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At the Common User conference in New Orleans last week IBM launched the iSeries Nation, which will give communities of users access to new product developments and special offers. It will also be used to market the iSeries product range more aggressively.
Users have often accused IBM of failing to market the platform properly, suggesting that this hindered the server's long-term development.
Charlie Massoglia, president of the Common User Group, said, "This announcement is very important for users, it will certainly assist in getting the iSeries message out." The server, successor to the popular AS/400, is still one of the industry's best kept secrets, he added.
The iSeries Nation is a Web-based marketing platform designed to raise the profile of IBM's 250,000-strong worldwide iSeries and AS/400 community. IBM executives have also promised a powerful marketing push for iSeries.
Part marketing platform, part user forum, the iSeries Nation portal lets users access product promotions and special offers from IBM. In return, the company hopes that users will inform them of notable iSeries successes, which can then be published.
IBM is using iSeries Nation to push the user benefits of its latest operating system, V5 R1. More than 6,000 users have already joined the iSeries Nation, Massoglia said.