• Subject: Re: IBM Spin Doctors on AS/400 Marketing
  • From: "Chris Rehm" <Mr.AS400@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 22:53:22 -0700

>1.) A lot of computer decisions have the look of a logical analytical
>when in reality it is an emotional biased decision.

I think this is more the lower end than higher end. I also think this is
where the bleed over from consumer purchasing affects MIS. That's because
idiots making an NT purchase (not all NT purchases are buy idiots, that's
just my example here) expect their enterprise wide application to run on
the $1000 Computer City special they bought. The spending and expectations
grow and grow, pulling cash and resources from MIS to support these

But I think that higher end decisions are made primarily analytically.
Now, that doesn't mean without bias. After all, if I had two choices that
were roughly equivelant, I would pick the AS/400 one. 

>2.) A lot of us are tired of battling these perceptions on an ongoing

I imagine that IBM is probably tired of that too.

>3.) Our perception on the AS/400 is not 100% unemotional - we are
>humans after all.
4.) Ads are not the sole answer and not even the most important - we are
talking about marketing not just advertising.

Umm, isn't that what the whole Java and Notes thing is all about???!!! Are
we so damn blind that we can't see that IBM is using the important
technologies of today to market the AS/400? 

Okay, so what is the concept that we are trying to get across to IBM then?
If it isn't ads and it isn't staying on the leading edge of technology
(without losing reliability) the what is it??? 

I'm sorry, I thought what was being asked here was for IBM to put money
into advertisements for the AS/400. I must have misunderstood what I was
reading before. Please bring me up to date, what is it that is being asked

>1.) IBM has tauted the AS/400 as 'the server of choice' but done it

Rochester may have, but the RS/6000 group doesn't seem to concur. I would
guess that the mainframe guys don't buy it either, because I have seen
S/390 ads touting it as a web server.

>2.) I'm sure it's just an example but the AS/400 has blown away the
>in profitability for years.  The PC people have also been on questionable
>for years.

Well, I know that the AS/400 division does show the highest margin.
However, it is my understanding that that IS the RS/6000 division. They
are simply different groups (brands) within the division. But that trend
may or may not be holding. After all, if (as has been pointed out) market
momentum is moving toward NT, then wouldn't it be brighter of IBM to
simply keep their PC based servers ahead of the crowd and train up on NT

>3.) There are a number of Industry reports that tend to indicate that the
>is a superior machine compared to any other platform - why not treat it as

There are a number of reports that state NT/Unix/Novell/etc. is the best

>I think one of the things that most of us desire is for IBM to not take
>this thing lying
>down which is the impression most of us get.  I truly feel that a lot of
>long time
>AS/400 advocates are tired of fighting a battle that should be IBM's to
>some degree.

I would hardly call all the work IBM has done and is doing with the AS/400
as "taking it lying down". Of course, until Notes and Java are actually
released products on the AS/400 it is a little tougher to pat anyone on
the back. But I think this is exactly what IBM needs to do. Bring
functions to the AS/400. Advertise the functionality. Then, you aren't
locked out of shops with NT or Unix bias. Get in there and pitch a
solution. If the best solution is the AS/400, then sell it. 

Chris Rehm
You have to ask yourself, "How often can I afford to be unexpectedly out of 
Get an AS/400.
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