a 4-5 year box) the better the As400 should look to the
bean counters. 

John L. Hall
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