IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - July 2017 - 19
open-source technologies. As
clients implement open source,
they encounter challenges getting
questions answered on a regular
basis, such as what packages
are available and what support
is needed, particularly in the
Linux on Power Systems space.
Based on that feedback, IBM built
a portal that allows customers
to search for information from
one location, provides a Slack
channel to communicate and has
subject-matter experts monitoring
the site to answer inquiries.
"If a client has a specific version
of a technology and wants to know
how to integrate open source, we
can help," Chiras says. "That kind
of dialogue, especially around
our open source, makes the portal
more interactive. That was from direct feedback from
this Executive Advisory Board that said, 'How do we
engage with you on an ongoing basis?' "
Information is available from a single source
that provides an elevated, self-service experience.
Documents customers need are at their fingertips.
EAB members leverage what they learn at the
meetings in their businesses. "We had descriptions
on what we offered for artificial intelligence (AI),
machine learning and deep learning, which apply
to the new era of cognitive workloads," Jones
says. "Clients wanted to know how to apply those
workloads to their business, so we provided a lot of
information on specific use cases on how they could
use this technology in a business environment."
Clients took those use cases back to their own IT
shops and found additional uses, including applying
AI to cyberattack management and home design.
"They took what we had and applied it to their own
product areas and business practice areas, which is
very exciting," Jones says.
Into the Future
Executive members are able to
see IBM's plans and evaluate how
those initiatives are applicable
to their business. Even more
valuable, members can shape
and influence those plans, which
demonstrates just how critical
their input is.
"They can see what we will be
providing to them going forward,"
Jones says. "As their businesses
are growing, they can see how our
technology can help them grow
Brett Martin is a freelance writer
based in Shakopee, Minnesota. He's
been writing about business and
technology for more than a decade.
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ibmsystemsmag.com JULY 2017 // 19