Planet Mainframe News

Conversation with IBM’s Meredith Stowell: IBM Mainframe Skills Council 

At this week’s SHARE conference in Orlando, IBM announced the launch of the Mainframe Skills Council— “a forum where global organizations will foster a skilled, diverse, sustainable workforce for the mainframe platform.” 

The new council includes a wide array of global stakeholders, including IBM clients, IBM partners, academia, user groups, non-profits, and open communities. Council partners will collaborate in working groups focused on career awareness, competency frameworks, learning paths, as well as professional development. 

In a recent conversation with Meredith Stowell (Vice President, IBM Z Ecosystem), she shared the impetus behind the formation of the new council:

“We work with and have partnered with different organizations across the ecosystem, and we’ve found that there are many groups and organizations that are passionate about the topic of mainframe skills,” said Stowell. “So we want to pull all of those organizations together—from clients that have experienced existing skills programs within their organizations to universities that have incorporated content into curriculum in various ways…to open source communities.”

Stowell acknowledges that while open education has been a significant focus in the mainframe space, there has been a lack of global collaboration around training, “We were asking ‘How can we pull together this entire global community to share best practices, identify gaps, and then collaboratively work together to fill those gaps? I think that’s the key component that has been missing—the connection across the global communities.”

IBM’s announcement of the Skills Council included the results of new research by the Futurum Group, which showed a generational gap in mainframe talent, featuring a promising “influx of early career talent” together with an “existing demand for experienced mainframe professionals.” Addressing this issue, Stowell points to academic initiatives that accelerate the skills of people coming from diverse backgrounds: 

“When we look at the question of mid-career talent, I think it’s there, but we’re looking at it from the perspective of accelerating the skills of those that are relatively new to the platform as well as various re-skilling types of programs,” explains Stowell. “Those re-skilling initiatives bring in individuals that may not necessarily be mid-career from a mainframe perspective, but they are mid-career. So they’re bringing in other experiences, and they are accelerating and learning the technical skills that are needed from a mainframe perspective.” 

Getting mainframe skills to those who want to learn them continues to be a key focus of IBM. In the news release announcing the Mainframe Skills Council, IBM also introduced the IBM Z Mainframe Skills Depot, a no-charge, self-paced, online training platform for learning the mainframe. Would-be mainframers can choose from specialized tracks tailored to roles such as System Administrator, Application Developer, or Modernization Architect.

Stowell is voluble on the topic of IBM mainframe skills training and the stories of people that have come to a mainframe career through training programs like the Global Skills Accelerator and Apprenticeship Program:

“We’ve had over 440 participants in the program across 83 employers. And we’ve had everything from a country singer on a cruise ship who always wanted to get into IT and is now a successful system administrator—to call center sales representatives and bank tellers whose employers have leveraged the program to reskill them to become system administrators and application developers on the platform.”

When it comes to the future of the mainframe, Stowell exudes optimism. And to those who might be considering a career path working with mainframes, she points to the momentum behind IBM Z:

“The platform continues to grow with a 3x capacity increase over the past 10 years, and the z16 is our most successful hardware program to date,” says Stowell. “This is an enduring platform with a very successful future and there are so many opportunities—whether you’re interested in coding, or networking, or security, you can truly work the 360 of IT with this platform that underpins the global economy.” 

Source: IBM

Wipro and IBM collaborate to leverage IBM watsonx, propel enterprise AI

IBM and Wipro (a technology services and consulting company) have announced a multi-year expanded partnership that will help clients accelerate AI adoption through a new service—Wipro Enterprise Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Ready Platform. 

The new platform helps clients create and maintain enterprise-level, fully integrated, and customized AI environments by leveraging IBM watsonx AI and data platform, including,, and watsonx.governance and AI assistants

“This expanded partnership with IBM combines our deep contextual cloud, AI, and industry expertise with IBM’s leading AI innovation capabilities,” said Jo Debecker, Managing Partner & Global Head, Wipro FullStride Cloud. “The solutions we are creating as part of this partnership will help enterprises achieve new levels of flexibility when building their own enterprise-specific AI ecosystems. Our goal is to make AI consumption as efficient, agile, reliable, and sustainable as possible—ultimately, helping advance the adoption of enterprise-level AI.”

The partnership will be bolstered through the newly founded IBM TechHub@Wipro solution, a centralized tech hub designed to support joint clients in their AI pursuits, with the assistance of subject matter experts, engineers, assets, and processes. The IBM TechHub@Wipro will include a watsonx Center of Excellence, which will focus on infusing IBM’s watsonx capabilities across Wipro’s offerings.

Ethical AI practices remain a top priority, and Wipro Enterprise AI-Ready Platform will leverage watsonx.governance to automate AI governance through the AI life cycle.  Additionally, Wipro associates will be trained in IBM hybrid cloud, AI, and data analytics technologies to help accelerate the development of joint solutions.

According to Kate Woolley, General Manager, IBM Ecosystem, “We’re pleased to reach this new milestone in our 20-year partnership to support clients through the combination of Wipro’s and IBM’s joint expertise and technology, including watsonx.” 

Sources: IBM, Wipro

Sonja Soderlund is an Oregon-based B2B freelance writer. Whether writing about mainframe computers, educational technology, or sustainable retail, she strives to bring clarity to complex issues. Connect with her at or LinkedIn.

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