Industry Awards

I’ve always been a proponent of industry awards. I can recollect my first awards ceremony representing Citrix back in the late nineties, the host was a relatively unknown Graham Norton, it was such an honour to receive the award on behalf of my company, customers and partners but also the creators of the products. In the software industry it is such an accolade for the developers to know that the software they are producing is award winning!

I always encourage my clients to enter appropriate awards and I aim to at least get them to be a finalist, winning is just icing on the cake. This year has been a really good year for my clients’ success in winning awards. Liquidware was a winner at both the US Best of VMworld awards and the European awards. The US BoVM awards are product focused and the European ones are focused on customer projects. FlexApp was the winner in the Digital Workspace Awards in August and DAS Group UK won the European Best Desktop Virtualisation and Mobility Project as well as being named Best in Show for their use of Liquidware’s Stratusphere UX solution. Liqudware was also a finalist in the Computing Technology Product Awards in the Digital Transformation Product category. However, the winners are selected by voting and as Red Hat won a LOT of the categories, I feel these awards are not so good to enter. If you’re a smaller company how do you gather enough votes to beat the bigger companies?

Last year, Droplet Computing won the UK Innovation and Entrepreneur award at the prestigious BCS and Computing awards. This year I entered them again but this time in the Emerging Technology category. It was a great moment at the awards ceremony to see the team collect this award. The only downside to them winning two years on the trot is they want me to attain a hat trick and secure a win in 2020!! No pressure then 😉

My tips for successful awards entries are to always write it from the value of the technology perspective; not just how the product works but why it delivers business value. Ensure you’re entering an appropriate category and have fully understood the entry criteria, plus, don’t use BS bingo, be succinct and write it so that the judges can garner very quickly what your submission is about and the uniqueness of the solution. You can read an in-depth blog here for further tips and tricks.

And remember: you gotta be in it to win it!

UK VMUG UserCon November 27th

I’m so excited to be attending – and presenting – at the forthcoming UK VMUG UserCon on 27 November, with the preceding evening being the vCurry, which I am also looking forward to. I missed the event last year, so am also super excited to see the new location at the National Space Centre.

As others have already blogged about, the vCommunity is a big part of the attraction to this annual event, as well as the awesome sessions the organisers have arranged. There will be the usual VMware glitterati there in the shape of Joe Baguley, Frank Denneman, Duncan Epping and Cormac Hogan, but there are some amazing community sessions too, check out the agenda here. The agenda lists two roundtable sessions, both to be held in Breakout 7, Rocket Tower. The first one is at 2.15pm with the second one at 3.00pm. I will be hosting a session at both times; the first one is on Personal Branding, so if you’re interested in how “Brand You” can impact your career, pop along to that. The second one is a demo of the community analysis site, WhatMatrix in conjunction with a couple of the community contributors. This session is an absolute MUST ATTEND if you’re responsible for evaluating technology for your company. We’ll focus on a VMware comparison so you can see how the site works and the type of output you can obtain – all for free!

And, of course, the whole event couldn’t take place free for attendees without the sponsors, so please do make sure you go check them out.

Finally, in advance of a fab event, I’d like to thank Simon Gallagher, Dave Simpson, Linda Smith and Chris Dearden for carrying on the mantle of being the organising committee. I know how much hard work and heart ache goes into organising this annual event – I take my hat of to you all!

Looking forward to seeing many of you in less than two weeks!!

Rimmer’s Quest for Broadband Continues!

For many years, over 16 in fact, I’ve been waiting for broadband at my property. Not superfast you understand, just bog standard plain ol’ broadband. When we first moved here, the only ‘broadband’ option was Home Highway from BT (aka ISDN). After a couple of years, BT removed the service saying ‘everyone can now access broadband’. As you may recall from my previous ramblings, we’re 11km from the exchange and that broadband signal just can’t get that far down the copper before it fizzles into nowt.

I’ve been very vocal since Superfast Berkshire received £8M from the Government back in 2013 to bring broadband to this county. Unfortunately, they awarded the contract to BT who did not want to service the sparsely populated rural communities. So, Superfast Berkshire then awarded the rural contract to Gigaclear. As a specialist in providing broadband to rural areas, we were highly optimistic. Having signed up on their website about 18 months ago, it was encouraging to see them laying the fibre about ½ mile away from our lane on the main road earlier this year. 

Email correspondence with their delivery team revealed that the service should be live later in 2019 so we all waited with bated breath…….. Only to receive a letter earlier this month informing us that Network Rail were obstructing completion of the circuit as they would not allow Gigaclear to traverse a bridge they owned!

Due to this delay, BBC South got in touch with me again and further interviews with BBC South and BBC Radio Berkshire ensued on 10th and 12th September respectively. The reporter was at my house for over an hour on the 10th and then the interview was broadcast the next day on 11th September. You can view the (poor) recording here of the TV interview. Apologies for the poor quality but I recorded it off the TV with my iPhone as I was away horse riding in the New Forest when it was broadcast! Am sure there was an easier (and better) way to record it, but as it didn’t stay on iPlayer for too long I wanted to save it for posterity!

Despite having moved on from my satellite broadband to a mobile data network, I’m still paying a premium – around £60/month – as are my neighbours. FFS!! Fast speed Internet access is a utility in the 21st century and we are being deprived of it because Network Rail has its knickers in a twist about allowing a third party onto their land.  There are service ducts on their bridges for other utilities, so why obstruct Gigaclear?  The Government pledged to provide superfast broadband (which interestingly they state as being 24 MBPS – huh? that’s not fast IMHO!) to everyone in the UK. Yet one Government department (Network Rail) is obstructing another department (Gigaclear operating on behalf of Superfast Berkshire) from delivering this pledge.

I do appreciate the Government has a certain larger topic on its plate right now – no, I won’t bring myself to utter the “B” word – but really this is just another situation that highlights the current Government is not acting in the best interests of the population – at least not the small population of my rural community.

C’mon you jobsworths over at Network Rail – get ya finger out and complete the circuit so that we in my community can join the majority of you in the digital 21st century!!!

Imposter Syndrome

I recently attended the London VMUG and Joep Piscaer presented a great closing keynote on Imposter Syndrome entitled “Come Listen to Me, I’m a Fraud.” 

The synopsis of his presentation stated “With fifteen years in IT and a successful career as a world-class infrastructure engineer, as a speaker at many industry conferences, a blogger, analyst and technical marketing freelancer for Silicon Valley Startups and a CTO of a 1200+ infra and software engineering company, I can definitely say I suffer from imposter syndrome.”

While I could relate to some of the content he presented on, I personally didn’t think I’d been in a position in my career where I felt I didn’t belong, was out of my depth or was an “imposter.” How ironic then that a few weeks after the London VMUG and Joep’s presentation, I sit here writing this post with a complete fear of being exposed as an imposter!

Let me elaborate. There is a big movement around Women in Tech (you may have noticed) and I’m a very strong supporter of this movement. I’ve mentored a few women in terms of raising their own profile and advised on career advancement for example. I’m a regular reader of CRN here in the UK and they recently asked for nominations for Women in Channel awards. There were over 500 nominations received and they announced the list of nominees in May. I was delighted to see my name on this list in the Entrepreneur of the Year category. The next step was for one to complete an online questionnaire to move to the next stage of being shortlisted. The questions were very diverse; from what motivates you to has being a woman impacted any part of you being an entrepreneur. I duly completed the online questionnaire and, frankly, didn’t think any more about it. As mentioned previously, I regularly read CRN so when I saw they’d published the shortlist, I didn’t even read it immediately – because of course there’s no way I’d have made the cut. But when I did finally read the article, I was delighted, shocked and amazed to see my name listed, along with 6 other nominees!

Now, reading the article, I started to totally relate to Joep’s presentation. I clearly shouldn’t be on the list, little ol’ me from hiviz-marketing – established so I could fulfil both my passions of technology and riding my horses – was listed amongst these other women in tech  – WTAF!  I shared the news on Twitter and FaceBook and was so delighted to see everyone’s congrats. So, maybe, I am worthy after all? Perhaps the feeling of imposter syndrome will ease? If I listen to Joep, the answer to that is no!

I enter many of my clients into industry awards and always tell them to make finalist stage is a win in itself, to win the actual award is just the icing on the cake. I’m taking my own advice then – I’m a winner already!! The awards dinner, where the winners will be announced, is being held in London on 17 October. That date is my wedding anniversary. So, I’m going to take hubby along and we can at least have dinner on hiviz-marketing – assuming the accountant agrees!!

Third London VMUG of 2019

Having missed the last meeting in May, am looking forward to next week’s meeting at Tech UK and meeting up with the London VMUG crew! The agenda looks great and I’m especially interested in Matt’s and Joep’s sessions, will also be good to catch up with him. I think the last time we saw each other was a few VMworld’s ago!

Also, the sponsors’ sessions look good, it’s nice to see some long time supporters returning as well as some newcomers.

AGENDA

There’s still time to register! Hope to see you there.