A Rimmary of 2012 and a peek into 2013

I’m not going to be a ‘follower’ and write up my 2013 predictions, rather I want to share with you my overview of this past year.  This post will end, though, with some random insights into 2013 from my point of view.

I also started writing this before 21/12/12, when of course the world will end, according to the Mayan calendar, or certain peeps’ interpretation.   So I hope I’m not wasting my time, but I really don’t believe in this rubbish, but it’s fun reading some of the tweets on it, particularly this one that lots of tweeps tweeted.

So, back to 2012 – January was a busy month in terms of events; I attended my first Cloud Expo Europe and Cloud Camp London, followed by our London VMUG meeting on January 26th (interestingly enough my January 2013 looks exactly the same thus far!)  I also started working with a new cloud service provider, Calligo, who launched their service on VMware and have a unique offshore value prop.

February also held a first for me, being on a Chinwag with Mike Laverick, despite my dodgy satellite broadband connection, we had a great chinwag over Skype.  Mike is always so easy to talk to and asks some great questions and has a point of view and knowledge of so many things IT related.

February was also the VMware Partner Exchange, PEX, in Las Vegas and although I didn’t attend, I was responsible for one of my client’s, Centrix Software, attendance.  Having recently opened their US office, PEX was a great venue to attend and they signed up Presidio by being there.

On a personal note, March saw me completing a ‘bucket list’ item, seeing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in Iceland – totally amazing and I can thoroughly recommend anyone to see them!

April saw me starting consulting with VMTurbo here in EMEA.  The unique workload algorithm of their technology is very exciting and they’ve secured some big customer wins in 2012 this side of the pond.

May bought forth another new and exciting client, Nutanix. I was part of the team for their launch held at BriForum London – the launch party was opened by none other than Brian Madden and was attended by many customers, partners and industry folk, including some fellow bloggers.

VMware Forum was also held in London and this event saw me donning my VMUG hat and manning the booth to recruit new members.  My fellow London VMUG committee member, Simon Gallagher and I signed up nearly 50 new members in a day, some of whom we’ve since seen at London meetings.

May also saw me arrange two of the very last vendorwags posted on RTFM-ed prior to Mike moving over to VMware with both VMTurbo and Nutanix being highlighted.  And of course, we held our Q2 London VMUG meeting May 17th.

June was a celebratory month of our lovely Queen’s diamond Jubilee.  With this and the opening of the Olympics the following month, Britain truly was Great again!

July saw the launch of the new industry awards from Tech Trailblazers, encouraged all my clients to submit and December saw Nutanix as a runner-up in the virtualization category.  We also held our last London VMUG of the year July 19th.  We’ve always held 4 meetings a year, up until last year, when we organized the first User Conference in November, which we again organized this year, hence only 3 LonVMUG meetings.

August was VMworld month!  I was delighted to attend with Nutanix who sponsored my trip in return for booth duty.  This enabled me to attend many sessions and to also attend VMUG leader activities, as well as vExpert activities.   I also was lucky enough to get Olympic tickets for equestrian at Greenwich. It was an amazing opportunity and am so pleased I was able to ‘be there’.

One week after my return from San Francisco, I was on my way back to Boston in September.  This was a bittersweet trip for me as it was to attend a memorial for my dear friend and mentor, José Carrerio.  José had passed away unexpectedly in Costa Rica in April and this was a celebration of his life.  Past Citrix friends and colleagues were in attendance, including Ed Iacobucci, the founder of Citrix.

September also saw the planning start to ramp up for the forthcoming VMware User Group Conference in November….

I was back at VMworld Barcelona in October with Nutanix, again allowing me to undertake VMUG and vExpert activities when not staffing their booth.  It was an awesome show, apart from the schlep between the Solutions Exchange/Lab area and the main sessions area. I arranged the first NDA blogger session, prior to Tech Field Day 2, for Nutanix and it was well attended by bloggers from across EMEA.

November saw another successful VMUG User Conference up at the National Motor Cycle Museum.  I’m sometimes asked (and think myself) why do we, the London VMUG Steering Committee, do what we do – we are ‘volunteers’ as our badges highlighted at the event! Well, for me, the answer is simple – post-event the tweets from our members are what make it all worthwhile.  Tweeps having a great, informative day, free of charge (thanks to our awesome sponsors) and meeting some of their heroes is all the thanks we need to keep on doing it, unpaid and voluntarily!

We held our VMUG wrap up call in December, where we held a ‘post-mortem’ on the event.  Only a few minor niggles where highlighted for improvement, but overall another successful event – here’s to 2013!!

2013 – Some Random Insights

I predict a great new podcast, created for the sole purpose of demonstrating how women are part of ‘AdaptingIT’ – this podcast was announced on John Troyer’s VMTN the other week, but I encourage you to listen, the inaugural discussion is with VCP #1, Susan Gudenkauf.  Lauren Malhoit is the genius behind this, but both Mike Laverick and I have been involved in helping Lauren set this up, and am privileged to have had a helping hand.

Secondly, there will be another National User Conference at the National Motorcycle Museum in November. Put a placeholder in your diaries for November 21st – this is not a prediction, this is a fact 🙂

Thirdly, will 2013 be the year of “federated cloud” and will VDI actually take-off?  I predict the term VDI will die and be replaced with a generic EUC or desktop virtualization label and I do see technology coming to the fore to accelerate federated clouds. But will 2013 be the “year of” both federated cloud and desktop virtualization? I believe it will be the same as any technology, it will gradually grow and accelerate and go from being emerging to incumbent. 2013 will be a ‘passing through’ year for both on their journey to incumbency.

And finally, will vExperts stop asking for bags, certificates, free entry to VMworld etc.?  Sadly, I think not 🙁

So, in signing off for 2012, I send best wishes to you all for the festive season and a happy and prosperous New Year!

Women of Purpose

One of the agenda items at VMworld San Francisco was the Women of Purpose event that was held on the afternoon of Tuesday 28th August.  I had attended the event at VMworld 2010 and was astonished on arrival at the Marriott Marquis to see nearly 400 women in the room!  Carl Eschenbach had already started the proceedings and it was refreshing to see a senior executive from VMware opening the proceedings, especially as the opening video ended with Carl and his twin daughters chanting ‘Girl Power’!

Carl Eschenbach, COO VMware, delivering the opening welcome Women of Purpose, 2012

 

The agenda continued with an executive cloud panel discussion and whilst really informative from a business perspective, it was really interesting to hear some of the challenges these ladies had overcome, in the face of adversity, to being the successful businesswomen they are today.  The panel included:

Shohreh Abedi, CIO, Farmers Insurance Group

Sheh Bertram, CTO & EVP, Zions Bancorporation

Cindy Cortell, Director of IT, Major League Baseball Network

Karyl K. Innis, CEO, Author and Executive Coach – Keynote Speaker

Marivi Stuchinsky, AVP, Enterprise Infrastructure Services, Molina Healthcare

Lynne Wilson, VP of Cloud Solutions, Perceptive Software, a Lexmark Company

We were then treated to a “Smart, but..” keynote from Karyl K. Innis, executive coach.  Her talk was very enlightening and, at times, very funny, particularly the audience participation of one of the ladies’ impression of driving a car on stage!  Karyl has trademarked Smart, but…  and I can see why after listening to her.  I think we’ve all said at some time, “Bill is really smart, but..” and Karyl has a unique way of identifying career mistakes and helping people to overcome them.

I attended the event with my old VMware colleague and long-term friend, VCP numero uno, Susan Gudenkauf, her own success in the face of personal adversity is an inspiration in itself.  If you know Susan then you know what I mean by this.  If you don’t know her, then listen to this interview by TrainSignal!

I really encourage women in IT to join the LinkedIn group and, if you can, attend Women of Purpose 2013 at VMworld.  A big thank you and congratulations to the founders of this wonderful initiative,  Sonal Patel and JJ DiGeronimo.