Upfront: The AS/400's Finest Hour?

I was driving to work one Monday morning, listening to the rehashing of the latest Eagles loss on the local sports talk radio station. In between the weekly weeping and gnashing of teeth, there was a commercial where a woman is telling a man all about the computer system her company just installed. How reliability and security really aren't issues with it, how it's scaleable and they won't outgrow it, how it requires minimal staff to manage it. For every point, the man raises, the woman has an answer for him.

Yes, folks, the AS/400 has made it to drive time.

You need a system that's not going to break down? You want to put your business on the Web but steer clear of hackers? You think your business could really take off and don't want to be turning over your hardware every other year? Take a look at the AS/400. In this tight IT job market, you're worried about not finding enough skilled IT people to run your system. The AS/400 practically runs itself. You've heard so much about Java and want to see what it can do for your business? Nothing runs it better than an AS/400.

I like the ad and the strategy. It helps create that intangible called "buzz" in the marketplace, carving out a new reputation for the AS/400 in a market that may now be receptive to it. Why? Because IT is ubiquitous these days. Whether the talk is about Y2K, or the Internet, or the hottest Internet stocks, or the IT skills crunch, computer technology has become an accessible conversation topic for the masses. Why not make the AS/400 part of that conversation?

Did this ad serve any real purpose if not one person listening to it that morning will be in a position to make server buying decisions? Maybe, maybe not. But I like the AS/400’s chances a lot better than the Eagles’ this year.