Welcome to the 5th Edition of the AIOps & Management Spotlight Series. The last 4 editions had IBM Champions/Customers/Business Partners featured in the Spotlight Series. This edition brings to you @Fred Harald Klein, a very accomplished technical leader not only in the Systems Management/Operations Management space but also in using the social media to disseminate what he has learnt. Situated in Berlin and serving the world :-)
VN: Welcome to the show, Fred. Super glad that you are here. And you have been my go-to person for any questions in the discussion forum in the Community and a super consistent blogger for us. May be we can start the discussion on what you are doing off-late?
FK: Definitely. And to answer you, i am currently developing a face-to-face training program for IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps. Not just enablement, but a proper training that will include use-cases, lab environment and that will help the attendees to know about the product, deploy the product and use the product. This has been a major ask from our Business Partners and Customers alike. We are designing the curriculum in such a way that every attendee will have a separate OCP cluster and gets trained in preparing the cluster, installing the operator, creating an instance and setting up self-monitoring capabilities that are available in IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps. And there will be some technical pre-requisites for attending the classes. We could possibly have few separate modules: Installation, Configuration and Administration. We are in an advanced stage in terms of launching the training. And hopefully this will come out sooner than later.
VN: Awesome. This would delight our customers and business partners alike, since as you rightly said, there were quite a few requests for this. So is this going to be tied up with Certification as well? And what is your target audience for the certification?
FK: I think so. Leading to Certifications, would be the logical next step. And on the audience, well, everyone who wants to know more about Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps. And that would include many of our NetCool customers as well. We have seen lots of NetCool customers upgrading to Watson AIOps. And Sales can definitely talk about the trade-ups and such. And NetCool customers have lot to gain with the packaging of IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps since it includes Open Shift license, Topology Manager and Connections (NetCool Gateway), which were separately sold and licensed earlier.
VN: I know that you are in the SWAT team and you are in the thick-of-things on migration/deployment/PoC etc. Can you explain what is done by your team? And given that you spend a lot of time with the customers, How are they taking to the Watson AIOps?
FK: SWAT team now exists for more than two years now. Ours is a global team of SMEs. Our goal is to support our Customers and Business Partners by providing Best Practices on deployment/migration etc. We are also heavily involved in various PoCs across the globe. And i can vouch that IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps has great benefits for NetCool customers in terms of what all the Cloud Pak packages vis-a-vis the components that needed to be separately purchased and deployed by the NetCool customers.
On the last question you asked, Customers are very curious and interested about AIOps. And we always get a meeting when it is about AIOps. AIOps is a door opener. And they share our conviction that applying AI to the existing management environment is a good idea. And that means that we are in the right path. We are focussed on improving the user experience: Easy to use/Easy to deploy. Everyone has the same goal, "To do more with less". Coupled with "Run Book Automation", we achieve the goal i just stated. With the acquisition of Instana and Turbonomic, we have a very complete portfolio.
VN: No wonder you are a much sought-after Technical Leader. And what makes you more special is your affinity to Social Media. And needless to say, You are one of our prolific bloggers for the Community. I know you are a very popular contributor in Lighthouse (IBM Internal Community) and has published lots of how-to videos on Youtube as well.
FK: I really like putting the knowledge out and teach and train. I am a certified Trainer in IBM. And before IBM, i was a certified trainer in MicroMuse as well. I spotted a disconnect or a gap between the Marketing material and product documentation and the insights that our Business Partners/Customers always required, to use our product: Installation/Best Practices and also conceptually what an Event Manager/Topology Manager/AI Manager etc. And this is where i thought i can share the expertise i gained, in the form of videos/blogs and redbooks. @Zane Bray and I collaborated to develop a series of videos that will help the customers from Installing the product to configuring it and to perform operations like Noise reductions and such. And all of these are published in the Community as well. And on Youtube, we got more than 15K views and still counting.
One of the things i like about the social media is on the gamification like accruing points and the leaderboard and such. I definitely think that the AIOps & Management Community can pickup some best practices to make it even more attractive and gratifying for the bloggers.
VN: Grouping the SWAT explains video series should be very handy for our community members. And point taken on the gamification. And we are undertaking a project to improve the same. You will see the results shortly. And lastly, If you have any spare time left, after assisting your customers and taking to the social media that you often do, What do you spend that spare time on? :-)
FK: Quite a few actually :-). You might be astonished to hear that. I play the Great Highland bagpipe, a scottish instrument and i am a founding member of "The Berlin Pipe Company". And since 1986 (when we formed it), it has grown bigger and now we are about 40 musicians. We have big appearances to our credit including Philharmony Orchestra in Berlin and in many concert halls across Germany. Apart from this, I go bike riding and rock climbing and a bit more.
VN: Indeed, very astonished. And here's a little contest for the readers. Can you spot Fred Klein in the picture above? Please post your findings as blog comments. And as always, nice talking to you. And all the very best to you.