You make some excellent points in your post.  I have purchased a few
AS400s from IBM over the years, as part of the partners in development
program.  It is a very tedious and frustrating process.  Even ordering
additional LICPGM for our box is a huge pain in butt.  The bottom line
is, I'd rather deal with the IRS than IBM.  I think the IRS has less

Carl J. Galgano
EDI Consulting Services, Inc.
550 Kennesaw Avenue, Suite 800
Marietta, GA  30060
(770) 422-2995 - voice
(419) 730-8212 - fax
AS400 EDI, Networking, E-Commerce and Communications Consulting and
Premium Ice Cream Brands shipped Overnight
FREE AS/400 Timesharing Service -
"You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know" - rw

Dave's self proclaimed "long post":

No only is nobody "cold calling" it's almost impossible to buy an
Iseries unless you know who or what to look for.  While IBM has a
listing in the Yellow Pages, a call to IBM will not turn up a solution
or referral in most cases.

I few years ago, we thought the county would take on a new business
function (Mental Health) that would require new software.  Just to see
how hard it would be for a new customer (without any iseries info) to
end up with a as/400 (or anything from IBM), I called the Yellow Pages
listed number for IBM.  Their reply was to call IBM Direct.  IBM Direct
told me they only sold hardware and sent me back to the IBM regional
office.  Then they sent me back to IBM Direct (this was starting to be a
quest by now).  IBM Direct told me they didn't sell software and
couldn't help me, at which time I told them "NO YOU ARE GOING TO HELP
ME!"  They then asked (called) somewhere and got me a few BP or ISV's
names (not contact info, but names).  They didn't know if these business
were good, crooks, still in business, even if they worked with as/400,
mainframes, pc's, etc.

The question then is, if a new customer has to go through that many
steps, dead ends and finally, force someone to help them get a solution,
how can you possibly get new customers?

The whole government market in NC (which is quite large) doesn't have an
IBM marketing rep in the State.  OTOH, I can have anybody I want from M$
(and I'm not their biggest fan, either) in my office at anytime (ditto,
with many PC and Unix vendors, as well). When we, as a group, got real
loud about some Microsoft problems, the top "Government Manager" in
Redmond came and visited several of us.

I always hear BP's cry about IBM iseries advertisements (or the lack
thereof), but business owners, CEO's, etc will never ask for an iseries
because they saw an ad.  They will call IBM because they expect a
solution and they expect IBM to be able to help (or they saw a solution
listed in a trade ad).  Usually they're not even thinking platform. That
means IBM has to knock on doors, field calls intelligently, have
Marketing Rep's and SE's that can explain the various products and
product lines, to customers.

IBM has to understand, that good, quality vendors selling solutions,
sell the iseries platform.  IBM then needs know about them, know how
good they are and refer the best ones.

Sorry about the long reply, but I think it's as least as important and
Enron, and Lou G. selling stock.

David Boling

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