Editor’s note: LimeLight is a new feature from WRAL TechWire offering another means of publishing noteworthy news. Be sure to check out more LimeLight worthy news at this link. Janine Sneed, Vice President IBM Customer Success Management
In July 2019, IBM closed its landmark acquisition of $34B with Red Hat. The acquisition positions IBM as a leader in Hybrid Cloud and AI while extending Red Hat’s open-source innovation to a broad range of customers. With IBM Red Hat OpenShift as the cornerstone of the strategy, we are shifting our software to containers running on OpenShift and evolving our business model to Subscription.
We knew we needed invest in technical expertise to help customers deploy, adopt, and get value from their Hybrid Cloud and AI solutions so we expanded the Customer Success Management organization growing from 300 to over 1,000 in 2021.
Customer Success Management (CSM) is one of the fastest growing professions in IT. The LinkedIn 2020 Emerging Jobs Report cites that Customer Success Specialists came in at number 6 with a 34% annual growth rate YTY. CSMs help customers adopt and get value out of software and solutions. IBM CSMs take this adoption to the next level as CSM “Architects” who help customers identify use cases to move to the Cloud, lay out enterprise Cloud architectures, build Minimum Viable Products, and ultimately ensure modernized applications scale into production.
IBM CSM Architects are working with customers in the following ways:
- A large European Airline is scaling a hybrid platform for application, data, and integration modernization. Our CSM, Luis Jimenez Matilla, built a hybrid cloud enterprise architecture using Cloud Pak for Application, Cloud Pak for Integration, and Cloud Pak for Data across on premises, IBM Public Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. This customer will be taking the architecture and workload into production.
- A large US hospital is implementing a unified data fabric to improve cancer patient care, outcomes, and research. Our CSM, Kyle Greely, is helping the data scientists at the hospital use Watson Studio to build machine learning models and understand end to end data flow throughout the data science suite.
- A large US bank is modernizing documentation systems to injest over 13 million documents every thing from hundreds of repositories for wealth management. Our CSM, Chris Crane, guided the Bank’s Center of Excellence on the architecture, strategy, and entitlements to ensure success of the project.
We are hiring over 700 CSMs this year globally with a significant presence right here in RTP. With so many external hires, we put in place a robust CSM Onboarding program to help new employees learn about the CSM profession, get hands on with the IBM and Red Hat portfolio, and get mentoring to ensure their success. We launched a rigorous learning program known as “CSM U” where the technical and professional training happens.
While supporting our customer’s digital transformation and modernization agenda is front and center so is building an engaging, open, and transparent CSM culture. The CSM organization prides itself on customer obsession, curiosity, technical skills, radical candor, diversity and inclusion, entrepreneurial spirit, and growth mindset. At the end of the day, it’s about providing an engaging and nurturing culture for our CSMs to grow and do their best work. We work hard and we play hard. We love celebrating the little wins just as much as the big wins.
About the author
Bold, passionate, and results driven, Janine is the Global Vice President of IBM Customer Success. A senior executive with a technical foundation, Janine applies her engineering mindset to solve customer and organizational goals. With extensive experience in leading high performing teams in product management, strategy, technical sales, and Customer Success, Janine has a proven track record of helping customers and IBM achieve their objectives through digital transformation. Janine is the founder and co-executive sponsor of GROW in IBM Hybrid Cloud, an initiative to support career growth, diversity and inclusion for the women in IBM.