Chattanooga-based SMB owner recognized as a thought-leader in the worldwide technical community, demonstrating exceptional expertise and contribution in helping others derive greater value from IBM software, solutions, and services.

ibm-championSmall MarTech business owner Tony Perri was recently named  Z , one of only a handful of IBM z/OS computer champions worldwide. Perri is the president and Chief Marketing Officer of Perri Marketing Inc., a technology marketing agency with clients around the world, and has more than 10 years helping small to mid-sized software vendors (SSVs) compete with large multi-national software corporations in the marketplace, with an office located on the North Shore in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

IBM reviewed nearly 1,700 nominations this year, and selected just 778 IBM Champions for 2022, from 55 countries, 9% of which earned champion status in IBM Z .

“IBM wants evangelists that are known in the marketplace. It’s a lot more powerful if you have an advocate talking about the things you do, compared to the same information coming from your company’s mouth. There’s power in a third party validating you, and I think that’s what part of the IBM Champions group is,” Perri said.

Perri has nearly 15 years of experience working with IBM’s Z platform and was nominated by Reg Harbeck, another IBM Z Champion with more than 30 years of experience as a mainframer in the industry.

Harbeck is chief strategist at Mainframe Analytics Ltd and has recently partnered with Perri and two other leaders in the enterprise tech industry, Charles Mills and Randy Siegel, to found Santa Rosa Software, LLC, an SSV building mobile software solutions for the mainframe.

“I have known and worked with Tony for a number of years, and even interviewed him for my TechTalk Enterprise podcast. He has a rare set of skills, experiences, and attitudes that bring the IBM Z mainframe technology and ecosystem together with people-centric and business-quality results,” Harbeck said. “His contributions to this context have been significant and varied. As I was (and continue to be) the first IBM Champion for Z in Canada, I know most of the IBM Champions for Z in the U.S. and many worldwide, and I realized that he fits right in, so I encouraged and nominated him for this recognition. And I was happy to see that IBM did indeed recognize him for this designation.”

Though the bulk of Perri’s career has been focused on the marketing side of the technology space, Perri said his understanding of the technologies he helps sell is what sets his business apart from other marketing services agencies.