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Safe and Warm with IBM

December 7, 2010

Spent the week back East last week in New York and Connecticut. Weather was extreme to say the least, but happily it didn’t impact me. I was safe and warm in the confines of the Hilton at IBM’s premier softwre analysts’ conference. That’s an annual two day event which provides an opportunity for industry analysts to hear presentations and discuss strategies with IBM’s top executives. It’s always a very impressive event and this year was no exception.

Of course there’s more to hear about from IBM than two days would allow for, so even with the personalized schedule I probably missed more than I heard. The keynotes were great – Steve Mills is a dynamic, clear and and entertaining speaker as are his direct reports. Breakouts addressed specific areas – I loved the one by Craig Hayman outlining how IBM can assist with a company’s commerce all the way from smart marketing campaigns (thanks to their Unica acquisition) right down to delivery. I didn’t know IBM did that, but they have a really robust capability throughout the entire marketing and sales cycle.

They also had “hot topic” discussion forums which turned out to be extremely interesting. One on fast application development for Z Enterprise turned into a philosophical debate between Hayden Lindsey from the Rational tool group and James Governor, who is well known to many. James presented the idea that developers today don’t want to learn Cobol and target mainframes and legacy systems – so they are not going do it – and soon their will be no one to maintain older systems.. Hayden, on the other hand felt it was a matter of management instructing their employees who happen to be developers to learn Cobol if necessary and work on legacy systems because they’re getting paid to do a job. Hmmm In today’s ecomony which do you think is most likely true?

A very pleasant surprise was a whole session outlining IBM’s mobile strategy – complete with tools, infrastructure, middleware and services that stretch across all of IBM to support mobile devices. This was the first I had heard of this cross-IBM initiative, but they have fleshed it out quite well.

Time flies and soon it will the holiday – have a great one!

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