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AIOps & Management Spotlight Series - Chikako Inami, IBM Lifetime Champion

By Veeramani Nambi posted Wed June 02, 2021 04:54 AM


Welcome to the 3rd edition of the AIOps & Management Spotlight Series. We bring to the members of the Community, some of the Community Rockstars. This edition brings you @Chikako Inami-san, Leader of the Japan IBM Middleware User Community, abbreviated as JIMUC.

VN: Welcome to the Spotlight Series Chikako Inami-san. Glad to have you. Let's start with the name of the Community that you are leading. What's the history behind the name?

CI : Thank you. Sure. It all started as JTUG (Japan Tivoli User Group), which was established in 2001, about 20 years ago. I was passed the leadership role in 2008. That was also the time i left IBM, to join my friend. Around 2008, IBM Japan started another business partner group called "SOA Partner Community". And 5 years later, that group got merged with JTUG. And that's how JIMUC as a name came into being, since we discuss more than Tivoli products. And our community members want to retain the current structure, because it's continuing for 20 years now. History is important :-) Also, I as well as the Community Board Members and the team members believe that for a successful community,  it's not only the technology  that is important but most important is the relationship between people and companies. Now am sure you know why our JIMUC community is uniquely structured. I do not know how much you can read Japanese, but you can see the image that gives a snapshot of, the 20 year journey, of our user community. 

VN: Definitely a very valid point. It is often very easy to think on product segmentation. But the mainstay of the Community are people and your community stands as an example of that. No wonder you are one of the most active user groups in the AIOps & Management space. Yes, you are right, I do not read Japanese at all. But i see lots of recognition in there. Can you talk to us about it?

CI: We are very proud about it and also very thankful to IBM for the recognition. As you can see, We got the Premium User Group Award in 2009, User Group of the Year Platinum Award in 2014. And 2021 is our 20th anniversary year, for the Community.  Between the years 2008-2019, every year, i organised a "Study Tour/Capabilities Tour", from Japan to Las Vegas, to join the IBM event, not only for participating in the events but also presenting in the event. It is not very normal for the Japanese companies to sponsor travel to any events outside the country. However i made it a point, to lead a team of JIMUC Community members to key IBM events, like Pulse, Think etc. This involved talking to the Japanese companies (that are part of the Community) and convincing them about the need to join the event. Participating in the events definitely improved the exposure of JIMUC members. Though our members are technically very strong and have deployed state-of-the-art infrastructure,  being part of the Community gave the necessary exposure to participate and present in key IBM events.

VN: What you did is phenomenal and how a Community leader should operate ! Am sure you are a great blueprint of a passionate Community leader that has to be replicated across user groups. And no doubt, that you are an IBM Champion and an IBM Lifetime Champion.

CI: Thank your for your words. I became an IBM Champion in the year 2017. And the very next year, I became an IBM Lifetime Champion, that is 2018. My thanks goes to @Sarah-Jane Cogley for nominating me as IBM Lifetime Champion. ​

VN: You deserve every bit of it. And i see that your user group community though not very big (92 members) has got a very high number of IBM Champions (22 of them). That's a testimony of your community building efforts, am sure. What are your plans for the Community?

CI: Even though the registered members are about 92, the real members are about 600 from 48 companies. Apart from IBM Communities, we also keep in touch using EMail/Slack/LINE (very popular in Japan) and many more. My endeavour is to increase the utilisation of the Community.

VN: Amazing ! 600 members, from 48 companies in Japan. It's been a revelation talking to you and a true honour. Hope we get to meet in person, sooner than later. Thanks much for your time.​​

@Libby Ingrassia