This edition of our GTS Labs #IBMLeaderSpeak Series features, Amit Merchant , Director of ITaaS transformation at Global Technology Services Labs shares with us how joining IBM accelerated his success and how he has been able to do work that matters to IBM, our clients and the world at large. For those who want to make an impact in the Cognitive Era, Amit has this to say on #WhyIBM.
Amit, an alumni of IIT Bombay, has a Master’s Degree from Carnegie Mellon, USA. He started his career with Intel and later went on to become Director of Hardware Systems at Dell prior to joining IBM’s Systems & Technology Group (STG) in April 2009. In his current role as the Director of ITaaS Transformation at IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) Labs, Amit is leading and driving change for IBM’s IT services business by creating new transformative platforms to deliver services in a modular, self-service methodology.
Tell us more about your educational background, your early career and what keeps you motivated.
As a student of IIT Bombay, I spent some memorable years in this larger than life city, I still fondly refer to as ‘Bombay’. I later went on to pursue a Masters from Carnegie Mellon, USA.
My early career began with experiences from two renowned multinational IT corporations before moving to IBM. I learnt a lot from my work with microprocessor design in the 90s, working with high impact teams.
At the IBM Software Labs, I was part of the ‘Smarter Planet’ team that focused on building smarter city solutions all over the world. We digitized the water supply in Bangalore and this was a major success and a high impact project.
In GTS, we are building a brand new platform that will change the way IBM delivers IT services to its clients in the next 20 years. I am working in one of the smartest and high impact teams in GTS. It is a real privilege to be in the center of such ground breaking transformation.
What impacted your career most at IBM and how?
I have to make a mention here of the work done on a project around a service that has the ability to compare and contrast multiple cloud services – the development began in late 2014 and the first version was available at the IBM InterConnect Conference in 2015.We pitched the MVP to 40 clients and 90% of the client loved the idea.
In a short span of 15 months IBM went from seeding a new concept, to demonstrating its MVP to our clients. The entire corporation was excited, to the point that we wanted to accelerate the technology cycle and go to market. IBM also acquired Gravitant (a privately held company that develops cloud-based software) in 2015 to boost our Hybrid cloud portfolio. This was a high point in my career at IBM.
How did IBM help you accelerate your success?
My early career was focused on being deeply technical. When I moved to IBM, I got an opportunity to pitch Power systems to key clients. My pitches were a great success, the sales teams loved me and clients enjoyed the interactions with me. I became a regular at STG’s client pitches, whether they were Power or System Z. I realized that I was more than a technologist. I was also a great story teller. And I loved being with people and communicating difficult concepts to people. IBM rounded me as an individual, something I don’t think I could have done elsewhere.
What areas have you been able to influence in your gamut of operations?
The two areas I have been able to influence at IBM have been developing and positioning technology to our clients. IBM has a wide portfolio; we solve problems that most others cannot even think of.
I have loved building high impact teams. First at STG and now in GTS. The folks we have on our teams are amazing. To mould them, even in a small way, is very satisfying.
What is your message to students and professionals on why they should choose IBM?
Simple – I’d say for the very reason I joined IBM.
This is the one place where you get to solve real life problems that most others cannot even dream of. From helping transform healthcare to improving the retail shopping experience, is what IBMers do.
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