Pow! Wow!

November 12th, 2012
Ron Gordon
Director of Power Systems

The IBM Power Technical University in Las Vegas Oct 29 – Nov 2 was a great success. To start, the conference had a record number of attendees, despite the impact that Hurricane Sandy had on travel. (IBM’s Colin Parrish did not make it and he was the key note speaker!) And the conference offered the most technical sessions ever, which we techies appreciated.

The “WOW” factor in the keynote sessions was on the future…where is Power now and where is it going? Several “future” views were discussed regarding where Power can make a difference for all businesses. Topics included Big Data, Cloud support, price/performance, and automated system administration for implementation, provisioning, and tuning. IBM provided a view of Power8 (that it is running in the lab!) and announced that Power9 is on the drawing board.

Overall the attitude of the attendees seemed a lot more positive and inquisitive than previous events. Probably because there are so many new and exciting things happening in the Power world!

The energy did not die when the day sessions were over! On Tuesday night, we hosted customers at a reception and were able to chat with many of our key customers. All enjoyed a fierce game of Power Systems Jeopardy. And on Wednesday night, attendees heard the story of the “Miracle on the Hudson” directly from Captain Sullenberger – the amazing pilot who landed his plane safely back in 2009.

In addition to meeting with customers and introducing ourselves to potential customers, our Power team was able to squeeze in some important time with key IBM leaders. We had lively discussion around future marketing programs, pricing and product information. These were beneficial conversations and reinforced Mainline’s strength as a business partner.

I presented at six sessions, all had improved attendance over 2011. Comments from the Power Server Differentiation were generally, “I never knew that!” The What is Linux and the Managing Linux presentations received comments like “lots of good information!” One person after the session said that if they had known this previously, they would have implemented the Cognos solution on Power instead of x86.

Now I will try to be a little modest….I was brought up on stage in the main tent and identified as one of the two latest IBM Champions. The Champion Program recognizes individuals who make a lot of contributions to IBM communities by promoting IBM solutions, sharing their knowledge and expertise. Yes, I do a lot of stuff to promote Power – more speaking opps than I can keep up with. But it is something I enjoy and happen to know a lot about. Really caught me off guard when several people later in the week said to me…”you were up on the stage at the kickoff, right??”

The 2013 Power Tech University will be in Bonnett Creek, Orlando. There will be a Power Tech Symposium (smaller Tech U) in 1Q on the east coast but the location has not been chosen yet.

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