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Champions in Action: Meet the IBM Champions at Think 2021

By Libby Ingrassia posted Wed April 28, 2021 03:06 PM

This month's installment of Champions in Action is focused on Think 2021, coming up on May 11-12. So many of our amazing IBM Champions will be attending and speaking at Think, which is a benefit for everyone as they are experts in the technology, products, industries, and programs we're all learning. Connect with them here in the IBM Community, on social media, and in the Think platform - see instructions below.

Think 2021 Overview

We understand that the world — and business — is in the midst of rapid and unpredictable change. Join us at IBM Think 2021 to learn how to navigate change through transformation, automation and modernization. Learn about the future of hybrid cloud and AI and meet others who are using technology to make a difference.

Think 2021 is a one-day global experience with three showtimes spread across May 11 and 12. Our follow-the-sun format will ensure that you can engage, learn and network with experts and peers in real-time, no matter where you work.

Here are some ways we're building Think 2021 into a productive and valuable experience for you: 

  • Personalized curriculum
    Create your unique experience with a mix of thought leadership, user stories and technology deep-dives that are relevant to your business. Hear what's new and what's next for IBM and understand how to maximize your existing portfolio. 
  • Credential-building education
    Think Academy provides thousands of dollars worth of training to make you indispensable to your organization with labs, hands-on training and discounted certification exams.
  • New ways to engage
    Access world-class experts and 100+ active IBM Fellows. Directly engage, network and problem-solve in real time through community forums and one-on-one chats with peers.

Meeting IBM Champions at Think 2021

Above, I spoke about the curriculum, and the experts to engage with, and the IBM Champions provide both. They are experts in technology overall and in IBM products, offerings, and programs. I always look forward to hearing their experiences, their success stories, and their thought leadership on where we should go next.

Here is a selection of IBM Champion sessions - enjoy the sessions and then connect with the IBM Champions in the session chats and expert lounges.

1211 - Hear from top companies on their approaches to automating critical workloads 

Leading-edge companies are not just starting their automation journey—they are scaling automation to save time and costs across their application workloads in their hybrid cloud environments. In this session, you will hear from a panel of businesses with proven success, and how they are using IBM WebSphere Automation to save time and reduce costs across their most critical workloads.
Champion speakers:
@Susan Barker, Lead ACE/MQ/IIB/WAS/ITX/Kafka Administrator at CDW
@Hermann Huebler, IT Specialist at 2innovate IT Consulting GmbH
@Mark Robbins Technical Design Authority at Vetasi
@True Vang, IT at Acuity

1868 - Automating and optimizing IT operations management with AI 

With AI, self-aware, self-healing and self-managing IT systems are now a reality. Hear from a leader in innovation, Austrian Railways, which serves over 477 million passengers annually, how they took a holistic view across their IT platform to implement proactive incident resolution. Learn how Watson AIOps can not only detect IT system outage problems with pinpoint accuracy, but also prevent them from happening in the first place.
@Harald Biedermann, B2B Service Operations Manager at Austrian Railways

2090 - IBM platform innovation and AI-powered automation

Platform innovation models are the how leading companies are using technology to create better customer experiences and reduce costs. Join this session to hear from a panel of fast-moving organizations that have had success using existing investments with IBM WebSphere, building an integrated platform and using AI-powered automation at scale. 
@Johan Janssen Co-Founder and Managing Partner at FlowFactor

2309 - Modernizing applications is good business strategy for any organization

Tech companies are not the only organizations that leverage advanced technologies. In fact, the growing number of companies that have digitally transformed their operations - once mired in antiquated systems and manual processes - may surprise you. See how IBM Cloud Paks helped reinvent how they work, bolstered by analyst insights on the technology trends that guide business strategy. Also, get to know IBM Cloud Satellite if you're looking to build and run apps at an accelerated pace, anywhere.
David Luftig, President of Northeast at Converge

1452 - Weaponize backup & recovery: Defend against ransomware with IBM Spectrum Protect & Predatar

Cyberattacks are forcing businesses to prioritize data resilience as a key need. And digital transformation is driving companies to seek more agile, secure and efficient architectures. This session will highlight how the Predatar platform works in harmony with IBM’s software-defined storage to maximize its data protection and automation capabilities while helping organizations reduce the risk of business disruption and financial losses due to malicious destruction or ransomware attacks.
@Alistair Mackenzie, CEO at Predatar

1270 - IBM Storage sets the bar for cyber resilience

Data breaches are among the gravest threats to today’s businesses. In 2021, cybercrime damages may reach US 6 trillion, the equivalent of the GDP of the world’s third largest economy. Cybercrime is the new normal, and companies need to change their outlook from if they get attacked to when they get attacked. Join this panel to discover how IBM can strengthen your cyber resiliency position and enable recovery from adverse cyber events.
Lana McCormick, Infrastructure SR Engineer at Wells Fargo

1789 - IBM Cloud for Financial Services: De-risking your partner ecosystem and why it matters to innovation

Financial institutions must improve the customer experience and modernize core applications. To transform and innovate faster, you need to integrate quickly with your digital supply chain partners while reducing the cost and complexity of demonstrating continuous compliance. Learn about the experience of two partners working with IBM through a rigorous architecture and security assessment to validate their solutions based on the IBM Cloud for Financial Services framework.
@Morten Middelfart, Chief Data Scientist/Co-Founder at Lumina

1221 - Rapidly testing business functionality: How State Farm is leveraging the IT metadata goldmine

This is a journey of State Farm's audacious goal to create an intelligent, fully automated “xOps” ecosystem enabling rapid incremental development and delivery of business functionality while maintaining the overall customer experience and integrity of the business processes. This implies leveraging an open metadata repository that fully supports standard and custom types of metadata and complex relationships across those metadata assets in a hybrid multi-cloud world. 
@Mark Moncelle, Architect Manager at STATE FARM

1861 - Detecting toxin exposure in wildfire response with Prometeo, a Call for Code winning solution

A data scientist, PhD engineer, full-stack developer, nurse and firefighter won Call for Code 2019 with an innovative prototype that tracked real-time firefighter exposure to chemicals. In 2020, together with a global IBM Service Corps team, they improved their IoT system with microservices deployed to IBM Kubernetes and a Carbon-based analytics dashboard using global standards for toxicity over time. Learn about these new features and join the growing open source Linux Foundation community.
@Marco Emilio Rodriguez Serrano @Salome Valero Cumplido

1456 - Guiding the Mayflower Autonomous Ship with IBM AI-powered automation

In today’s environment, organizations need innovations to help improve the way work gets done. The solar-run Mayflower ship demonstrates how using AI-powered automation and edge technologies will make the world’s first crewless transatlantic voyage possible. As in many regulated industries like banking and telecommunications, this “AI Captain” technology can steer clear of obstacles and comply with navigation rules as it collects oceanic research data to help sustainability efforts.
@Donald Scott, CTO, Submergence Group

1870 - Innovations across hybrid cloud and AI

In this hybrid/multicloud world where technology emerges at a rapid pace, how do we continuously design and deliver product experiences that meet users' specific needs? How do we infuse products with AI to make them smarter and more efficient? Join this dynamic, cross-industry customer panel and check out some of the latest innovations and experiences these leading companies have been designing just for you. 
@Robb Sinclair, VP Analytics at Converge Technical Partners

1474 - High performance data services for AI

Enterprises need to prepare for the demands and the realities of a hybrid workplace. Join our experts for a discussion on best practices for employee engagement, real-world customer experience, insights and automation for the modern digital workplace, and how can enterprises position themselves for the future. 
@Simon Thompson Research Computing Infrastructure Architect at University of Birmingham

1289 - Creating a resilient business during unpredictable times

The pandemic transformed workloads overnight, requiring heightened levels of resiliency and availability. Join IBM’s Jeff Barber, VP Storage, and Dave Petersen, Distinguished Engineer Resiliency, along with State Farm Senior Engineer Jeff Waggoner, for a deep dive into how IBM Z® and storage platforms can be optimized together for extreme resiliency in a broader hybrid cloud environment by using innovations, such as IBM Z CyberVault, IBM® Instant Recovery and IBM GDPS® solutions.
@Jeff Waggoner Mainframe Systems Analyst and Availability Steward at STATE FARM

1209 - A journey to modernization with USAA and Wipro

Both USAA and Wipro are prime examples of companies that executed an automation journey to reduce costs. They began with business case, identified the technical levers, and exploited the full breadth of IBM modernization tools and capabilities. Success was dependent on equipping application owners with the right insights to make decisions. In this session, they will share their discoveries and results that were critical to success. 
@Andre Wiradarma Technical Architect Principal at USAA

1460 - Scaling automation and platform innovation at USAA

Many organizations are heavily investing in their business applications and are now modernizing those workloads to run in more scalable environments. USAA is one of the leaders and has moved its IBM Operational Decision Manager deployment to Red Hat OpenShift to deliver greater agility across its business decisions application. Join us to hear about USAA's journey and how they evolved their deployment model and release process, and how you can modernize your applications to maximize ROI.
@Andre Wiradarma Technical Architect Principal at USAA  

1043 - Training and staffing tips for your cloud transformation project

Cloud skills are an issue for most cloud projects. How are other experts managing their cloud skill gaps?  When should you invest in training versus consulting? Join us for a panel discussion moderated by Aki Duvvur, VP IBM Public Cloud and joined by Thibault Dauphin, Cloud Education Lead for BNP Paribas; Mark Wyllie, CEO of Flagship Solutions Group; and Joe Noonan, Client Technical Leader, IBM.
@Mark Wyllie, CEO at Flagship Solutions Group Inc.

1474 - High performance data services for AI

Enterprises need to prepare for the demands and the realities of a hybrid workplace. Join our experts for a discussion on best practices for employee engagement, real-world customer experience, insights and automation for the modern digital workplace, and how can enterprises position themselves for the future. 
@Stan Wysocki, President at Mark III Systems, Inc.
@John Zawistowski, Global Systems Solutions Executive at Sycomp

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Connect with Champions

At Think 2021 and throughout the year, there are so many ways to connect and engage with IBM Champions to continue learning from them and working with them.
  • In IBM Community
    Use the linked names above to access the IBM Champions' IBM Community profiles and to connect with them. See which groups they're blogging and answering questions in and join them there. You can also view our IBM Champions roster to meet other IBM Champions.
  • In social media
    Many IBM Champions are active in social media. Connect with them on LinkedIn via their profiles, follow the IBM Champions Twitter handle as we share their stories, and follow the IBM Champions list on Twitter to keep up with all they share.
  • At Think
    In the Think 2021 interface, you can see all the attendees and speakers in the Networking link. Once you're there, search or browse to find individual IBM Champions (and others!), read about them, and connect to them. See the sessions they're attending or speaking in and join those sessions - now you'll have more to discuss. You can also chat directly to them in the platform or set a time to meet 1:1, if they've enabled that option.

    Visit the Expert Lounges, where you'll find areas to meet with experts in various geographies and across industries -- IBM Champions will be there, too.

    Note: To see the Think 2021 interface and make connections, first register for Think 2021.