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This Year's Speakers

  Day 1 - Workshops & Lectures  
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Susan Gantner

Susan Gantner is an IBM i evangelist, specializing in modern application development, primarily with RPG and RDi.

A developer, trainer and author, Susan's career began as a programmer in Atlanta on a variety of platforms.  Then she met the IBM System/38 and decided to stick with it. The System/38 morphed into the AS/400, since renamed (a few times now) to IBM i.

After developing applications for 10 years, she joined IBM as a Systems Engineer and later worked in both the IBM Rochester and IBM Toronto labs, supporting developers on her favourite platform. She was part of the team who created the still popular IBM redbook, “Who Knew You Could Do That with RPG IV?” and the more recent "Modernizing IBM i Applications" redbook. She has authored a wide variety of articles on the subject of modern development tools, techniques and languages for IBM i for IBM Systems Magazine, IT Jungle and others.

Susan now works with Jon Paris as half of Partner400 - teaching and writing about modern development techniques. She is also a part of System i Developer, hosts of the RPG & DB2 Summit. You can follow Jon & Susan's blog at IBMSystemsMag.com/blogs/idevelop/.

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Jon Paris

After working on a variety of systems for over a dozen years, Jon Paris was introduced to the System/38.  This began a "love affair" that ultimately led him to join IBM’s Toronto laboratory, working on the S/3X and AS/400 compilers. While with IBM he played a major role in the definition of the RPG IV language and in promoting its use.

Jon left IBM in 1998 to focus on providing IBM i users with education and consulting services to enhance their application development skills.
Together with his partner Susan Gantner, Jon runs Partner400, a consulting company focused on application modernization on the IBM i platform. Partner400 are also one of the founding members of the System i Developer education consortium - hosts of the RPG & DB2 Summit events which are held twice annually. Jon and Susan also co-authored IBM's Redbook for RPG programmers, entitled: Who Knew You Could Do That with RPG IV - A Sorcerer's Guide to System Access and More.  They are also technical editors for IBM Systems Magazine - IBM i Edition and you can follow Jon and Susan's blog at http://www.ibmsystemsmag.blogs.com/idevelop


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Paul Tuohy

Paul Tuohy, IBM Champion and author of Re-engineering RPG Legacy Applications and The Programmer's Guide to iSeries Navigator, is a prominent consultant/trainer/educators for application modernization and development technologies on the IBM Midrange. He currently holds positions as CEO of ComCon, a consultancy firm based in Dublin, Ireland, and founding partner of System i Developer, the consortium of top educators who produce the acclaimed RPG & DB2 Summit conference. Previously, he worked as IT Manager for Kodak Ireland Ltd. and Technical Director of Precision Software Ltd.

In addition to hosting and speaking at the RPG & DB2 Summit, Paul has been an award-winning speaker at COMMON, COMMON Europe Congress and other conferences throughout the world. His articles frequently appear in IBM Systems Magazine, The Four Hundred Guru, RPG Developer, and other leading publications.

Paul also produces the popular iTalk with Tuohy audio blog with IBM Systems Magazine.

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Carol Woodbury

Carol Woodbury is Vice President of Global Security Services at HelpSystems and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), and has her PCIP certification. She is also a member of the ISACA organization and has been named IBM Champion for her thought leadership on the IBM i platform.

With over 25 years of experience in IT security, Carol is known worldwide as an expert in the area of computer security. During her career, Carol has architected security solutions for Fortune 100 companies as well as small- and medium-sized organizations. Carol is passionate about making sure the solutions implemented meet the customers' needs—a passion that first started with her business, SkyView Partners, and is now part of her position as VP of Global Security Services at HelpSystems.

Carol is an architect, designer, implementer, educator, and an award-winning speaker and author with specialties in IBM i, i5/OS, OS/400, AS/400, iSeries, AIX, and Linux security and compliance.

She is known worldwide as an author and speaker on security technology, specializing in IBM i security issues. Carol has published her fourth book, IBM i Security Administration and Compliance from MC Press Online, has written numerous articles on security, and is a contributing author on security for MCPress Online

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Andy Youens

Andy Youens is an IBM i Consultant/Instructor at FormaServe, who has over 32 years IT experience working with IBM midrange servers.

His specialities are IBM i, RPG, PHP, CL, Zend Server, Zend Frameworks, SQL and DB2.
He is also an accomplished instructor and an article writer specialising in programming on the IBM i.

Prior to his IT career, Andy is proud to have served 10 years in the Royal Navy as a communications expert.

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Chris Fenn

Chris is a Consultant with the IBM POWER team at Redbourn Business Systems.  His early technical career started with a background in Mainframe Systems Programming.  In the early 1990’s Chris joined the “AS/400” world, then IBM POWER systems and specialising in IBMi. During his career he has worked with some of the largest users on the platform, including JP Morgan and IBM.


Chris’s technical specialities are working with hardware and Operating System software to help Redbourn’s customers with operational and software maintenance challenges, facilities management, disaster recovery and system performance tuning.


Chris has had a long term relationship with the i-UG.  He’s worked with several organisations who actively support i-UG including Bluechip, Rowton IT and more recently at Redbourn Business Systems.

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Ross Cruickshank

Ross Cruickshank 

Developer Advocate
IBM Developers and Ecosystems

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Rudi van Helvoirt

Rudi started as a System/38 programmer in 1986. In 1989 he made the switch to system programming and systems management. Being passionate about systems management he founded van Helvoirt Automatisering in 1993. Rudi has enjoyed helping IBM i customers ever since for running their business applications.


He is an early adopter of the IBM i GUI's, System Object Access that later evolved into System i Navigator and recently Navigator for i. He has been involved in IBM i BRMS for the past 15 years, helping to improve the backup strategy of IBM i data.


Rudi is member of the COMMON Europe Advisory Council, an IBM and End User Experts strategy think tank for the IBM i.


Morten Buur Rasmussen

Morten is a performance Specialist at IBM Lab Services Europe.

He has 32 years of experience in the computing field. He started working with the S/38 and AS/400 in 1988 as programmer.
Before joining the Lab Services in 2004, he worked for IBM Denmark and several European banks.
His areas of expertise are database performance, application optimisation and work management for IBM i.

  Day 2 - Presenters  
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Mike Ryan

Mike Ryan has been associated with the IBM Mid-Range since 1977 and has made a career in Systems and Data Management.  Mike has grown with the IBM Midrange and POWER systems, always seeking out the best way to configure, implement and get the very best out of all the systems, new and old.

In getting to grips with more and more ways to manage and bring out the most in IBMs POWER platform, Mike has embraced many new technologies, philosophies and methods to make use of the many flavours of O/S on the POWER systems and is well placed to make comment on current market trends and opportunities.

Now as the Chairman of i-UG and Common UK – and spurred on by IBM’s new-found love of the IBM i O/S- Mike is putting forward some challenging, independent and pragmatic views on the options we have for growing, adapting and looking after our systems and applications as the platform moves inexorably forward.

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Alison Butterill

Alison Butterill is the WW Offering Manager for IBM i. In this role, she works with the IBM i team to define the future of IBM i including the content for releases and technology refreshes. Over the last few years, Alison has spent time working with clients to implement innovative solution using Cognitive, Machine Learning, Robotics, Internet of things and other forms of AI and IoT.


Today, Alison’s responsibilities include working with the IBM i sales, marketing, development teams as well as clients and partners to ensure that the IBM i Operating System and associated software products reflect their requirements.


Having worked in the mid-range area for more than 30 years, Alison has held a wide variety of positions at IBM, primarily with midrange servers and software. She has held a range of positions including field Systems Engineer, an instructor in Customer Technical Education, national support representative for IBM Canada, and Worldwide Technical Marketing support representative for the development tools and compilers from the IBM Toronto Laboratory. 


Alison is a regular speaker at industry and technical conferences around the world.


Kaare Plesner

Kaare Plesner, CEO and founder of the Danish company iPerformance, has worked with IBM i on Power since the System/38 era. His special interest is application performance, and he has taught classes on AS/400 performance at IBM training centers in 22 countries including the US.


He was a speaker on COMMON conferences in several countries, and has received “Merit Speaker” awards for his presentations at US COMMON

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Chris Bremer

Chris is CTO for Dynamic Solutions International. 


He has been working with storage and backup/recovery solutions for over 30 years.  When not talking about backup and recovery you can usually find him skiing or hiking in the mountains somewhere.

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John Taylor

John Taylor is Chairman of the Typex Group plc.


Typex specialises in helping businesses to save money with IP Telephony and Unified Communication and Collaboration (UC2). It is a Business Partner of IBM. John is an author of four IBM Redbooks and of magazine articles and he speaks on UC2 at customer conferences worldwide. He is an IT Infrastructure Systems Architect certified by The Open Group to TOGAF 8 standards. He is the architect of IBM's BlueNotes family of software products which integrate IBM Lotus Notes and Domino with IBM servers. He designed the UC2Go packages for UC with IBM. John holds the Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors and is a member of COMMON GB.


He is a Chartered Civil Engineer by profession and lives with his wife, daughter and a Border Terrier in Northumberland, England. He can be reached at info@typex.com and via www.typex.com.

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Jens Melgard Churchill

Jens has worked with sofware development and IBM i for 20 years.


He has helped build ERP, websites and tooling using various technologies and languages such as RPG, Java, JavaScript and C# among others.


He is a big fan of Linux (also on Power) and is currently working as CTO  focussing on ML, Deeplearning and DevOps. 

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Pete Samways

Pete Samways is an expert in the development, modernisation and mobilisation of IBM i applications, particularly in the logistics sector.


He is responsible for delivering projects on behalf of Gebrüder Weiss and Agility amongst others as well as being the lead developer on the mobile apps for Go2Stream.com

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Shahid Latif

Shahid Latif  has worked in a number of roles delivering global  solutions to multi-nationals as well as domestic solutions for  smaller enterprises.  He is Proximity’s IBM i Product Manager covering  development, modernisation, security and mobilisation tools  from Fresche, Ivanti, StayLinked, Remain and Raz-Lee.      


Shahid also manages Stream, ​a multi-award winning delivery,  logistics and fleet compliance developed on the IBM i.   

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Guy Marmorat

For more than 20 years, Guy Marmorat has been dedicated to the development of security solutions for IBM i (AS/400) and has contributed to the positioning of Cilasoft as one of the world leaders in Audit and Security software on IBM i.


Guy joined the Syncsort-Vision Solutions Group at the end of 2017, as "Senior Director of Product Management", where he continues to bring his technical expertise.

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Tracy Eastwood

Tracy is a Director at Logicmate Ltd. specialists in IBMi applications and application modernisation.

Logicmate also provides a wide range of support and service offerings to deliver intelligent software solutions through their wealth of knowledge to provide powerful solutions for today - investing in the future.


Pascal Polverini

Pascal Polverini has a strong experience in end-to-end software architectures, with expertise on DB, programming languages, communication protocols and GUI.

Co-author of the IBM i Modernization Redbook, he is an expert in cross technologies.

Active member of the IBM i ISV Advisory Council since 2005, he is also an individual associate of the OpenPOWER foundation since 2014 and occasionally writer on IBM Systems Magazine. 

Pascal is deeply involved in how to merge or cross different technologies and innovations, involving as well AI technologies, focusing on their fundamental key principles with a particular attention to the added values in a business approach to the client need or market extensions.

  Day 2 - Solutions Stream Presenters  
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Nick Blamey - ARCAD

Nick Blamey is a “thought leader” in the areas of DevOps, Testing and Source Code Management gained through 25 years in the “Development Tools” space joining ARCAD recently from IBM Rational’s DevOps organisation

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Donnie MacColl - HelpSystems

Donnie MacColl is Director of EMEA Technical Services. He has worked for more than 25 years in the IT industry, initially specializing in the management of IBM systems in manufacturing and logistics companies, and later in his career developing expertise in network and enterprise management.

A regular speaker at international events, he has worked with many industry sectors to help improve cost efficiencies and has implemented solutions across some of the largest data centers in the United States, Asia Pacific, and Europe. He specializes in cyber security, IT governance & compliance and advanced automation across multi-platform environments.

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Sam Dix - Softlanding

Sam Dix, Client Services Consultant, Macro 4

Sam is a seasoned IBM i consultant, representing the SoftLanding brand on behalf of Macro 4 and its parent company, UNICOM® Global.  With involvement from concept to completion, Sam is focused on successfully driving digital transformation, enterprise content management, and legacy application decommissioning initiatives for companies across Europe.

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Stephan Leisse - SyncSort

Stephan Leisse has nearly 30 years’ experience in the AS/400 - iSeries - IBM i world as a freelance contractor and employed consultant. Currently he is a Solution Architect in EMEA for Syncsort, responsible for technical presales of all Power I related products. In his previous role, he worked with complex HA and DR projects implementing MIMIX, iTera, iCluster and Double Take Software. In addition, he is a co-author of IBM Redbooks and speaker for several Common and other events.

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Mike T ricker - Bluechip

Mike Tricker provides Pre Sales services for IBM i Security, Monitoring (IBM i, Windows, Aix, Unix, Linux), Data Management, Managed Services, Cloud technologies and solutions.


He started on PDP 11-84's and System 36 and is still in love with this industry! One of the fathers of IT Richard Wesley Hamming said "The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers". Mike is lucky enough to be able to help the people he meets realise new insights and unleash the power of IT in their business.

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Lionel Butler - Meridian IT 

Lionel Butler is the Software Business Technical Manager and one of the senior Consultants at Meridian IT. He has been working in the IBM i space for nearly 25 years with his main focus and expertise based around delivering application modernisation and DevOps projects, as well as being a seasoned instructor.Bio to follow