And this is the 4th Edition of AIOps & Management Spotlight Series and we have @Jos Verschuuren
VN: Jos Verschuuren, IBM Champion and Leader of BeNeLux AIOps & Management User Group. Glad to have you in our Spotlight Series. And thanks much for your time. Let's do a jog down the memory lane of your career and the BeNeLux User Group that you are leading.JV: In 1998, I joined the Tivoli User Group UK from Netherlands. In May 2000, i created the Tivoli User Group for Netherlands. And expanded it to include Belgium and Luxembourg, to become BeNeLux. In 2001, In the "Friends of Tivoli" meet in Vienna and we decided to start User Groups across the globe, including UK, USA, Germany etc. In 2002, all the TUG leaders met in Austin for a face-to-face meeting and btw, last time we ever had a face-to-face meeting was in 2018 (that's quite sometime back). I recall, Bill Kribbs from IBM, who was leading the User Group at that time, arranged that. He also followed up with having regular meetings amongst the user group members. He was too good.
VN: Ah, this is the second or the third time, that the name of Bill Kribbs cropped up in my conversation with the User Group leaders. You said he was very helpful, Can you detail that? And you might have noticed that we are publishing content like never before. So want to see what i can do, to mimic Bill Kribbs :-)JV: Well, We had a monthly call bringing together all the community members across the globe. We created an user group charter for the Tivoli User Group community. Charter detailed the user group governance like Monthly meetings and face to face meetings, which typically happens once in an year. Till 2007, we met separately. Starting 2007, this was combined with Pulse. We are definitely missing the face to face meetings. When Pulse became Think (Around 2018), the face to face meeting ceased to exist.
VN: You started the TUG in 2001, what's your association with Tivoli? And what's your take on AIOps and the journey from Tivoli to Watson AIOps?JV: Oh yes, my journey started with Tivoli in 1996, monitoring our client-server systems, on Mainframes primarily. Then came the distributed systems. IBM became our supplier. We were developing our own monitoring software and then adoption of Tivoli happened. Spent lot of time with ITM (IBM Tivoli Monitoring), TEC (Tivoli Enterprise Console), Event Management, Distributed Monitoring etc. I was working for an IBM Business Partner. Then went into the Banking space and finally with Dutch Tax Office. Dutch Tax Office, my current employer, has a large deployment of Management technologies of IBM. With that i transitioned from Tivoli to NetCool.
VN: As a Tivoli/NetCool customer, what are your thoughts on Watson AIOpsJV: Am reasonably confident that we (current employer) will definitely get on the latest observability platform, that is Watson AIOps. Instana is a great product as well. But there is an issue here. Every 10 years, there seems to be a major overhaul in the platform/architecture. We had Tivoli and then came NetCool and now Watson AIOps. So its makes it difficult for us to do this overhaul again and again. And to let you know, when TEC went end of life, we had to employ TEC knowledgeable people from IBM for 3 more years until the transition was completed. And with Watson AIOps, we still need to understand how the transition/migration from NetCool is going to happen.
VN: But that's what you expect from a company like IBM, right? To think ahead and into the future and bring about products, like Watson AIOps?JV: Absolutely. No doubts. All i am saying is, Since we spent a lot of time with NetCool/Tivoli technologies, there has to be more discussions around migration to the new-age technology like Watson AIOps. And hope we are back with some face to face time. Nothing can beat that and I hope we could restart those sessions.
VN: Shifting back to the Community, What do you think are the key advantages of participating in the Community?JV: As we talked about my job changes, most of that were possible only because i played an active role in the Community. I got placed within couple of days. I owe that entirely to the Community. Community is about building your brand and being active. Second point is what Bill Kribbs, used to say, Community amplifies the voice of the customers/practitioners, makes large organisations take note of the voice, which otherwise gets lost. So, its a win-win-win. For the Community Member, For the Customer Organisation and for IBM as well. And not to mention that IBM recognised me, by making an IBM Champion, which i definitely value.
VN: Wonderful talking to you. As you might have seen in the discussion forum, we definitely want to restart the monthly dialogues with all the User Group Leaders at the least, if not the entire community membership. Will look forward to your thoughts and contributions towards bringing back the touch-points for all of us. And happy watching Tour de France !JV: Thank you very much. And let's keep talking !