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Monday, January 17, 2011

I'll Be Marketing... In My New Role at IBM

I believe luck is where opportunity and preparation meet, as the saying goes. I now have the good luck to join a team at IBM in, for me at least, a new part of the business: Marketing. For anyone who knows me, I am equal parts – geeky technologist, people person, analytical organizer, extroverted introvert and creative thinker. My drive to build community in all that I do and apply new innovations have naturally led me to roles providing an outlet for this energy. I have enjoyed expanding my software development career as a team leader, a community manager and most recently as a technical evangelist. Now I have the good opportunity to expand my scope and mission providing meaningful engagement with customers all across the WebSphere brand through social media. It will no longer be something I do just because I believe it is the best way to lead our business and help customers, it will be my first priority in the day to day job.

I'm joining IBM marketing in a role as Social Media Strategist for IBM WebSphere Software.

My original laminated IBM magnetic barcode badge from 1997. Scotch tape holds it together now.

I do not find acronyms all that inspiring, however IBM is a bit different. I have been with IBM since 1996, first as a college co-op and then hired on full-time, after receiving a Computer Science degree, to work on development of newfangled Java GUIs in the newly acquired Tivoli software division. IBM and I have been through a lot together. I have enjoyed working with people from different places and teams in the company. I think we have such a strong network of dedicated, talented and creative people working in IBM. I am proud to represent the brand through my own best efforts as an individual.

My friends and colleagues have not been all that surprised by my move from the development ranks to marketing. They have been cheering this move and many say it's about time. I have had more encouragement than I ever expected. They say the way in which others see you, at your best, is a reflection of your true nature and demonstrates your realized potential. I don't know about all that, but I am glad to take all of my fantastic experience working with people through online networks and live events to make a difference for IBM Software and our customers. Here are my 5 reasons to join marketing!
  1. A Smarter Planet starts with you and me. I want to change the world. I want to make a difference in people's lives. I want to reach out to help people be successful. One person at a time – and through real-time communication in the new media way. I am a perpetual early adopter. I am curious to find new ways of solving problems and strive to discover how things work. What can we accomplish together?
  2. Taking social business to the next level. We have a great ecosystem of technology engineers and business leaders with an incredible opportunity to reach people by digital and interactive means. Amplified serendipity is possible when we open up our business on social networks in preparation for disruptive change and new business models. I strive to building digital eminence for myself and my colleagues. We have the most brilliant minds in the technology industry. I believe social media provides a powerful medium to help people connect with context and meaning. I have great experience with proven success in local North Carolina community activities with using social media in meaningful ways to organize events and connect people. Now, I will put this to great use for the IBM Impact conference for WebSphere.
  3. IBM Software has a story to tell. IBM Software is a capability platform, not just a set of products. Through our deep research work, acquisitions and technology delivery, IBM is poised to continue doing great things far beyond our centennial this year. I want to help share this story.
  4. Innovation that matters. You've heard this before but it remains a driving factor in everything we do at IBM. We are here to enable our customers to succeed, period. It's not all about what tools, but also how, when and who uses good tools to facilitate the best results. Digital and web marketing have been very successful mediums for IBM to communicate value and I now see social and real-time as the natural progression of that powerful formula. I will now be able to help more people be successful with solving big problems, and the small ones too.
  5. It's about the people. My colleagues routinely amaze me and I want to feed off of their energy to challenge myself and grow. Something 2.0 or "Social that" is what we constantly try to label all of these ways and means but it's really about the people that drive the car. We have great drivers, and crew, and I am glad to be on the race team starting the big race at the pole position.
There are a great many people I wish to thank for their support both behind the scenes and on the job, for their keen insights and advice on my career journey thus far. There have been so many excellent people who have been nice to me, beyond the call of duty, helping with my development over my entire professional career and especially during this past year. I'm a big fan of making lists, as you well know, but my gratitude list is far too expansive to record today. I want to thank each and every one of you individually and until then, please accept my heartfelt thanks here. To my friends, family, colleagues – the unbelievable network of people inside and outside the company I've had the fortune of learning from and interacting with on work, life and the stuff in-between – and especially to my wife and kids, thank you. She is the anchor and they are the starboard and port lights that twinkle and shine on this journey.

Without much more to say for now, I'll see you all online and with good luck in person soon. I am marketing now and know that our success relies on good communication. You can find me here, there and everywhere online.


wayne sutton said...

congrats Ryan!

JuannyCinco said...

Good Luck Ryan.

From everything I've seen of you I think this is a great opportunity for you.

Your role was already part marketing and I think with your involvement in Ignite NC and others it should be an easy thing for you.

Gwynne Murphy said...

Congratulations, Ryan! Good luck in your new role.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Ryan. - Alan Lepofsky

Denilson Nastacio said...

Congratulations! Specially happy that your passion and your day job are intersecting.

Janet M. Kennedy said...

"It's a Brave New World that has such people in it". Good Luck!


Ryan Boyles said...

Wayne, Juanny, Gwynne, Alan, Denilson, Janet and the many many more well-wishers on Twitter and Facebook – my great thanks to you. And especially to Steve Lazarus. This will be an exciting year. Twenty Eleven is the year of the Rab.

Shaku Selvakumar said...

Welcome to the team, Ryan!!! Thrilled that you are on board. Twenty Eleven is indeed the year of the Rab.