Ben Langhinrichs

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January, 2018
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Fri 12 Jan 2018, 09:39 AM
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I was very pleased to receive notification today that I have been named an IBM Champion for 2018. Thank you, IBM, and thank you to those who nominated me and supported my nomination.
 
While I have had mixed emotions about the concept (see my 2013 post, I am not an IBM champion), my thinking has evolved over time. I am still, first and foremost, a champion for my customers, and I will not hesitate to call IBM out if I think they are in error. On the other hand, the reality is that my products and customer base are very IBM-centric, and working more closely with and advocating for IBM ICS products will serve those customers better than standing outside the fray.
 
With the announcement of Notes/Domino 10, we have an opportunity to take the really terrific parts of the Notes/Domino and make them more relevant and appealing to the world in 2018 and beyond. Being an IBM Champion will help me articulate that vision better to my customers and others.
 
A company of the size of IBM has to contend with a lot of competing voices and visions. While I'll never reach the influence of even a small corporation, being an IBM Champion may enable me to influence IBM's ICS directions in some small ways.
 
Being an IBM Champion doesn't have to mean drinking the Kool Aid. For me, it may mean nudging both large, cumbersome IBM and cynical, disillusioned partners to work together to see if we can snatch some small victories from the gaping jaws of decline. If that is not the optimistic view IBM would like to see from its champions, so be it. If that is not the negative view some partners would like to see from me, so be it as well.

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