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AIOps Community Spotlight - Michael Urwin/Magoo

By Veeramani Nambi posted Mon May 10, 2021 04:04 PM


@Michael Urwin/Magoo is a Key Account Manager at DeployPartners, which is an IBM Business Partner, that focusses on IT Operations & Cyber Security Services. Magoo is also the leader of the ANZ AIOps & Management User Group. DeployPartners is based out of Sydney and their specialisation includes IBM Cloud and ITSM (Netcool) Portfolio, Network and Service Assurance Solutions, Performance Management and Application Management amongst others. As Community Managers for AIOps, Sarah and I are proud to have Magoo participate in the Community Spotlight.

VN: Hi Magoo. Heard you have a distinction that is very rare for anybody to have. Why don't we start with that?

Magoo: Oh yes. I do not know how many people have participated in IBM's premier event, Think, as a Customer, as a Business Partner and as an Employee. Do you want to check this and come back? :-)

VN: That's awesome. Will get the search going for that ! What's your journey?

Magoo: You could have asked my age instead. Nevertheless, when I started there was no internet and no PCs. Fax machines were an attraction. And my first job was to run paper tapes on the machine to transfer them on to Magnetic tapes. (Here's a link if you want to know what this means -> A brief history of data) Started on the Mainframe as an Operator, troubleshooting and doing break-fixes, before the distributed platform launched itself in a big way. Slowly branched to monitoring the systems and the first Tivoli product i used was Tivoli Netview. Bendigo Bank, where I worked, had lots of Tivoli products that helped my exposure with them. One of the memorable events while in Bendigo, was working with IBM, for the Sydney Olympics, in 2000. Quite unforgettable for me.

VN: So that's a progression from System Operator to Systems Management?

Magoo: Well, its from System Operator to Systems Management to Service Management to the current day DevOps. And I chose this, because I didn't want to learn another Operating System. And choosing Systems Management made me platform agnostic. 

VN: That's great. Can you talk us about your User Group experience?

Magoo: Around early 2000s, I started running the Australian Tivoli User Group. And I can say confidently that it's a game changer. Meeting a million people, learning about the product, Discussing with lots of industry peers, IBMers and IBM Customers. Being the User Group Leader also made me an IBM Champion. That's a great program to be part of. It helped me to partner deeply with IBM, gave me access to early information and key technical folks.

VN: What are your thoughts on AIOps User Groups? What are the activities that you envisage for your user group?

Magoo: Hmm, I can think of few things. First, I am very happy that IBM understands the importance of Communities. Given that we have kickstarted the User Group events, I would definitely want to engage with all the user group leaders regularly. And would be glad to take the lead, to get us all together. We are on the brink of some exciting stuff with Watson AIOps, the bundle. We are on the leading edge. We definitely would benefit if we could discuss on What's working and What's not. I remember one of the Tivoli User Group meetings attended by an IBM VP, Support & Services, where there was an active discussion between the developers and the community members. That was one of the best forums I ever remember. Would be great if we can do something like that again.

VN: Interesting. Could you elaborate more?

Magoo: Sure. It's about having a very candid conversation between the Developers and the Practitioners of the product. Both talking about What do they like about the product, What do they hate, How the product is being used vis-a-vis how the product usage was envisaged etc. And yes, face-to-face meeting would definitely enable this.

VN: That sure is a great idea and I will come back to you with my thoughts on this one. Definitely worth trying. What are your thoughts on IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps?

Magoo: Gone are the days of hard-coded correlation and aggregation. It's next to impossible to hard-code anything, given the complexity of the Application architecture these days. Rigid rules do not work anymore. We need intelligent systems that can learn and adapt. That knows for itself what the normal and not-so-normal behaviour is. And that's where IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps scores. As i said earlier, we are on the brink of some exciting stuff with Watson AIOps. We are on the leading edge. We need to score.

VN: Thanks Magoo. It was a pleasure talking to you.