In this podcast guest blogger Trevor Eddolls shares a great resource for mainframers, the Virtual IMS Connection User Group. It should be noted that DataDirect’s Gregg Willhoit will be speaking on the topic of bringing zIIP offload to the IMS platform. This podcast lasts for 3:59 and may be listened to here:
OK, well, when we set it up, and that was back in November 2007, there weren’t really very many IMS user groups around the world. I think there was the Dallas/Fort Worth user group, and that was about it, and we felt this was a gap that needed filling, and the idea was that we’ve set up this user group, which was designed to be vendor neutral, and it’s independently operated, and it’s for anyone who’s got an interest in IMS, which is IBM’s Information Management System. So we set up the website, we set up the user group, and then in December of 2007 we held our first meeting. And our next meeting then is the 8th of December this year, and that’ll be the one that Gregg’s speaking at. So what we do as a user group is that every other month we have a guest speaker who comes along and gives a presentation to the IMS user community, and we use WebEx technology so that everyone doesn’t have to worry about traveling, they don’t have to worry about overnight accommodation or anything like that. They just go to work, sit down in front of their computers, pick up the phone, and can join in the webinar.
What typically happens is the user group meetings last for about an hour or just over. The speaker usually speaks for something like 45 minutes or so, and members are free to join in, ask questions, you know, clarify points, and that’s it. Now, how do you become a member of the user group? Well, it’s completely free. All a person needs to do is go along to the website, click on the signup button, and just give us their information, and for that you then get e-mails every other month, like I say, with information about the webinar, about the speaker, and then in the months when we don’t have a webinar there’s a free newsletter which contains lots of information about what’s going on in the IMS world, so in case you missed anything, any news, any new products that are out there, then that’ll be included in the newsletter.
On the website, though, to make it very useful to users, we’ve got a complete list, or as complete as I think I can make it at the moment, a list of IMS tools, so every vendor actually gets a free listing. We’re not one of those sites that charge people to list their product, which means that IMS users can then look at this list and find products that sort of fit their needs. We also run a job bank, so IMS sites that are looking for staff can have a look on the job bank and see whether there’s anyone there with the skills they require. And like I said, we also run news, so every type of products announcement goes on the news page, and we’ve got events so you can find out events, and we’ve got publications, so if there’s an article about IMS that appears in any easily accessible journal -- that could be z/Journal, could be anywhere else -- then we try and find it and give it a link, so we’re offering sort of a very good service to IMS professionals out there. And like I say, it’s free to join. The way it’s paid for is hopefully vendors will actually advertise on the website, and you’ll see a couple of adverts there or in the new...
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