Tuesday, September 13, 2005

IBM's Sametime, QuickPlace, and AS/400

"IBM Lotus Sametime and IBM Lotus QuickPlace take back their names, move forward with the IBM Lotus Notes/Domino 7 release"

This is discussed at http://www-306.ibm.com/software/swnews/swnews.nsf/n/nhan6fzfhw?OpenDocument&Site=lotus which goes on to say:

“At the 2005 Global Customer Partner Council,” he says, “our presenters received two standing ovations — one when we announced the name change back to Sametime, and one when we announced the name change back to QuickPlace. These are some of our very best customers, and we hadn’t even shown them features yet, and they stood and applauded the names.”

Marshak attributes the overwhelmingly positive reaction not so much to the old and familiar names as to what they represent to customers.“It’s really an indication that we’re listening and that we’re giving customers what they want,” he says. “They want the products to be called Sametime and QuickPlace because these names reflect the reasons they bought the products, their need for strong real-time and team collaboration within the enterprise. And they signify our continuing commitment to and investment in these products, and in the Notes/Domino platform as a whole.”So for me it was unfortunate that very well-understood name of the IBM Application System/400 (AS/400) had to be rebranded as the iSeries! (I'm using a shorthand notation here, not the official, long-winded full product names.)
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When the Application System/400 (AS/400) was announced in 1988, the clear branding message was that its prime purpose was to be an APPLICATION SYSTEM (that is, an application-delivery platform).

Yes, I know that IBM later decided to rebrand all of its four platform ranges as e-business servers, hence the eServer generic platform name (with the four platform lines: zSeries, pSeries, iSeries and zSeries), and there is a good amount of rationality in this.

But with the rebranding, unless you know the background it no longer is immediately obvious (from the name alone) that the iSeries is still primarily an application platform -- at least, I assume that it's prime purpose in life is as such.

So here's my jaunty request for IBM to change the name iSeries back to AS/400 again, for the same reason that Sametime and QuickPlace got their old names back!

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