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The best way to understand the IBM Champions program is to know an IBM Champion. Do you think you know a Champion? Here are 7 questions to ask yourself about your technical community. Do these sound familiar?

  • Do you know someone who freely gives you advice in person, on Twitter, on forums?
  • Do you regularly read the blog of someone for help or shared code?
  • Do you know someone in your organization who knows everything there is to know about your IBM software or hardware, makes it all work together, and is always the one answering questions?
  • Do you know someone whose presentations you enjoy and learn from?
  • Do you know someone who puts his/her own time into organizing an event that you value?
  • Do you know someone who has positively influenced your choices of what to deploy and when.
  • There is someone whose contributions you would miss if he/she were to stop.

If you put a name or a face to those 7 questions, you might know an IBM Champion…or someone who should become an IBM Champion!B

How to nominate an IBM Champion

Each year, IBMers, current Champions, and community members come together to nominate the best, brightest and most supportive leaders to become IBM Champions. You can participate in the process by, well, nominating! It’s time to pick your person, gather their important details, let them know what you’re planning, and then…nominate!

Nominations are open through 1 November 2018, across IBM Analytics, Cloud and Cloud Integration, Collaboration Solutions, Power, Security, Storage, and IBM Z. In addition, we are welcoming developers to become Champions in cloud technologies and across areas. Not sure if you fit in one of those categories? Submit your nomination and tell us where you (or your nominee) has expertise. If you have specific questions, get in touch with me via email or on Twitter.

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What IBM Champions do

Once selected, new Champions join the 600-plus 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.

Then the Champions maintain their status by continuing their contributions, this time with additional input, help, and opportunities from their closer relationship with IBM. Champions each have their areas of technical expertise and their areas of advocacy and contribution. They speak at conferences. They convene user groups and offer mentorship in the technical community. They teach users to make the absolute best decisions around IBM technology. They provide invaluable user feedback that helps improve IBM’s products.

Through the program, IBM recognizes the ongoing leadership and expertise of these individuals. Rewards them by amplifying their content, by providing them with exclusive access to and previews of IBM product launches, and by increasing their sphere of influence. And catalyzes their work by offering opportunities and showing them where their contributions can have the most impact.

A typical day for an IBM Champion

IBM Champions spend time in various special calls, internal communities, and 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. Then the Champions share feedback with IBM and take what they need to create their own content and educate their communities.

And perhaps most importantly, IBM fosters a two-way relationship with the IBM Champions, which benefits IBM, the Champions, and the technical community.

IBM benefits by listening to the Champions’ experiences on the front-lines of IBM products in use. And by the impact that Champions have when they educate on, advocate for, and nurture in the technical 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 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.

Raise the community’s stars

Learn more about the program by reviewing the replay of our recent information webcast and then take a moment today to raise up the stars in your technical community – or to earn your own star!

Nominate a (future) IBM Champion today through 1 November.