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The Power of User Groups

User groups are not only a great source of information about the latest Power software and hardware, they're also the ideal place to meet and network with fellow users.

A photograph of a middle-aged man with grey hair, glasses, and a suit. The background is a maze of grey blocks with pink in between.

Image by Photo by Craig Washburn

User groups have been an integral part of the IBM Power Systems* community for many years, from the Technical Collaboration Council to the Large User Group (the-lug.com). IBM i Offering Manager Alison Butterill often says that “user groups are a hidden gem of IBM i.” This true statement can be extended to AIX* and Linux* as well.

Community engagement is crucial to Power Systems. IBM relies on the community to provide feedback and insights to what they would like to see from us—from development to marketing—to serve our clients and users better. User groups are not only a great source to learn new information about the latest Power* software and hardware, but they are also the ideal place to meet and network with fellow users. One of their best features is the continuous learning environment. Most attendees are volunteers who strive to help educate fellow users, sharing how they are utilizing the platform in new and innovative ways, while also learning from their peers.

“User groups are a great opportunity to network with other Power Systems advocates and learn about the latest technologies on Power. I can do my job better and more productively.”
—Kody Robinson, developer, Kansas Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation.

User groups are not limited to North America. A thriving global network is available, providing endless opportunities for everyone to take advantage of the latest information, see demos produced by IBM Lab Services or hear about future releases of new offerings.

New faces are attending user groups as well, and it is great to see the next generation take interest in the Power Systems platform and technologies. Last year I met two people who stood out, Liam Allan and Kody Robinson. Both won innovation awards at COMMON in 2016 for their impressive work using IBM i. Kody modernized RPG at his company and helped implement newer solutions. Liam created his own open-source language on IBM i. It’s exciting to see what developers and administrators are doing to push the boundaries of what’s possible with Power Systems. These innovators are helping their companies modernize and extend their AIX and IBM i environments with mobile applications and by incorporating advanced analytics to transform their businesses.

Our users are very influential, and user groups provide valuable experiences and insights that help our development teams improve products and even create new ones to better serve our Power Systems community. To learn more about user groups and to find one near you, check out the Power Systems Community site (ibm.co/2hKUOR9).

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