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The Value of Being an IBM Champion

IBM Champion for Power Systems Jaqui Lynch shares about the program and how to nominate a peer.

In 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 I was honored to be nominated to become an IBM Champion for Power Systems. Much to my surprise, I was recently made an IBM Lifetime Champion for Power Systems, something I really was not expecting. So why is it such a big deal to be a Champion anyway?
The first thing I would say is it is a way of recognizing those who give back to the community. This is done in many ways such as writing articles, blogging, answering questions, running user groups, giving sessions at conferences and many other contributions. The five criteria are:
1.         Evangelizing and advocating for IBM Power Systems
2.         Sharing knowledge and expertise
3.         Helping the community grow and nurture
4.         Expanding the reach across the IBM Power Systems portfolio
5.         Providing feedback and direction on IBM Power Systems products
I love sharing what I know. I have spent many years in the industry and see no reason why someone else should have to stumble through the same things that I did in order to have success. This is the main reason I write all the articles and speak at so many conferences and user groups. The articles and presentations serve two additional purposes—they force me to keep current and they act as a form of documentation. When I can’t remember how I did something I go search through the documents that I and other Champions have created and shared.
But I could continue to do that without being a Champion so what is the value to me of being one beyond the recognition? As Champions we receive many benefits that really help us in our jobs. Yes, we get some cool logo wear and digital badges which are very nice (Thank you, IBM), but the key benefit for me is the incredible networking opportunities that Champions have. We get exclusive access to online communities and regular updates from IBM development and other teams. Being able to network with other Champions and bounce ideas and problems off of them is invaluable to me. The regular pre-announcement updates are incredibly beneficial and helps with planning for clients.  And this year, I was invited to participate in two focus groups on product updates – it is very cool to think you might be able to influence where a product is going and the features that might get added.
I am humbled and excited to be an IBM Champion for Power Systems.  The other Champions are incredible people that I am honored to work with.  I have been learning new technologies such as the livestreaming used in Champions chats.  If you are someone who is interested in becoming an IBM Champion for Power Systems, then reach out to one of the current Champions or head over to the community to get more details.  You can get someone to nominate you or you can self-nominate here. 
Champions Community 
Lifetime IBM Champions


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