First, I want to thank IBM for the opportunity to be an IBM Champion in 2018. I've been curious about the program for a while, and I have a lot of good friends who have been champions for a long time, aand a few who are lifetime champions. That said, it hasn't been a particularly comfortable fit for me. I haven't had a single customer or potential customer comment on it in a positive way, and I've had three comment on it negatively, as it makes them think I am less impartial. I also find it a little hard to champion some of IBM's choices and decisions, though I am very pleased with their decision to bring on HCL to breathe new life into some of the products. That was smart.
I hesitated and hesitated about even trying again this year, but I thought I'd give it another try, Unfortunately, after the application, the further sale of Notes/Domino to HCL was announced, which looks like it will remove what little purpose there is for me to be a champion. So, while it never feels great when people turn you down, I was a little relieved to receive a letter saying that 2018 would be my only year as an IBM Champion.
So, congrats to all the champions, and may it serve your needs perfectly in the coming year. I'm going back to the sidelines. I'm glad I got a chance to see how it felt, and also glad it was just a temporary thing. My goals for 2019 have less and less to do with IBM, though they may have more to do with HCL.
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