What Makes an IBM Champion?
The best way to understand the IBM Champion program is to know an IBM Champion – and maybe you’re already looking in the mirror at one. Do you think you know a Champion? Here are 7 questions to ask yourself about you or those in your technical community. Do these sound familiar?
If you are an expert, a mentor, a leader, and an advocate for the IBM offering, program, community, service, or technology you work with, you might be a future IBM Champion.
- Do you give advice on IBM tech and products in person, on Twitter, on forums?
- Do you regularly and consistently blog, write articles, create podcasts, or share code?
- Do you know everything there is to know about the IBM offering, program, software, hardware, or service in use at your organization, make it all work together, and are always the one answering questions?
- Do you speak at or help to organize events?
- Do you help to organize meetups, hackathons, or user groups around IBM tech or community?
- Have you spoken to press or analysts on behalf of an IBM offering, community, or program?
- Have you created a case study to share your success with IBM products, communities, or offerings?
Say Thank you to someone who has helped you
Maybe this isn't you, but you've been helped by someone like this, read their blogs and articles, or watched their sessions at conferences and events. If so, one amazing way to show your gratitude and let them know how helpful they've been is to nominate them to become an IBM Champion.
Each year, IBMers, current Champions, and community members come together to nominate the best, brightest, and most supportive community members, advocates, and leaders to become IBM Champions. You can participate in the process by, well, nominating yourself or someone you respect! It’s time to pick your person, gather the important details, and then…nominate!
Nominations are open through 30 November 2020, across these IBM areas:
- Cloud and Cloud Integration
- Data & AI (Analytics)
- IBM Z
In addition, for 2021 we are also welcoming members of the IBM Partner Ecosystem to become Champions for their work supporting and advocating for the partner ecosystem itself.
Not sure if you or your nominee fit in one of those categories? Submit your nomination and tell us where you (or your nominee) have expertise.
Go to the IBM Champion nomination form to nominate yourself or someone else. The forms are designed to tell the selection committee why an individual should be an IBM Champion – what activities and contributions they’ve shared in the previous 12 months. The selection committees are looking for examples of advocacy, mentoring, content creation, and support of the technical and partner communities beyond the scope of a person’s job. In addition, they need to see evidence of expertise in IBM offerings, products, services, or communities.
If you are nominating someone else, be sure you have their permission, as you’ll be sharing some of their personal information. They will be notified of the nomination and encouraged to complete a self-nomination form as well, as they know the most about their own activities.
If you’re nominating yourself, you’ll be sharing activities, a bio, links to your contributions, and references who can speak to your activity.
Selection committees of IBMers and Lifetime IBM Champions will review all activities and nominations and select the top advocates to become 2021 IBM Champions.
IBM Champions program
Once selected, new Champions – YOU – will join the more than 600 developers, technologists, business leaders, CXOs, and educators around the world who have demonstrated both expertise in and extraordinary support and advocacy for IBM technology, communities, and solutions. Over the next year, IBM Champions maintain this status by continuing contributions, this time with additional input, help, and opportunities from a closer relationship with IBM.
Champions each have specific areas of technical expertise and of advocacy and contribution. Champions have a wide variety of activities including those who speak at conferences, convene user groups and offer mentorship in the technical community, teach users to make the absolute best decisions around IBM technology, and provide invaluable user feedback that helps improve IBM’s products.
Our job in the program is to recognize, reward, and catalyze. Recognize and reward is about saying “thank you” for all the contributions and activities – to make IBM Champions know and feel that we at IBM see the impact that advocacy from customers and partners makes. More on the benefits to IBM Champions in a moment. The program then catalyzes IBM Champions’ work by offering opportunities and showing Champions where contributions can have the most impact.
A week in the life of an IBM Champion
Of course, IBM Champions are working hard to do their jobs.
In addition, each week IBM Champions may choose to engage with various briefing calls or the monthly all-IBM Champion call, review opportunities or discuss ideas in internal communities, and connect through other channels, such as a Slack where they can communicate regularly with other IBM Champions and with the program team. Through these channels, IBM shares early updates on news and product roadmaps. We also offer opportunities to contribute, such as requests for content, to share with Champions’ communities, or to provide feedback, for example.
From the briefings, IBM Champions take what they need to create their own content and educate their communities and their organizations. For example, a Champion may attend a briefing, then work to create a proof of concept (PoC) around a new technology, then later share that PoC and process not only with the IBM Champions program, but also with IBMers and the community. Or another Champion might write a blog or do a podcast interview based on what they learned from a briefing.
Champions are typically invited to 3-5 calls per month and have 2-5 opportunities or requests for contribution shared with them. These calls and opportunities are optional, but they are typically curated to be high-impact and interesting. Champions also receive a monthly email newsletter and are asked to report their contributions regularly.
Perhaps most importantly, through these calls and communities, the program team works to foster a two-way, nurturing relationship with the IBM Champions, which benefits IBM, the Champions, and the technical community.
IBM benefits by listening to the Champions’ experiences on the frontlines of IBM products in use. And by the impact that Champions have when they educate on, advocate for, and nurture in the technical or partner communities they support.
Champions benefit by being recognized for their expertise and by having easy, direct access to the right IBMers.
Champions may also receive more concrete benefits. These may include conference discounts, VIP access, digital badges and credentials, logo merchandise, exclusive communities, feedback opportunities, and recognition and amplification via IBM’s social channels.
Finally, the entire technical community benefits as IBMers and IBM Champions come together to create content and increase knowledge.
Earn your star
Learn more about the program by joining our upcoming webcast and then take a moment today to nominate yourself or to raise up a star in your technical community by nominating them.
Nominate a (future) IBM Champion today through 16 November. -- now EXTENDED to 30 November!
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