Informing the IBM Community

i-UG born at packed UK conference


Frank Soltis at International i-Power
It’s official: Britain’s two IBM i user groups, NiSUG and the IBM CUA have merged and are now i-UG.

NiSUG chairman Mike Ryan and CUA/Common UK chairman Pat Flannery made the announcement yesterday at a packed International i-Power conference in Windsor.

NiSUG held its flagship event this year in close conjunction with Common Europe, the umbrella group for 15 national midrange user organisations. was media sponsor and our close collaborator NC Communications was show runner.

It was standing room only for star speakers like Paul Tuohy, Alison Butterill, Mike Pavlak and Steve Bradshaw. Specialist workshops on the first day of the event had been booked up weeks beforehand and there was a palpable buzz in the air.

A big British contingent of delegates was joined by colleagues from all across the continent including a cohort of IT students from Belgium.

Poland’s Waldek Puk, Common Europe president, made a short but heartfelt speech alluding to the magic of the user group experience. He was right on the money. No amount of consumption of online info can replicate the learning experience from listening to and conversing in person.

I, for one, learned more in about 36 hours than I have for months. A big thanks, therefore, to everyone who took the time to talk to me at the show.

Among my many highlights was the chance to have a good chat with Frank Soltis, known as the father of IBM’s Power i.

Frank’s keynote at the end of the conference (pictured) offered some intriguing insights into IBM and its Power technology and, in particular, the bright vista opened up for it by the OpenPower consortium.

Launched last year, the OpenPower initiative lets third-parties take IBM’s chip tech and do their own things with it. Google, famously, has already experimented with Power-driven motherboards it has made to its own designs.

With plenty of big players already on board, there is even the, perhaps slightly mind-boggling, possibility that your future Power System servers may not come from IBM at all.

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