vExpert 2013 – Virtual Encouragement

About “vExpert”vmw_logo_vmware-expert_250x100_01

VMware has a program called the “vExpert Program”.  It’s for the people who have made significant contributions to vmware through leadership in blogs, speaking, technical evangelism, expertise, and so on.  This is the 5th year vmware has pulled this process together so thanks go out to John Troyer and the whole social media team with vmware.  The program has grown to 581 named this year.  I believe that is still an elite group despite some people complaining about too many people getting the designation.  There are 3 paths to become a vExpert;

Evangelist Path
The Evangelist Path includes book authors, bloggers, tool builders, public speakers, VMTN contributors, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others with the leverage of a personal public platform to reach many people. Employees of VMware can also apply via the Evangelist path. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public or were in a language other than English.

Customer Path
The Customer Path is for leaders from VMware customer organizations. They have been internal champions in their organizations, or worked with VMware to build success stories, act as customer references, given public interviews, spoken at conferences, or were VMUG leaders. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public.

VPN (VMware Partner Network) Path
The VPN Path is for employees of our partner companies who lead with passion and by example, who are committed to continuous learning through accreditations and certifications and to making their technical knowledge and expertise available to many. This can take shape of event participation, video, IP generation, as well as public speaking engagements. A VMware employee reference is required for VPN Path candidates.

My vExpert 2013 application highlights – Virtual Encouragement;

I decided to share some of the highlights of my activity as a means to give people ideas for where they can evangelize.  I created several blogs with content that support a wide variety of vmware and supporting ecosystem solutions.  I’m no Jason Boche or Duncan Epping but that’s the point; you don’t have to be super technical or be intimidated to add meaningful value.  My blog is titled “virtual ideas” for a reason.  Some of the best value is derived by ideas and sharing.  These posts were created with some consisting of videos and some just straight content.  I encourage everyone that wants to contribute to start blogging, speaking, raising your hand, speaking up in meetings, etc.

Some of my blogs –

I helped conceptualize, organize and present (with HUGE execution and creativity from Andy Fox at Stratos) at a number of vmware and industry events to include;

  • 1/31 Wild Hockey game – vmware and cloud
  • 2/8 vGuns and Roses – vmware data center redesign
  • 2/18  Polaris/FusionIO/vmware Brief n Ride – rode snowmobiles with Polaris and did a briefing at FIO HQ around virtualizing tier 1 apps that lead to BI project on vmware
  • 3/21 VDI Kung Fu – vmware EUC (flew in Andre Liebovici and Jason Langone as well)
  • 3/27  Wild Hockey Game – vmware SRM
  • 4/25  Twins Game – vmware vCloud
  • 5/16  Avengers movie premier – conceptualized and organized event to focus presenters on vmware vCloud leading the datacenter
  • 7/13  Cloud superstitiontook clients skydiving to celebrate Friday 13th, vmware, and cloud!!  (probably greatest event yet)
  • 7/25  Rapala get hooked event – Presented keynote about state of IT as a services and how vmware played in that realm
  • 8/3  Angelbeat – Presented my 1st session ever on SDDC (slide help from Herrod)
  • 8/26  VMunderground – enough said… 🙂
  • 9/12  VMworld 2012 recap
  • 10/25  Vikings event – spoke at tailgate about the vmware/EMC playbook we created
  • 11/8  Florida octoberfest – Spoke about Stratos and our vmware partnership at a boat cruise in Tampa
  • 11/9  Florida vBacon event – hosted a roundtable in Tampa around vmware plus provided virtualization books
  • 12/12  Stratos Summit – Presented keynote on SDDC

Twitter – Being active on twitter is an easy process.  I’d encourage everyone to give it a try and make your voice heard.  I was active on twitter during vmware PEX, EMC World, vmworld, and other industry events.

I presented at and helped foster the VMUG communities in;

  • Minneapolis VMUG – Sponsored with books, funds, and presented on SRM
  • St. Cloud VMUG – Sponsored with books and presented on vCloud
  • Wisconsin VMUG – presented on vCloud including having an engineer do a remote demo from our data center to the group in WI
  • Tampa VMUG – connected with this group and sponsored with books and participation

News Press – I have the pleasure of getting quoted numerous times in and TechTarget for vmware.  Also I was a part of the Twin Cities Business magazine technology editorial board and had the chance to convey what I viewed as emerging virtualization and cloud trends to cover.

To conclude; thanks, I’m grateful, humbled, and want to encourage all to speak up where you feel comfortable.  Most view vExpert as a sign of success.  I view success as getting everyone else successful.  As one former executive coined the phrase; “It’s the power of WE not me”.

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