I invite you to spend a few minutes reading this background story about the fictitious NextGenCo and ponder for a few minutes if it resonates with you and a day in your life? If so, pay particular attention to this last paragraph where I’m setting the stage for future blog posts and an invitation for you to get involved!
NextGenCo is a decades old enterprise rapidly accelerating their digital transformation and adoption of hybrid cloud architectures using IBM Bluemix to expand their Application Platform offerings. With many datacenters supporting their global operations, they are quickly modernizing by deploying more and more of their Application Platform infrastructure within IBM’s Bluemix Cloud. Every department is challenged by the CIO to improve availability, reliability, quality and spending within their areas of the business.
Not only are the changes being made in the infrastructure, technologies and architecture used to support their hybrid cloud pattern, but changes within the NextGenCo culture are happening as well to become more agile and collaborative across business and technology silos of their past. The adoption of DevOps practices such as continuous integration and delivery and use of tools like Slack for open, transparent collaboration, ChatOps and getting work done much more efficiently are helping their teams realize the benefits of NextGenCo’s more modern competitors.
Andy is a member of the Application Platform delivery team supporting key business applications within the NextGenCo environment. Andy’s primary role is as the lead IT Admin supporting WebSphere Application Servers (WAS) and various other middleware software used in the NextGenCo Application Platform.
As the lead WAS Admin, Andy spends considerable time worrying about the health, welfare and security of their WAS environment within the Application Platform and the business applications that depend on it. Andy’s team is constantly challenged to meet the demanding needs of the business with an ever changing application environment. He is regularly challenged to cut costs, reduce spending and do more with less.
His team is overworked resulting in lower priority (yet important) work such as upgrades, maintenance and housekeeping often put off for extended periods of time.
Andy works with Jim who’s one of the top SMEs in the engineering department. Jim is one of the super-heroes often involved in complex application problems involving WAS and someone Andy can count on for help during outages as well as more challenging WAS maintenance planning.
He also relies heavily on Anne who runs Capacity Planning for the Application Platform. Much of the project work Andy’s team is responsible for comes from Anne’s upgrade change requests to support growth in the Application Platform.
Andy also has a close working relationship with RJ and Annette in the IT Ops organization. Andy, RJ and Annette collaborate and communicate within the NextGenCo Slack team where everyone is kept up to date with progress updates when problems occur or when Andy is executing change requests within the production WAS environment supporting NextGenCo’s critical business applications running on the Application Platform.
Andy’s team uses dozens of corporate tools, 3rd party software products, spreadsheets and data to ensure his team meets their commitments to the IT organization, CIO and the LoB. His team is measured against traditional IT metrics such as availability and performance service levels, IT budget Capex, Opex and expense targets as well as service quality (# outages, # incidents, MTTR).
As a leader, Andy desires to improve his team’s chemistry and work-life balance by looking for ways technology and process improvements could help them be more successful. Andy is always looking to get more done in his day. He regularly makes use of his time during his morning train ride into the office to plan his team’s daily priorities. From his iPad, Andy is able to quickly gain insights into his environment by asking Eleanor, his Watson Powered Cognitive ChatBot, “What’s Up?” within his Slack team.
What would a day in your life look like if you had a IBM Watson powered cognitive assistant or ChatBot available to help you with your day-to-day work planning and execution? What if those mundane tasks, workflows and problem escalations could be radically simplified and augmented by your own bot, right where you are already having conversations and doing work? Watch for future blog posts as I take you along a cognitive journey demonstrating how Eleanor can help transform a day in your life supporting IBM middleware.
If you’re interested in exploring how IBM’s Watson and cognitive capabilities and experiences such as a cognitive assistant or ChatBot could come to life in your environment and for your IT roles like Andy, Jim, Anne, RJ or Annette please consider joining our next trial of #codename:Eleanor, our platform for multiple cognitive use cases within Cloud, IT, Network and DevOps teams. #codename:Eleanor will be first exposed within the new IBM Cloud Product Insights offering supporting IBM middleware such as WebSphere, Liberty, MQ, IIB and ODM (many more to come). Check out the detailed offering page within IBM Bluemix here for details on supported versions and how to get started with the core offering. If you’re an Andy, Jim or Anne supporting these applications, I want to help you experience Eleanor!
Sign up here for the April start of the IBM Cloud Product Insights – Cognitive Trial or feel free to reach out to me directly for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.