The Evolution to Evangelism: Same great company, exciting new role

I have accepted a new role at Tintri as the company’s Principal Technology Evangelist. This means I will be taking a more customer-centric approach to shaping and articulating Tintri’s technology and strategy and I will be more closely aligned than ever before with Tintri’s Engineering, Product Management, and Marketing Teams. I will be working with our field employees, customers, partners, media, analysts, and the IT marketplace in general, to ensure our message is resonating across the spectrum. I’m incredibly excited to be taking on this role as I’ve been ‘all in’ on Tintri since the day I saw the technology in action.

IdeaBoyUSE-300x300Speaking of that day … There have been two powerful light bulb moments in my career. One was at VMworld 2007 and the other was about 15 minutes into my first face-to-face conversation with Tintri back in March of 2009.  The person at Tintri I met with showed me a bit of their Virtual Machine Aware storage in action. I instantly got it.  No lengthy explanation was needed.  The light bulb moment was very compelling.  What was supposed to be an initial 60-minute meeting turned into a three hour discussion as I couldn’t stop asking questions and digging deeper into all aspects of the company. I left the meeting feeling like I had to be a part of what Tintri was building.

Since then, I have loved watching customers have that same light bulb moment when we dig into all the Tintri goodness. In my new role, one of my goals will be to evoke as many of these light bulb moments as possible across the entire community.

As far as interaction with the community, another goal of my will be to focus on blogging and connecting with more people through social media. But I won’t be hiding behind this blog or Twitter. I will be in front of customers, prospects, and partners. I will be attending as many industry events as possible and I’ll be in Silicon Valley regularly. So if you see me, come say hello, introduce yourself, and let’s start a conversation.

I’ll wrap up this post by saying I’m thrilled that my new role with allow me to devote a large amount of my time focused on interacting with the virtualization community. Actively participating in the community has helped me learn and grow faster than I could have on my own, and I have a huge level of appreciation and gratitude for that.

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Call to Action: VMworld 2014 Call for Papers is open

vmworld2014
Today VMware opened the Call for Papers registration for VMworld 2014.  You can login an submit an abstract here: http://www.vmworld.com/community/conference/cfp

This year there are only four main tracks, each with subtracks, as follows:

End-User Computing
· Horizon Desktop
· Horizon Mobile
· Horizon Social
· Desktop-as-a-Service
Hybrid Cloud
· Public Cloud
Software Defined Data Center
· Cloud Infrastructure
· Management
· Storage and Availability
· Networking and Security
Partner Track
· Technology Exchange for Alliance Partner

The Abstract Submission Guidelines can be found here: http://download3.vmware.com/vmworld/2014/downloads/abstract-submission-guidelines.pdf

Please note these dates.  There is less than one month to submit abstracts.
– April 4: Call for Papers opens
– May 2: Call for Papers closes

Good luck to all those who submit!

Honored to be a vexpert for the sixth time!

This week VMware announced the vExpert class of 2014.  This year 754 outstanding members of the community received the award.  I’m honored to have been selected as a vExpert for the sixth year in a row.  The vExpert community is a fantastic mix of passionate people from all walks of life within our industry – Customer, Partner, Vendor, Analyst.  I’ve made a number of great industry friends via this group over the last six years, and have had some of the best technical conversations and debates with these same people.  The value I’ve received simply by being able to collaborate with this group has been the single biggest reward.

I did want to take a second to congratulate my fellow Tintri teammates, Scott Sauer, Rob Girard, Trent Steele and Rob Waite, who were also part of the 2014 vExpert class.  Well done guys!

After the 2014 announcement was posted I started thinking about that first year the program was around…

Flashback to 2009

That first year about 300 people were selected (see the 2009 announcement here).  For giggles I decided to search through my .PST archives for that original email that was sent out by John Troyer in February of 2009.

vExpert2009

The highlight of that inaugural year for me was the first official vExpert meeting that took place at VMworld 2009.  I walked into the room looking around at all amazing minds in one place, it was a pretty surreal feeling.  John Troyer put together a nice agenda for us starting with then VMware CTO Stephen Herrod who did a Q&A session (part of it was recorded and posted here by Eric Siebert).  Next up were presentations by Jason Boche and Steve Kaplan (check out the recap Steve did about his presentation here).

It has been great to see the vExpert program grow larger year after year and watch those who have been involved in the program grow in their careers as well.  Thanks again to John Troyer and Corey Romero for the continual effort in establishing, growing and maintaining this awesome community.

So I finally started a blog…

It took a few years and some gentle nudging from my trusted advisors and close industry friend suggesting that I start my own blog…and here we are.

It feels good to finally get started.  That’s because those who know me know that I am passionate about our industry.  I like to share my perspective and opinions and spur conversation – about storage, virtualization, industry trends, new developments and everyday stuff too.  These are the things I plan to focus on in this blog.

When I’m reading technology blogs and articles, I tend to gravitate towards the ones that are concise yet compelling.  So one of my blogging goals is to produce content that is meaningful and easy to consume.  From time to time, I will go deeper but I promise to keep the marathon posts to a minimum.

Two bloggers (and close industry friends) who I think share this same philosophy while delivering exceptional content are Chris Wahl, VCDX #104, over at Wahl Network and Brian Suhr, VCXD #118, over at VirtualizeTips.

I’m not sure I will be creating technical content at the level these two are capable of, but with my background as a customer and consultant, and with my large vendor and startup experience, I believe I have a perspective that will be interesting to readers and valuable for our community as well.

I will likely be syndicating certain blogs that originate here over to Virtual Insanity, which is a consortium blog led by one of my awesome colleagues at Tintri, Scott Sauer.

Over time, I’m sure you’ll see my blog evolve from both a look and feel perspective as well as from a content perspective. And I hope that this blog will create an ongoing dialogue among us!