Last night I attended the Super Women's Group panel discussion and reception and took a few notes to share. Before I get started, I am thrilled to say that it was standing room only. (The fire marshal had to turn people away.) It shows the growing number of women doing technology jobs and also the effectiveness of our marketing. Next year, we are getting a ballroom, ladies! Also, this advice can apply to any career and is relevant to all my followers.
Marie Wieck, GM Application and Integration Middleware kicked off the event and answered a key question: How do you get a seat at the table? Her advice was to do what you want and express your opinions based on clear facts. She said we all needed to earn trust and credibility and our actions needed to always support what we said. She talked about a story where she arrived early to an important meeting after hours of preparation and didn't actually sit at the conference room table but took a seat in the back corner of the room. Her mentor told her that she would not have been invited if he didn't want to hear her thoughts and contributions. It was a choice that she never made again. She concluded her introduction with the advice that complaints should also be accompanied by solutions and you also should be prepared to execute on them. "Be prepared and engage fully".
Judith Hurwitz, our moderator, likened her career to a series of building blocks and calculated risks. She said there are always roadblocks but you remove them and look at it as part of building your adventure. She listed the topics for the evening as taking risks, leveraging social business, building relationships, turning mistakes into victories and impacting the bottom line. After some introductions of the panelists, each got to talk a few minutes about what had the most impact for each for them.
Gina Poole, VP of Rational Marketing, gave advice on how to ask for what you want. Gina mentioned that it never hurts to ask for what you want and that if you can't communicate your wants, nobody else will be able to guess them. She also advised the audience to leverage the larger community to push your ideas and not get so hung up on the credit. Gina said there is often times she mentions her thoughts to a variety of people across the team so the idea takes roots and a life of its own. Dibbe Edwards, VP of Rational Development, went on to describe how important it is to take a risk and choose the harder path when you have options. She challenged the group to take the more difficult assignment when presented and as a woman, to also view the challenge or assignment as an opportunity and adventure for the entire family. Dibbe stressed that they need to be part of the decision and support network for you. Dibbe also talked about team transformation and helping to make technology relevant to current business trends. She felt the most important advice was to do what is fun for you and inject humor and personality into what you do.
Ritika Mehta joined us from Cisco Systems, where she is a director of a multi billion dollar product line. Her advice was to understand the core competencies of your business and your market and to then define and apply the challenges your organization faces in each area. She asked everyone to look beyond the issues to solutions and to define the impact to the bottom line with every decision. She also mentioned that innovation requires investment and you need to be able to balance and streamline your core business in order to drive the strategic initiatives. Ritika had looked for a lot of process improvements in her production lines to identify ways to streamline and make an impact. Her advice? Don't be afraid to make a proposal. "No" does not mean "never," and the bigger the company, the more inefficiencies there are that you can leverage. Ritika had some great parting words that we as women need to set priorities and identify our top three or four. She was confident we could be successful at driving towards those but needed to understand that we can do anything but we can't do EVERYTHING. The second customer panelist, April Bittner Slovensky, Principal at Deloitte, focused on making your contributions count for both the top and bottom line. April really brought family into the equation and talked about her personal experience coming back from maternity leave and coming to the realization that her sales job with travel was no longer a fit. She wanted to maintain a clear connection with revenue in her new role so she morphed a tools organization and changed the way they measured success. April tied the releases of tools to sales and delivery engagements. She also worked to do a lot of risk mitigation for projects and ensured her teams were recognized for their efforts toward the client's success. April advised the audience to surround themselves with people you trust and hire smart people with clear roles and responsibilities to ensure their success. a good team reflects well for everyone.
Our final panelist question was for Wendy Toh, VP of Rational Client Success. Her focus was on building relationships and the value of investing time and personal stake in getting to know both your customers on a personal level and your peers and teams internally. Wendy advised that you needed to be sincere and truly like the people you worked with. She highlighted her curiosity and ability to find things in common with each individual. She attributes the success of her programs with the fact that she gives each company a face and a name. Wendy also stressed establishing partners for success. She was passionate about ensuring that words and actions matched and that we all built credibility in everything we do. She also gave some key advice about when you knew you were ready for your next challenge. She said you can move on when you feel you have truly conquered what you set out to accomplish and have a job ahead that you can learn from and enjoy. Embrace the challenge.
We had some great questions from the audience that prompted these parting thoughts from the panelists and audience alike:
All: Get as close to the bottom line as you can and get as technical as you can
All: Ask for what you want with perseverance but not aggression. It never hurts to just ask and if you don't, you lose the right to complain.
All: Realize every day you will be wrong at least once - and that is okay.
April: Ensure it is okay for your team to fail and allow yourself to learn from your failures. Simply instill some safety nets so the team doesn't fall too far and allow those to help drive course corrections.
Gina: Everyday do something that makes you think, laugh and feel.
Ritika: Set your priorities and you can achieve them.
Judith: Maintain your relationships. Invest in them both internally and with the customer.
Dibbe: Get outside of your comfort zone and look to grow.
Wendy: Do what you say and say what you do.
As the room cleared, we moved over to the Red Carpet Lounge for a great mingling event with food and beverages. I want to thank the executives for all coming to the reception and spending so much time with all of us. It was such a pleasure to be around so many smart women who are all going to do a little leaning in to help each other going forward.
In a mobile, social world software is a mission critical for achieving competitive advantage.
At Innovate we have the opportunity to interact with some of IBM’s large clients with the most complex software environments. These customers have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in IBM solutions and have come to understand that the efficacy, with which they are deployed, administered and maintained impacts every facet of their business. In the current wave of disruptive transformation entire processes are being impacted by social technologies and over the next decade social business computing will pervade every business function. Thus, social strategies must be fully incorporated with the business plan and objectives and an integral part of the pervasive, mobile computing environment.
Increasingly, achieving competitive advantage requires an enterprise capability for accelerated software delivery. In turn, that necessitates tight alignment between the software engineering infrastructure and dynamic business requirements. Ultimately, 80% of the success in social business will come from will come from proper implementation strategy, planning, roles, and processes. These are things at which IBM’s Integrated Services teams excel.
Because your time is valuable, Innovate 2013 features an IBM Rational Integrated Services Delivery Zone. Here you can connect with all the right people who can help increase your capability for accelerated software delivery - whether that’s optimizing your current investment, increasing collaboration across global teams, or expediting your social evolution to drive innovation.
Here's today's reminder of the upcoming RCS session! Keep an eye here tomorrow as we post the final day's reminders at 7:30am EDT to help you plan the day during breakfast! And don't forget, you can always check out the full RCS sessions list in our prior post here.
We've got four great sessions by seven great RCS peeps for you today!
This session will explore issues and strategies for CLM administrators, and how to avoid some of these problems when planning and enacting deployments, including presentation of some resources to enable administrator success. The presenters will introduce themselves and their roles and duties and speak on common escalations issues for Administrators as seen by Rational client success organizations. There will be a brief overview of resources for administrators. An example of resources for administrators will be demonstrated.
The presenters will then answer questions and take comments.
Gerald Mitchell, Rational Global Response Team (GRT)
Ginny Ghezzo, Rational Client Relations
Craig Chaney, Jazz Server Development
Jazz Hub open forum discussion
Due to popular demand the Product Manager (Sreenivasan Rajagopal) for Jazz Hub is having an open forum discussion discuss everything Jazz Hub and address your questions.
Fast-Tracking the Deployment and Management of Multi-Instance Rational Team Concert Implementations and Integrations in a Multi-Network Environment
In this presentation, the audience will see innovative concepts in the areas of architecture, virtualization, and automation to support robust and complex Rational Team Concert environments – developed to reduce deployment overhead and increase ROI..
By leveraging virtual technologies and common best practices have helped in the development of a more modular, standardized implementation approach and architecture for RTC along with supporting services and integrations. This solution looks at an approach to solve the challenges of deploying across disconnected networks, allowing for a lean team of administrators to manage over 60 disparate environments both consistently and predictably. You will see innovative concepts in the areas of architecture, virtualization, and automation to support robust and complex RTC environments – developed in the name of survival.
Stephen Seifert, IBM Accelerated Value Leader
Gray Ross, Raytheon Missile Systems
3:00 - 4:00
Tips & Tricks for Efficient IBM Online Support – Learn What’s Changed & How to Get Your Answers Quickly
IBM has made many updates to its online support tools over the past year. Learn the best practices for utilizing these exciting tooling changes and policy updates. We’ll discuss and demo the best ways to work with IBM’s online tools, obtain fixes, manage licenses, and engage IBM’s support engineers. This session is a “must-see” for all IBM clients – large and small.
Additional bonus: We’ll be demoing dramatic design changes planned for later in 2013! See what's coming and provide feedback directly to IBM's web team leadership!
Patrick O’Connor, Communications Strategist, IBM Electronic Support Adoption
Are you ready to take your reports on the road? Within the CLM solution, IBM now offers an enterprise level reporting solution called Rational Reporting for Development Intelligence (RRDI). RRDI delivers dashboard style reports in a variety of formats. With the RDDI-compatible mobile extension in IBM Cognos, you can deliver highly interactive and self-contained reports to your mobile users. Managers and executives who require high-level and drill-down reports can make business decisions within their organizations on the go. Our goal is to demonstrate the mobile solution using the Cognos 10 Go! Mobile components. We will discuss the deployment, design, implementation, and user experience of IBM Cognos Active Reports. This report delivers powerful capabilities based on data from the CLM applications that your organization can use to make informed business decisions. Take your CLM reports to the next level and join us for a live demonstration on an Apple iPad.
Ben Silverman, SWAT/Escalation Engineer - RequisitePro/ Requirements Composer/ Rational Insight
Chris Fleischer, Technical Support Engineer - Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM)
The Support Cafe at IBM Innovate 2013. These are some of the smartest people I know. If you have questions they will help you get your answers.
Please come and visit us at Asia 5 in the Dolphin Hotel. We're here every day throughout the conference from 10-5pm.
Greetings from the main tent at Innovate. Here we are in the second full day of events and the mornings have been exciting. The band welcomed us all and after yesterday's lightning sessions I was looking forward to some panels and speakers. First up was Robert Leblanc, SVP of Middleware. What I gleaned from him was that our customers clearly understand the latest trends of mobile, Cloud and more but they feel they are very unprepared to adopt and react to those trends. Seems like an opportunity for us to help them with the transition. I loved the example he gave with the Ford Fusion and how it contains over 15 million lines of code by the time it is complete and coming off the line. It is a walking data center. Also interesting was the how he positioned devOps to be more of and enterprise process and not an IT process. I think this shift will allow more of our customers outside of the traditional ALM and IT space to participate. I also heard a clear call to action with the directive to improve the speed of delivery of our offerings to map to the entire mobile paradigm and allowing customers to update at will at a very quick pace from the appStore.
Next up was Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup. First, let me say that I am not a person to read a lot of industry trade mags or books. I get my information in small bits and use a lot of online mediums. I am totally going to break my own rule, buy this book, and cart it around. I was energized. I liked how he encourages entrepreneurship and challenged us to rethink what we identify as a startup. His definition was that it is to create something new amidst uncertainty and that it can actually occur in large companies. The main issue is truly knowing what the customer wants ad treating your startup idea as an experiment and making a key decision checkpoint about whether it should indeed even be built - not that it can or cannot but that it SHOULD. You need a market for your startup.
He got a few laughs when he mentioned that being an entrepreneur requires management and accounting. Even lean startups need to understand that at some point in the cycle you need to be able to change direction and strategy without changing the vision and recognizing when you need to "pivot". Mr Ries listed this as the most important tool and the modicum of success is to be able to pivot faster and maximize your time through the loop of build, measure and learn. I really liked his idea of failure. It isn't changing direction when you realize something isn't working. It is successfully executing on a bad plan and realizing too late that if nobody wants it, it doesn't matter that you delivered on time and under budget. He concluded with a powerful example of a learning milestone where you establish the baseline, build a minimum value product (MVP) and then tune the engine and experiment. Don't be afraid of bad results or failures and pivot often and quickly without losing site of your ultimate goal. His Ghostbusters references were classic. You can't just have an idea and hope Zuul invades NY on the exact day your seeding funds are getting tight. Plus, NY may be a little touchy about the entire invasion premise.
I'll admit this is long and as I sit here typing live from the Support Cafe, I wonder if everyone will get as much value out of my words as I did the session. I decided yes and I am going to highlight a few more things. Bear with me. Martin Nally had the pleasure of hosting a panel on innovation with some key executives from IBM, General Motors and more. He led with something I found interesting. Charles de Gaulle said that there are three roads to ruin: by gambling, which is the quickest; through women (Martin changed this to "romance" so it would apply universally), which is the most pleasurable; and through taking the advice of experts, which is the most certain.
I looked up the quote to make sure I got it right and found one more by de Gaulle the panel really drove home. We may go to the moon, but that's not very far. The greatest distance we have to cover still lies within us. It was clear from all the speakers that we need to encourage a culture of innovation that allows for failures and course corrections, and I look forward to seeing what Martin himself is formulating over the next year.
Our final event was an interview with Alan Brown and Steve Wozniak. He focused on the fact that he designed things completely for himself and was "an engineer at heart". He did not always rely on existing documentation and design principles but worked to reverse engineer and improve upon them. He would offer challenges to himself to build something with less parts and that is what drove the entire simplicity model. Mr. Wosniak worked on many different projects and didn't ever discount those efforts. He also said it is not always easy to recognize innovation and what can be turned into money but that his partnership with Steve Jobs really helped there. What he brought to the table was the ability to be disruptive, and to not just learn the answers to the test but to ask thought provoking questions on a regular basis. This message resounded well with me as I see my own children often look for the answers instead of trying to figure out answers for themselves.
I encourage you to see http://www.woz.org/ for more information about Steve and his pursuit to provide education and opportunities in science and math for the next generations. I was impressed with the fact he has actually been teaching elementary school and feels his time is more valuable than money in making an impact on the student's lives. I tend to agree.
Contact me through my developerWorks profile if you want to talk more about ways to innovate in a large company. I am passionate about our ability to challenge the norms and have served on one of our patent review boards and my advice and time are free.
It’s wonderful to see many of our great clients in person at IBM Rational’s annual Innovate conference! I always benefit from hearing their comments, whether it’s frustration or compliments. Client interactions here made me think deeper into how our clients have evolved over time.
I have been thinking about this for a while and had done some research on it. One changing trend I see is that our enterprise clients are becoming more "consumerized", meaning, they demand and expect to be treated like an individual consumer, with ease of access to information, instant response like those among individual consumer interactions, and "personal touch" for an enterprise-wide partnership.
This trend is very meaningful for my team and myself as we focus on client support. We used to look at some of the social media forums as more tailored for consumer market, but we now have clients telling us they hope to be able to find deployment guide through a Google search. We used to focus on our books and manuals but now clients give us kudos about our migration video on YouTube. These feedbacks have significantly encouraged us to go play at a much bigger platform! For this conference, we have all sorts of social amplification efforts going on, and we are putting our product contents into forums, tweets... Our client program managers are interacting with client advocates face to face. Furthermore, we are looking into other ways to interact with our clients, whether it’s through web tickets, live chat, or community forums.
The consumerization character is also an excellent fit for Rational portfolio. The entire value proposition of Rational product family is aiming at providing a common playground for accelerated development, and this common playground has significantly lowered the "entry criteria" for our clients therefore made the entire workflow flexible, personable, and more consumable. For example, Rational Team Concert would enable our clients to conduct multi-site development, accept site-specific or user-specific configuration variation, but yet provide an integrated blue-print of the overall enterprise project. This flexible yet reliable common playground has made it possible for many of our clients to adopt agile, to accelerate their development pace, and formulate the effective cycle of continuous testing and continuous delivery. Sal Vella, our VP of Development & Support, said it the best during Sunday's VoiCE keynote session, "This new world is all about developers!"
Time to jump back to more client dialogs. Continue looking for ideas on how to provide more consumerized service to our valuable clients!
In the current economy resource contention is fierce and CXOs press for more relevant ROI when making spending decisions. Sometimes meaningful, quantitative ROI can be difficult to determine and other times it’s pretty straight forward.
Data analysis shows that IBM customers with at least a 50% full time equivalent Accelerated Value ProgramLeader working as a trusted advisor to their development teams enjoy greater adoption and more robust usage of their Rational software. Customers who invest in professional services to assess their needs and then roll out and deploy their software at scale reap similar rewards. So what’s the perfect blend of services? For large, complex deployments leveraging professional services in waves with sustained advice and support from AVP provides expedited ROI.
Tuesday's reminder for today's upcoming RCS sessions! We've got three great sessions you won't want to miss today! Keep an eye on the blog this week as we post the day's reminders at 7:30am EDT to help you plan your day during breakfast! And don't forget, you can always check out the full RCS sessions list in our prior post here to start planning tomorrow too!
Knowledge Sharing is a key initiative of the Accelerated Value Program. In this roundtable discussion, we'll exchange ideas for how Rational solution architects and administrators obtain the advanced knowledge necessary to effectively plan, deploy, and maintain their Rational infrastructure. We'll discuss the best sources of online information, explore opportunities for more formal learning, and exchange ideas for other enablement strategies aimed at ensuring that knowledge gained translates into improved stability and performance for your Rational tool environment.
Craig Branham, Curriculum Architect for Enterprise Modernization - Rational User Education
Jazzing up Rational Customer Service with Rational Team Concert and Rational ClearQuest using Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC)
With a number of disparate systems used to handle the various aspects of customer issues, we had a process of organized chaos that lacked efficiency and was full of communication issues. We needed to implement a new system that closed these gaps, improved efficiency, and customer satisfaction all while utilizing our products and current technology to the best of its abilities. We utilized a combination of Rational ClearQuest (CQ) and Rational Team Concert (RTC) to handle customer escalations, situations, enhancements, and defects. The use of OSLC allowed us to create an integrated solution with RTC work items and CQ records to reduce information duplication and operational costs, foster collaboration between support and development, improve metrics gathering, and simplify the user experience. Rational is sharing our best practices with our customers so they have a better understanding of how we use our own tools and how they can help you get issues resolved.
Christopher Quinones, Software Programmer Manager - IBM Package Developer, CCB, ROCR
4:15 - 5:15
Strategies for planning and completing a successful CLM upgrade
Rational CLM products are powerful tools and as time goes on, it may be come time to upgrade to the latest version to make use of more features, add in a product offering, or migrate to a different application server. Upgrading and migrating as time goes on can require additional planning for downtime, additional product and version dependencies. Designing and implementing a strategy for success is crucial for a smooth transition. As an example, moving from an older version of Rational CLM products such as 18.104.22.168 to the latest versions require moving through intermediate steps and a thorough understanding of system setup and requirements through the process is critical to success.
Gerald Mitchell, Rational Global Response Team (GRT)
Paul Ellis, Rational Global Response Team (GRT)
Rosa Naranjo, Jazz Jumpstart - CLM Upgrades, OSLC, RRC/RM
The customer is always right, but making customers successful is challenging especially when it comes to troubleshooting issues in a complex environment. As our clients evolve to mobile, social, cloud environments our jobs have become more demanding. When we look at all the topologies our large clients use, there are some 3M variables that can impact the performance users experience. IBM Rational has client support teams in 18 locations around the world working to reduce this complexity.
Our Client Success team is dedicated to solving your problems 24/7/365. As business becomes more social our goal is to quickly and easily connect customers to the subject matter experts you need in order to efficiently resolve your concerns. We are one global team for a globally distributed marketplace, partnering with professional services and AVP.
In a social world people do business with people. Stop by the Integrated Services Delivery Zone and meet the people committed to your success.
Support Leader, ADC, RTC & Enterprise Tools, LATAM, CCM Segment Leader
Serviceability is the ability to service something, for the purposes of this blog, it is the ability to service IBM Rational solutions deployed in your organization.
Each client is unique therefore each client deployment is unique. How do you, as the solution owner, and IBM, as the solution provider work together to keep your solution up and running as required to meet your business needs? How do we service your solution? This is a question that IBM Rational has been focused on for the past 12 months as part of our Platinum Initiative. Serviceability is one of our five focus areas along with deployment, integrations. performance, and user knowledge and documentation.
Serviceability can be broken down into 3 necessary categories which must work together, to service your solution:
First, product diagnostics, the information that a product or solution provides to give us insight into what is happening during operations: log files, traces, error messages.
Second, tooling, tools within and surrounding solutions that facilitate troubleshooting. Examples include firebug, jazzmon, ISALite
Third, skills, the appropriate technical and business knowledge to translate product diagnostics and effectively use tooling.
We have worked to improve all of these areas in the last 12 months and are committed to continuously delivering improvement in all 3 categories, initially, for a select subset of our portfolio: Jazz Application Foundation, Rational Team Concert, Rational Quality Manager, Rational Requirements Composer, DOORS, Rational Developer for z, You will find mention of some of our achievements here at Innovate and will also find new features on jazz.net and in our product offerings.
For product diagnostics:
Improved error messaging in the following products: Rational Quality Manager, Rational Developer for z.
Logging improvements specifically in Rational Reporting for Development Intelligence and Rational Developer for z designed to improve error handling and log analysis.
Introduction of Smarter Server for our Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution. Smarter Server, currently under development, is a tool that will be embedded in our jazz product portfolio giving clients vastly improved insight into real time operation of your CLM deployment. Please check out this session at Innovate.
Smart Server Session for Innovate: RDA-2326 Smarter Server: Performance Monitoring for CLM
Boris Kuschel and David Schlegel Wed 06/05/2013 11:15 AM - 12:45 PM
Swan 9 --- Swan
Automated data collects are incorporated in our solutions so that interaction with IBM Rational is streamlined. In our CLM 4.x releases there is a tool called ISALite that automatically collects the information we need , we are soon releasing a data collector for RDz in version 9.0, also in CLM Lifecycle Integrated Adaptor, Rational Rhapsody.
IBM Rational is committed to enhancing our own skills to support our clients solutions, but we are very excited to share this knowledge with our clients. On May 9 we released a new Deployment Wiki on jazz.net that shares the knowledge of our leading support, development, and services problem solvers.
Specific, detailed, MustGathers have been documented for both our support engineers and client's use. This information will reduce time to relief and focus efforts of you the client and the support engineer.
Forum support for Collaborative Lifecycle Management has increased significantly this year. A more casual, transparent exchange with Rational support and development for answering questions. Check out the Jazz.Net forum now!
Please join me at Innovate on Monday, June 3, 12:15 to 1:15 in Oceanic 7 to learn more about our activities and to share with us your opinions on serviceability.
Gerald Mitchell from the Global Response Team is also available by request at the Support Cafe when he is not otherwise presenting in sessions and is happy to engage in discussions around Smarter Server and Serviceability.
Millard Ellingsworth our Collaborative Lifecycle Management Answer Lead for forum support can also be located at the Support Cafe and at the developerWorks Live Zone.