COMMON is still the largest single vendor conference on the planet.  I'm
surprised that the many non-IBMer who serve this marketplace don't go out
and put together their own where there is some equal footing with IBM.  If
you compete against IBM with an equal or better product, there is no real
place to present.  IBM overwhelms you at COMMON.  My gripe.

I had a great time meeting fellow midrange-lers who were everywhere.  I
worked the LUG booth at the Expo and talked to lots of people.  It was nice
to be that and not selling something.  So many seem so distrustful of
non-IBM vendors yet use their products (are they distrustful of IBM
equally?) but considering the comments about agressive sales folks jumping
out getting bus cards, votes on best toy, and, shudder,shudder (Don, SOY)
votes on best babe, I can see why the expo fails....cynical, cynical...

Tere was lots of talk about vols working side by side with paid COMMON
staff.  Some have thrown in the towel on COMMON after 15 COMMON's and will
not attend again in disgust.  COMMON's position is that the fare went up
brom $500 to $1000 because of losing $100/person/COMMON and that has to
stop for a 501(C3).  Additionally, COMMON maintains that they were
essentially contracting out services for $4 mil and think they can do it
in-house for $3 mil.  COMMON has become a big time business.  It is no
longer the user's group of yesteryear.  

Our local users group, ACCP, went through a similar schism where half of
the members walked out.  After a couple of year of running it as a business
(losing money even though dues and events were high$) it has gone back to
lower dues and total volunteer.  Wonder what will become of COMMON.

Anyway, my take.  Great to see so many midrange-lers.  

Hey David, how about you spearheading a USA wide users group to replace
COMMON?

Jerry

At 12:40 PM 3/13/99 -0500, you wrote:
>Hey,
>
>        If any of you COMMON attendees have recovered from your travels how
>about a dissertation on the conference, Mom, and CUDS.
>
>        :-)   JMS....


Jerry Draper, Trilobyte Software Systems, since 1976
Specializing in connecting PC's, Windows, MAC's, and LAN's to the AS/400
Representing Synapse, Apple, IBM, UDS, Nlynx, MI, DCI, Netsoft, etc.
(415) 457-3431; (415) 258-1658fax; jdraper@wco.com
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