|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2009)|
The logo of the organization
|Motto||IBM finally got it right|
|Purpose||Educational, Resources, Tools, Networking|
COMMON is the largest association of users of IBM midrange computers and IBM-compatible technology in the world. The users' group is a private, not-for-profit organization that provides education, tools, resources and networking opportunities for IBM System i users, especially those lacking experience.
The Late-2000s recession had a severe effect on COMMON activities. IT professionals were working longer hours and had smaller budgets for training and education, which resulted in COMMON changing from two conferences per year to one. Attendance at COMMON's technical events, which increased throughout the 1980s and 1990s, dropped substantially, resulting in a 2009 loss exceeding half a million dollars. The elected board of directors was unusually candid at the April 2009 meeting of members when they outlined the cutbacks to the 2010 conference, which included reducing the conference length from five days to four, eliminating free attendance for volunteers and seeking sponsorship for social events. Even so, 2010 expenses were expected to exceed income by nearly $140,000.
- COMMON’s Annual Meeting and Exposition, "the premier" IBM System i "educational and networking event", according to press release.
- COMMON Directions, a small EXPO with two days of educational sessions.
- COMMON Focus, three days of educational workshops, including a small Expo.
- One-day Seminars on leading-edge topics, held in partnership with Local User Groups throughout North America.
- Web-based Education, including Webcasts. and Webinars.
- Networking and membership directory of all COMMON members.
- COMMON.CONNECT, the bi-monthly professional journal of COMMON.
- COMMON Connector, the monthly e-newsletter from COMMON.
- IBM Certification discounts.
- COMMON Online Networking community through iSociety.
- COMMON Career Center, the exclusive System I job board for employers and candidates.
Type of Memberships
- Corporate: the company pays a single annual fee which allows all employees to take advantage of Common’s resources.
- Individual: the named individual is entitled to Common benefits exclusively and is not transferable.
- User Group: Available to local user groups (LUG), affiliated user groups (AUG) and sister user groups (SUG). All members may utilize Common’s resources.
Local user groups
- KSSA.net, a COMMON iSeries (AS/400) Users Group
- OCEAN User Group
- The Omni User -- Chicago, IL
- Fairfield AS/400 User Group
- North East User Group
- South East Michigan iSeries User Group
- Fontecchio, Mark: "Disaster recovery to lead Common iSeries user group conference" Search/400, September 13, 2006
- "Unique Community Launched by Most Loyal Group of Users in Server Industry". IBM Corporation. Retrieved 2006-09-18.
- Morgan, Timothy Prickett: "Another AS/400 User Group Powers Down" The Four Hundred, October 27, 2008
- Rosin, Leah: "COMMON board reveals financial situation at meeting of members" IT Knowledge Exchange, April 30, 2009
- Manufacturing Business Technology magazine website: Events-COMMON's 2008 Annual Meeting and Exposition
- Common.org: about COMMON directions 2008
- Common.org: about COMMON focus 2008
- Common.org: COMMON Seminars
- Common Webcast info
- Common Webinar info
- Morgan, Timothy Prickett: "Common User Group Starts Midrange Career Center" IT Jungle, April 14, 2006