Director – Power Systems
Several years back, IBM instituted a program called the IBM Champions Program. The IBM program recognized non-IBMers who promote, teach, and have a deep understanding of several of the key IBM business areas. Today, these include Power Systems, z Systems, Cognitive Computing, Storage, and Data Bases. IBM Champions are nominated by their peers, and are acknowledged as an IBM Champion for a one-year period. During that year, Champions continue to work directly with customers by presenting technologies, teaching at user groups and IBM conferences, as well as writing articles and blogs on social media. The Champions regularly meet with IBM to discuss their opinions and recommendations. They also get to review future plans and make comments on those plans. As Champions have very close relationships with customers, these interactions help IBM in future product plans and directions. The IBM Champions are not censured, nor are they asked to limit discussions in areas, and freely offer their opinion in their field of expertise.
You cannot tell an IBM Champion by any distinguishing marks, such as a tattoo, a special watch or an IBM-issued blue Brooks Brothers sports coats. Most of them actually look quite normal. At certain conferences, the Champions are usually designated as such on the agenda and can sometimes have “IBM Champion” on their badge. If you meet one of these people, please realize you are not talking to an IBMer (while I do love IBMers!!), but someone who may have more and/or broader information than your local support teams from IBM. They can also bring you a much wider view of customer experiences and opinions than you are used to. But, remember these opinions are only that, and do not necessarily represent the IBM messages. If you want opinions with experience, then seek out an IBM Champion and talk with him or her. It will be very worthwhile for both of you.
As I have again been appointed, for the 6th year, as an IBM Champion in Power Systems for 2017, I am both humbled and proud to wear this title.
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