Mark is an IBM Champion since 2017 (5 years and counting..). He is based out of the UK and works for a consulting company called Vetasi Limited, primarily selling Maximo solutions and customizing those solutions. He also provides technical review of all support cases and advises on technical design issues on IBM WebSphere
D: As someone who’s been in this industry for a while now, can you comment on why Communities are so important?
M: Communities are a way that people can easily share and gain knowledge. If you follow them regularly then you’ll often find information about cases which you haven’t encountered yet and that you could encounter in the future or I’d found people doing things that I’ve not thought of and taking those ideas myself and build them and use them to achieve things I probably couldn’t have done before
D: I agree – you couldn’t have said it better. Can you talk about your involvement with IBM WebSphere? customers you’ve helped or share something that stands out in your memory about IBM WebSphere?
M: I started getting active in the WebSphere community after I got active in the Maximo community. I joined the IBM Support Council which helps IBM-ers understand customer’s support needs and I commented on WebSphere presentations. I got involved then because I spoke up at some of those meetings – I said well this is how my customers see the world and it is really important for people thinking about joining the community to come in and play your part, you might have views which our people have not got, certain scenarios – there is a lot of value in being a part of the community because you can get to see things and be involved with things. I’ve been involved in the IBM Automation release in terms of previewing parts of that and contributing to that.
D: That’s amazing. We really appreciate your feedback and support. I understand you were one of our key contributions in the THINK 2021 WebSphere sessions. Can you please share your experience?
M: I certainly participated in them. It was very good. It’s been an ambition of mine to present at THINK, certainly to attend. It was nice and a great compliment from Claudia and the team to ask me to come in and contribute to one of their sessions. It was great being in the virtual room with people and hearing their experiences and being able to work with them all and IBM-ers to shape the product.
D: Thank you again so much taking the time to participate in our THINK sessions and sharing your experience and wealth of knowledge. We were glad to have you on. You’ve been working with WebSphere and its customers for a while now – what are your thoughts on what it was to what it is now, as a product?
M: The WebSphere today for me is a foundation of the main Maximo product. Over the years, it has become easier to manage and I continually see that it’s developed onwards and the move to Open Liberty and all that kind of things is going to be good. It’s clearly gearing up for the cloud environment and going to provide an experience that’s going to last for quite a long time.
D: Great! What is your next act as an IBM Champion going to be?
M: The next act I think, well I need to update my blog. The next major act I think is in a few weeks’ time where I am taking part in the IBM Hursley conference – will be working there with Don from the WebSphere team.
D: That’s exciting! We look forward to seeing you at the conference and reading your blog :) And lastly, what do you do for fun?
M: I play chess. Also, a hobby that I’d taken up very recently is making furniture for a community project here in the UK.
D: What a great hobby that gives back to the community! Thanks again for taking to time to talk to me. It was a pleasure!