IBM i revival – A well attended event and an upbeat atmosphere
The International i-Power Conference, hosted by i-UG (the UK IBM i User Group), is the annual gathering of IBM i enthusiasts from across the UK. As a proud i-UG member LANSA was one of 21 sponsors at this year’s conference.
This event was held earlier this month at the Executive Centre at Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire, UK. The two-day conference consisted of in-depth educational workshops and a multi-stream session day delivering up-to-date information on the IBM i and POWER System platform.
I personally attend this conference each year, and I can honestly say that the 2015 event was the best one yet. There are many measures one can use to assess ‘best,’ but in my opinion this event was in a great location, superb venue, high attendance, great speakers, increased sponsors, new faces and an ‘upbeat’ atmosphere. We had more conversations this year than we had at the previous three events. This is why I sub-titled this article “IBM i Revival’.
At this year’s event LANSA’s theme focused on software development tools and solutions for continuous innovation on the IBM i. For nearly 30 years, LANSA has enabled organizations to innovate on the IBM i platform. From Client Server to Web, from Mobile to Cloud, LANSA has allowed thousands of companies worldwide to remain agile, adapt to change and be ready for the next technology wave.
Visitors to LANSA’s booth were offered insights into some of our new ‘game changing’ Web development capability coming along with Visual LANSA v14. We were also showcasing our Mobile App Development tool – LongRange, which now has native support for Windows tablets and desktop/laptop computers.
This year LANSA was especially proud to welcome along one of our key clients, the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) who presented at the conference.
The NSPCC is the UK’s leading children’s charity fighting to end child abuse – the NSPCC works directly with children and families from its 40 service centre’s across the UK and is the UK’s only children’s charity with statutory powers, meaning it can take action to safeguard children at risk of abuse.
Their presentation – titled “Green Screen to Graphical User Interface” – was performed by three members of the Supporter Services team: Dawn Shortall, Hugh Harvard, and Senior Manager of Fund Raising, Alan Carter. The fantastic, insightful talk touched upon their recent experiences with LANSA who helped transform their system, which contains 6.2 million supporter details, into a more modern interface designed to improve operational efficiency and the supporter experience. Read the NSPCC’s case study.
Day 1 of the event concentrated solely on education with a series of workshops running parallel across five rooms. Topics covered were: SQL, DDS to DDL, VIOS, Open Source, Row Column Access Control, HA and Print Solutions.
Day 2 was opened by Mike Ryan, Chairman, Common UK and i-UG who, after welcoming delegates and setting the scene, introduced the Sponsor Speed Dating session, giving vendors their 30 seconds of fame to impress and wow the audience with their ‘wares’. The fame-seeker from LANSA this year was Peter Hawkes, UK Sales Manager, who opted to deliver a conservative pitch, highlighting LANSA’s new product innovations and inviting delegates to take a closer look at the NSPCC application.
IBM i evangelist, Alison Butterill who’s been IBM i Product Manager at IBM Corporation for four years, was next to take the stage with an informative update on all things IBM i. The session provided the audience with good insight into future developments around the platform and some predictions into what might be coming in the next OS release.
Following Alison, the event moved into parallel streams where delegates had the choice to attend sessions aligned specifically to their areas of interest. These sessions were delivered by a mix of speakers across the community, representing IBM, the vendor community and IBM i customers.
The i-UG will make the sessions available from their website in due course so keep checking in to http://www.i-ug.co.uk. While you are there, why not join the i-UG, visit their Membership pages for further details.
The event wrapped up with an ‘Ask the Experts’ session followed by Prize Draw Giveaways.
Raising funds for the NSPCC
Throughout the event LANSA collected monetary donations on behalf of the NSPCC, and pledged to fund match the total collected. The i-UG started the ball rolling with a very generous donation of £200. I am very proud to announce that we raised £302.02, which LANSA has now matched, resulting in a donation to the NSPCC of:
We thank everyone at the event for your kind donations to such a worthy cause.