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Rock Stars in our Midst

Power Systems Champions

IBM employees comprise a small portion of the Power Systems* team. The community extends beyond corporate offices into all corners of the globe. Leading up that community are IT professionals, business leaders and educators who devote much of their professional lives to spreading the word about the platform.

To give credit where credit is due, IBM created its Champions program in 2011. Typically nominated by their peers, IBM Power Systems Champions receive the title for one year and are eligible to renew their status the following year.

“Our Power Systems Champions are rock stars in the industry. They are channel partners, developers, ISVs and OpenPOWER partners. They are advocates and evangelists for our brand,” says Kimberly Storin, vice president, marketing, Power Systems. “These are the people who embody the meaning of the word Champion.”

This year, IBM named 41 Champions for Power. Each has a distinct background and offers a unique perspective that supports the overall community. IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems edition caught up with a few of them to learn why and how they are living up to their Champion titles.

Babatunde Akanni
Managing Director; Head Technical Sales, ROE Limited,
Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

A new Power Champion this year, Babatunde Akanni uses AIX* in his work at ROE Limited, an IT systems integrator with a presence in more than 10 countries spanning Africa, Asia and Europe. Akanni is a champion in the areas of environmental infrastructure audits and translation to the Power platform using rPerf (relative performance). “I really want to save customers several cost points,” he says.

Liam Allan
Product Developer, Profound Logic,
Dayton, Ohio

Working remotely from his home in the U.K., 2017 Power Champion Liam Allan writes new Node.js code to help modernize RPG code. Allan enjoys porting applications to IBM i and AIX, as well as writing new code to demonstrate how powerful the database, system and hardware can be.

Allan has been using PASE and AIX. Currently, he’s writing new development tools on Windows* for IBM i and working on a DB2* module for Lua (running in ILE). He does a lot of open-source development to show that IBM i can be like any other OS. “I want to show people what they’re missing out on for going to less reliable hardware. These operating systems are just as capable as any other, but with lots of benefits,” he explains.

Aaron Bartell
Director of IBM i Innovation, Krengeltech,
Mankato, Minnesota

An IBM Power Systems Champion since 2012, Aaron Bartell creates new products and services for Krengeltech on the IBM i platform. Litmis Spaces ( ) is one such effort that brought browser-based development of IBM i open source to the masses with the click of a button.

“PASE on IBM i is basically AIX, and the majority of my time is spent in PASE, so you could say I spend time in AIX,” he explains. “I also work on Linux projects for some customers when they prefer that over PASE.”

Bartell likes to spread the word about Power Systems by teaching others. This includes writing articles and aggregating news on Twitter (@aaronbartell). “Technology not known about can’t be adopted,” he says.

Shawn Bodily
Senior IT Consultant, Clear Technologies,

Now in his second year as a Power Systems Champion, Shawn Bodily provides presales-solution design assistance and post-sales implementation services. His focus is on AIX and Linux. His favorite channels to spread the word about Power are Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Bodily has also authored or co-authored numerous technical documents, including IBM Redbooks* publications. He manages the PowerHA wiki. “It’s important to remind people that not only are there alternatives to Intel systems—there are superior ones,” Bodily explains.

Eve Daniels is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer.



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