• Subject: In conclusion: IBM Spin Doctors on AS/400 Marketing
  • From: "Al Barsa, Jr." <barsa@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 03 Dec 1997 10:58:03 -0500


This is really an open letter to IBM Rochester/Somers, with a   cc: to
midrange-l.  I have reversed the addresses for reasons that will become
obvious below. 

Well, it's been over two months since I made my comments at Soundoff about
the lack of AS/400 marketing communications and AS/400 Education.  (These
comments are available electronically, but I have NO intention of
broadcasting them publically.)  It's fair to say that some at IBM were
unhappy with my Soundoff comments, yet others were happy with my comments.

Many unhappy IBM execs responded by indicating that the only people who
held this opinion were consultants.  Whereas, it is plausible that this
might be true, however I AM OF THE OPINION that anyone who holds that
belief has an IQ so low that when you square it, you get a lower number.
On the otherhand, maybe I am a cretin (I know of an IBM VP who thought so,
but he's gone now!), and that everyone else is all correct.  After all, it
was the same group of people who told me I was 'all wrong about V3R1'.  (It
would be fair to note that I understand more about the IBM marketing and
education processes now, that I did at Soundoff, but I want this work to be
reflective of the perception in the marketplace today.  I may be commenting
on these things in the future.)

Never the less, my note to Midrange-L spawned about 115 responses.  As many
of you have asked, I have retained all of these responses. (I eliminated
irrelevant responses and redundant at-a-boys.... )  

I am looking for an IBM volunteer to compile a summary of the responses.  I
ask for an IBM volunteer, because there are many IBM execs with a lot of
time on their hands now, given the fact that they have already been
(informally) told that they will be pink slipped on Dec 9.  These execs are
looking for other jobs within the corporation, and a good analytical piece
of work might help their job hunting.  (Although many to-be-pink-slipped
IBMers are working very hard at wrapping up projects [*WARPSPEED], there
are many others who are expending less than a full effort [*IMPULSEPOWER]
and have time on their hands.  I am looking for a volunteer, with the
backing of the AS/400 Division (or whatever it's called today).  Don't get
me wrong, there could also be an remaining IBMer who could champion this
cause, and delegate the work; never-the-less this a busy time at IBM.  (
(SOAPBOX(*ON) It's fourth quarter, and systems are FINALLY selling.
However the timing of our announcements is the subject of a different note.

So, I'm calling IBMers to respond this week, with AS/400 Division backing.
If no one comes forward, I will be looking for non-IBMers.  This raw data
is volatile (both good and bad), and I only intend to release it to someone
whom I considered responsible and qualified.  (The decision of the judges
are final.)

Lacking an IBM volunteer (who I consider would be a relatively impartial
individual, possibly biased to IBM), I will then be looking for a non-IBM
volunteer (who plausibly would be less favorably inclined to IBM).  (SO

Regardless of who does the work, I plan to audit the results.  If I find
the results to be innacurate, I don't know what I'll do, however I would be
willing to share those results with anyone IBMer/non-IBMer with a need to
know basis.  (The decisions of the judges is final.)

I have blind-copied this letter to a list of IBMers.  My intent was not to
single out any specific IBMers, because this is a Divisional problem as
opposed to an individual problem.  Trust me my bcc: is long enough that
someone at IBM should care and pick up the work (assuming that there's
someone left who cares).  If there's no IBM response, I will seek a
non-IBMer and portions my bcc: list will make it to next week's a cc: list.

Thank you for your attention and support.


Al Barsa, Jr.
Barsa Consulting, LLC
400 > 390

Phone:  914-251-9400
Fax:    914-251-9406

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