By Alicia Burtness | 27 Jan 2021

Customer Care and why it matters on the IBM i

In this community, I feel I am one of those people lurking in the background. I entered the world of the IBM i in March 2001 right out of college in the world of software sales. Back then it was referred to as the iSeries. All this was foreign territory to a girl who was skilled in Windows ‘98 and 2000. I was green (not screen!). Terrified of not retaining the knowledge of (our) software to be able to hold an intelligent conversation with one of our prospects. None the less, my new boss took a chance on me. There were ups and downs of course like any job. One thing was consistent though the underlying fear that the AS/400 was a dying market, the programming community was rapidly approaching retirement, the “fears” and rumors went on and on….

While these fears were in the back of my head, I was working at a very successful company, great camaraderie amongst my co-workers and I was finding my groove.

What goes up must come down. It’s a basic law of physics. And life too. Changes occurred at this company and suddenly I was at a crossroad and had to make a choice. I left the AS/400 world to try some other opportunities, then, the most challenging of all, being a stay-at-home mom for a few years. Low and behold my friend, my first boss, who took a chance on a girl right out of college, called me about an opportunity. An opportunity for a software company in the IBM i marketplace. I will admit, the first thing I thought was “that’s still around?” Being anxious to talk to adults and not have every song from Disney Jr. stuck in my head, I took her up on the opportunity. You know what? Those rumors from 10+ years ago are still around. Not as prevalent as back then, but they’re there. I was amazed to see the progress this market place has made and how the community is embracing, training and recruiting college grads.

Some members of the development community may have reached retirement phase but one thing is holding true. The IBM i is stronger than ever. Sure, numbers at conferences have decreased, or the number of user groups have declined. The IBM i isn’t to blame for that. It’s just a changing marketplace and how we are learning, shopping, and adapting to technology changes. Remember when cellphones with cameras first came out? I will admit, I thought it was stupid. Now, what is the first thing I take out to capture memories? My cell phone.

Bottom line… Change is hard. Adapting to new processes can be even harder. In this community, this specific niche of the IT world, the opportunities are astonishing. While the acceptance may be slower going, there are so many resources in the marketplace to make the transition easier.

With all that being said, I am in a role now, as Customer Care Manager, where I will not be lurking in the background any longer. Our North American customers can expect to hear from me in the near future. My role will have me front and center to assist and address any and all customer challenges and requests you may have and I could not be more excited and thrilled. Customer satisfaction has always been and will continue to be extremely important to me and to everyone at ARCAD Software. Keeping our customers successful and happy is our #1 goal.

I welcome and encourage you to reach out to me with any and all questions and challenges you have. If I don’t have the answers. I will get the answers. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to being part of this thriving IBM i community for many more years to come.


Alicia Burtness

Customer Care Manager, North America

Alicia has been in the IBM i community since 2001. She resides in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and son.

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