London VMUG – 15th May 2014


Yesterday’s London VMUG was another great example of the VMware community.  We had an interesting spread of sponsors; EMC as our gold sponsor, Zerto and opvizor as our silver sponsors, and Uniprint were in the labs. We also had a great selection of community and VMware speakers – with Owen Sheey, Frank Bueschsel and Richard Munro talking VSAN, SSL Certificate Usage and vCHS respectively.  As Owen had come over from Cork and Frank from Germany, we made their trip worthwhile by getting them to do 2 other sessions in the afternoon, VSAN Troubleshooting and SSO Architecture, Deployment and Common Issues. I was pleased to talk to one member who said one of the reasons he comes to every meeting is to hear from our sponsors, given part of my role on the committee is to secure sponsorship, this is really good to know.  Many forums talk about not wanting to hear vendor pitches, but we always coach our sponsors to focus on the technical audience we have and so far we’ve never had too harsh a response to our sponsors!

In fact, further to the Storage Field Day ‘debacle’, Itzik Reich, Field CTO for EMCXtremeIO, gave an outstanding presentation, that resulted in many favourable tweets:








We were also fortunate to have a fellow VMUG leader, Pietro Puitti, over from Italy.  VMUGIT had their user conference last week, but unfortunately Pietro’s company sent him to Munich for work, which meant he missed out on all his hard work.  So he decided to attend our meeting and it was great to finally  meet him, having conversed over Twitter for a long time!

Our very own Simon Gallagher presented on vCAC – real world experience – and despite the demo gods not being on his side, his presentation was also received well:


I was personally pleased to have opvizor as a sponsor, as I’ve known their CEO, Dennis Zimmer, for a long time – he’s one of the original VMUG leaders in central Europe, an early vExpert and author of many VMware books, his first being published in 2005!

A few photos of the day below, including the winners of the free Subscription Advantage, Zerto and EMC prize draws 🙂

We concluded the day at our usual ale house, but the vBeers were kindly sponsored by PernixData.  It was great to have their CTO, Satyam Vaghani, attend too.

As usual, presentations can be found at and our next meeting is July 17th, mark your calendars now!

Forthcoming May 15th London VMUG

The agenda* is about to be published on, but thought I’d give you a sneak preview 🙂  We’re fortunate to have some great sponsors including opvizor who’s CEO, Dennis Zimmer, is speaking.  Dennis is an acclaimed virtualisation author and vExpert, so am personally looking forward to hearing his presentation.  We’ve also some awesome VMware speakers and, after the success of January’s lightning talks, some great community speakers in the lightning talks, covering Virtual SAN, SRM and VCDX prep.  Don’t forget to register here to secure your place at another amazing London VMUG meeting!

Afterwards we’ll adjourn to the Pavilion End for vBeers, see the post on for more info.

Looking forward to seeing you all on May 15th at the London Chamber of Commerce.


* subject to change 😉

One situation – many different views!

In my role, I straddle many of the marketing disciplines and whilst my main skills are in channel and communications, I have an affinity with the technical community – hence, why I love my role as a VMUG leader and most of the tweeps I follow are technical.  Due to my job role and role in the community, I like to think I can see both (or all) sides of a situation.

Recently there has been much discussion over the VMware/EMC/Nutanix twitter dialogue and the resulting coverage on CRN and while I can see all sides of the story, the bottom line is you may preface your tweets, or your blogs, as “are my own, not my employers’, but if you’re tweeting “on duty” then you are a representative of your company and must ALWAYS be mindful of what you say, write or tweet.  In fact, even in your own personal time you are still susceptible to being a company representative.

When I worked at VMware and was asked by a customer “Which partner should I buy ESX from?” I’d always point them to the partner page and say “it’s up to you.”  I understand that in certain situations you can provide guidance, but in today’s social media world, sometimes you do need to keep your thoughts to yourself……

I remember a few years ago a very popular blogger questioned Gartner in a post, but, if I recall correctly, it wasn’t aggressive just challenging.  His employer was immediately approached by Gartner and the outcome was the employer requested the blogger to take the post down.  There was uproar – rightly so – in the industry and community – this was over stepping the employer’s mark.  The blogger took his whole blog down for a while but am glad to say the situation fizzled out and his blog was up and running not long after – but with the Gartner post removed 🙁

To me, this highlighted that while you are an employee of a company, no matter what you say or do, you are viewed as a representative of your company and they expect you to act accordingly – whether you agree with them or not!  Frankly, this is why I love being an independent consultant !

I’d like to refer to a recent Geek-whisperers podcast, where Amy, John and Matt discuss PR not understanding social.  They billed this as  “our most confrontational podcast yet.”  PR/Corporate Communications’ role is sometimes like herding cats – they are responsible for the company’s communications and, sometimes, the social ‘fanatics’ make their job quite difficult.  So, being on both sides of this fence, I can see both view but, for a change, I do not agree with Geek-Whispers as I believe anyone in PR/Corp Comms will think THEY have to train the social engagers, not the other way around 🙂

Back to the VMware/EMC/Nutanix twitter discussion.  There were comments from the community in blog posts and on twitter that the journalist had ‘sensationalized’ the situation.  I don’t agree with that view either.  To me, he was ‘just doing his job’ and, while many times in a face-to-face situation some peeps are quite introverted, on twitter or in blog posts they are way more vociferous and animated!  Sometimes, this can lead to CLMs (career limiting moves), so do beware dear reader!





I get asked by some of my clients about how to engage on social media and what guidelines should be put in place, what training is required, etc.  My ‘recipe” for successful social engagement is simple:

1 part positivity

1 part passion

1 part honesty

1 part knowledge

Add a dash of humility

Blend together and at all times remember: if you represent a company, you have to be “on message” and if you’re not sure what the message is, or you have any doubt in your mind, don’t tweet it, blog it, or say it!