This post is written by guest blogger Michelle August

The CAAC (COMMON Americas Advisory Council) called snowy, icy Rochester home for three days in early December. They started off the meeting with a warm welcome from Dave Nelson and a Power Systems Update from Ian Jarman. This great start to the meeting set the tone for the remaining days as the CAAC heard from the Power Systems Application Development team, the Systems and Technology group, and the Marketing group, as well as participated in a tour of some of IBM’s environmental test labs.

In addition to all of the informative presentations, the CAAC also took action on several requirements; voting to close some and to open (move forward) others. The newly opened ones were also categorized and the requirements’ importance was ranked. If you are unfamiliar with “requirements”, they are basically a way for the COMMON community to send in their wish list for new and improved features in future releases of IBM i. The CAAC serves as the liaison between the community member and IBM. This has been a very successful partnership over the years. In fact, many of the enhancements and changes in V6R1 came directly from requirements submitted by the CAAC from the COMMON community. At this most recent December meeting, three requirements were closed due to them being delivered by IBM, proving again how well this partnership works.

Current CAAC members include (in alphabetical order): Michelle August, David Brault, Tom Duncan, Vern Hamberg, Scott Hamilton, Pete Massiello, Brian May, Phil McCullough, Tony Mossbarger, Carl Novit, Justin Porter, and Roxanne Reynolds-Lair.

Participating in the CAAC is a very rewarding experience. Current CAAC members have shared some of the benefits of serving on the CAAC. Among them were:

  • Provides invaluable information for my business from both IBM and other CAAC members sharing their challenges and solutions
  • Exposure to future trends/enhancements for projecting
  • Meet and collaborate with top IBM i professionals/experts – within IBM as well as outside of IBM
  • Able to have influence on the future direction of the IBM i/OS
  • Gain critical knowledge to aid in making strategic business technology decisions
  • Opportunity to give back to the community
  • Develop lasting professional relationships

At this time the CAAC is seeking new members. More information about the CAAC, and the application for consideration to join the CAAC, can be found at http://www.common.org/index.php/vol-groups/caac.html. This is a great way to get more involved with COMMON and help the IBM i community. If this partnership sounds like something you could contribute to, please download the application at the above website and email it to CAAC@common.org.

About Michelle August:
Michelle is a professor and department chair of the Information Management Systems program at Moraine Vally Community College and is Executive Director of the COMMON Education Foundation.