Something I have been wanting to bring up but have not had the time.
In reading analysis's articles and IBM reports over the past few months, it seems that IBM's business model has changed - and for good reason. IBM revenue mainly comes from support, software and centers that provide value to customers. Now, a smaller and smaller percentage of the gross revenue comes from hardware or OS sales or lease. This is true even in the UNIX market place where AIX is gaining market share while the actual sales volume is shrinking.
Unfortunately, the i requires little support and apparently does not fit the new business model well in a very key respect. As I understand the situation, selling and supporting IBM i may end up as a break even investment, or worse. In the final analysis, the same may also become true for AIX.
On the other hand, IBM i is a very flexible and scalable system and, given the opportunity, could displace some very lucrative mainframe business. Therefore, IBM cannot afford to loose control of the IBM i to a competitor, i.e. sell it off.
The key to IBM i survival then becomes, how can IBM fit IBM i into it's revenue model? Obviously, deploying it in their user centers could save them a lot of revenue IF the software demanded by IBM users runs on IBM i. Are there ways that we, the IBM i community, can address this question and get enough IBM attention to sell the ideas?
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