The 2023 COMMON Europe Congress (CEC) was held last week in Prague, Czech Republic. The Congress is one of the largest educational conventions representing IBM Power System users in Europe. This year’s event featured record attendance. The conference was genuinely electric with so many enthusiastic personalities from over 20 different countries.
The event featured many friendly faces from COMMON North America and the Large User Group (LUG). COMMON Europe continues to set the standard high with a collaboration extending to all COMMON communities. Check out our team’s key takeaways from this year’s event below.
What is the COMMON Europe Congress?
COMMON Europe is an IT user community of IBM based solutions. Founded in Switzerland in 1962, the COMMON Europe Congress is Europe’s largest Power Systems community. It encourages members to exchange experience and information related to the use of IT.
COMMON Europe also offers its members advanced education and training in IT, as well as encouraging ongoing and open dialogue between members and IBM. As an umbrella organization, COMMON Europe is committed to supporting its member countries, in achieving their mission at the national level.
The COMMON Europe Congress featured over 200 high-quality educational sessions over the four-day event. Speakers and keynotes covered every facet from IBM Power hardware to IBM Storage, modernization, and much more.
Connectria shared our modernization strategy in our “Why Cloud, Why Not?” session presented by IBM SMEs Richard Dolewski and David Wilderman. The session was well received as they addressed how business leaders can overcome resistance to change and mitigate risks while providing business value.
“It was exciting to catch up with old friends and meet new faces. I’ve been a SME at COMMON North America and Europe for 20+ years. It was a pleasure and an honor to speak at this year’s conference, and to share some of my knowledge with the international #ibmi community,” said Richard Dolewski, Connectria, VP of Enterprise Solutions.
Read our article: What IT Modernization Really Means for IBM Power Systems Users.
Top IT concerns remain focused on cybersecurity, modernization, HA/DR, and addressing skills gaps. Many organizations are embarking on IBM i transformation and application modernization as part of a broader digital transformation strategy. Connectria stands out with the product roadmap to meet the challenges to manage cost, complexity, skills gaps, and data migration by embracing a multi-cloud foundation.
It’s no surprise that cybersecurity was a hot topic, especially considering it’s the most consistent data point in Fortra’s 2023 IBM i Marketplace Survey. The report points to an increase since last year’s results, with 68% of respondents saying this was their number one concern, up from 62% last year. Organizations with concerns over IBM i cybersecurity skills can find support to fill skill gaps from managed security services providers, like Connectria.
At the expo, the most notable conversations revolved around, “What is hybrid cloud?” and “Benefits of embracing cloud”. A hybrid cloud infrastructure blends compute, storage, and other components from on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services, with the public cloud of your choosing. Hybrid cloud enables you to integrate cloud-based resources with legacy IT applications, effectively bridging the gap between where you are today and planning for where you want to be.
Many businesses today need to decide if modernization or re-platforming is the next step in their IT journey. The Connectria team invited expo attendees to first consider that modernizing provides increased efficiency leading to business innovation opportunities.
Read our article: Mainframe Modernization: What You Need to Know.
IBM i Anniversary
The upcoming IBM i anniversary was also recognized at CEC 2023. IBM i turns 35 today, June 21, 2023. IBM i (formerly AS/400, iSeries, and System i) continues to run applications and process data for businesses, just as it was designed to do back in 1988.
Technology has evolved in so many ways over the last 35 years from the come and go of minicomputer competitors, the arrival of client/server Windows systems, the explosion of Unix systems based on RISC architectures that formed the early commercial Internet, and more. Now we find ourselves in the age of big data and the growing advent of AI. The fact that IBM i is still kicking butt and taking names in the industries for which it was designed – financial services, retail, distribution, manufacturing – is remarkable.
Connectria started its business with the AS/400, helping grow this platform into today’s leading hybrid cloud offering serving business users worldwide. That platform continues to evolve to meet the needs of business leaders. We feel excited about the road ahead as the true strength of IBM i is in the people and the business it serves.
Connectria is the largest provider of IBM Power Systems cloud hosting and managed services in North America. We proudly operate a 24×7 world-class monitoring and systems administration center for all of the IBM environments we host and support. We help business leaders realize higher uptime and reliability while enabling their internal IT staff to spend time focusing on more strategic business initiatives.
Where IBM i Meets AWS
The journey across the pond to meet with the international COMMON and IBM i communities was great! Our team loved connecting with IBM leaders and experts, sharing Connectria’s unique IBM on-net with AWS solution, and meeting with business partners and customers.
Connectria continues to share our expertise and portfolio of leading services and unique solutions. If you’re interested in learning more about our IBM on-net solution or have questions about hybrid cloud and IBM modernization opportunities, reach out to one of our experts below.