EMC Elect: The humble heroes and heroines


This is a short post that will do two things. It will let me talk about things that have been in my mind about the EMC Elect and will have a short but awesome announcement about the program.

I have seen some commentary out there about the visibility of the EMC Elect at the conferences. its been inferred the Elect don’t stand out enough. To me I think that’s a little unfair. And at the heart of EMC Elect it’s not what it’s about.  The members of the EMC Elect are people. They have friends, families, and very ordinary human stuff. What might be slightly different or distinguishing for an EMC Elect member is their curiosity about technology, their willingness to share what they learn in the social stratosphere and their helpfulness to their community. They did not become this after they became EMC Elect members. The fact is that is their natural default setting. We created the EMC Elect program to recognize these people and show our appreciation. We want them to be recognized as Rock Stars.

But EMC Elect members don’t necessarily want the adulation. In fact that’s not their style. Sure they enjoy the recognition, add the badge to their business cards, blog about it etc. But at lets say a conference, the Elect like to be approachable and don’t necessarily want to lead in with “Hey I am an EMC Elect member, yo!” . They don’t think of themselves like that.

For instance recently while @jasemcarty was visiting Cork at the EMC Executive Briefing center, he told me that he was being introduced to customers as an amazing individual who has written fantastic books on technical subjects, is a rock star in EMC and an EM Elect member. When Jase stood to address the customers he basically said “I’m just a Redneck, from the Bayou!”. And that epitomizes the Elect for me, they’re heroes and heroines who don’t see themselves that way. They love engaging with the community, and are ardent representatives of it and love engaging, but they do it on their own terms as the people they are, who happen to be members of the EMC Elect.

And with that I am glad to announce or rather share the announcement that Dennis Smith  is joining the EMC Elect Team as a Principal Engagement Manager. Dennis is a gentleman and a scholar and did great things with the Dell Rock Stars. I think it’s awesome to have him on our team and it means amazing things for the EMC Elect. And Sean Thulin and I are happy to have another member aboard to share the workload.

Amazing things ahead!

It’s the people Silly!

At the EMC World Conference in Las Vegas from the 21st to the 24th May, 2012, at the Venetian Hotel, we will have over 13,000 attendees. It’s exciting and somewhat scary!

Now many of my colleagues in EMC will tell you about our services, our technology , Big Data, Cloud Architecture and other next generation technologies, as well as a whole suite of new products from EMC. All of these are important to know about and share.

 But for me, this EMC World is all about the people. Now I am not saying my colleagues don’t get this, they so do! But I want to directly point out that all 13,000 plus attendees are the ones that make this conference / show what it is, and obviously the business of EMC.

 I look forward to meeting the real people. I love meeting customers, finding out about them, what they do and what they need. The EMC Support Forum Community has enriched my experience of EMC Customer relations. I come from a background of technical support over the phone in various companies. There is no need for me to go over the evolution of Support from then to now. The Internet & Social are a self evident tale now told.

What blows me away every day is the global scale of the conversation and the myriad of paths crossed, time zones, borders etc. And it ‘s all around helping people solve a problem or figure out how to do something. I really do love my work, even though at times it’s tough, with long hours. But working with the people in the EMC Support Forums, be they a colleague or customer,  has been amazing. Beyond their technical know how, they are all amazing regular individual people.

So while it will be all about the coolest new technology, I really look forward to meeting the people.
Seriously! Here is a link to the video I did for our Ask the Expert participants. As you’ll see we are planning some cool interaction, both in person and online.
EMC Ask the Expert, May update 2012

So wherever you are be sure to check out and engage in EMC World. If online try the vPass

I also urge you to tune / attend our “Join the Support Community Legends!” BUZZ talk. It promises to be a lot of fun and there will be prizes 🙂 (for online attendees as well as those in person)

And keep an eye on our Expert Community page. There will be updates from our attending “Expert hosts” for the Ask the Expert program. And if you keep in touch with them and ask questions about things you want to hear about at the show, you could win a prize. Stay tuned for updates on that.

In any event there will be more posts from me very soon from Las Vegas. It will be busy and fun and I look forward to seeing you there, in person or online 🙂 Las Vegas here we come!

EMC Support’s evolution in Social Media.. A lot done, a lot more to do !

It’s been a hectic September for eServices. We have been extremely busy with our recent platform upgrade on ECN. Now that is settling in and people are seeing the benefits (and yes those niggling issues, but we’ll get them settled very quickly).  As well as addressing a lot of bugs it brings nice features to your discussions. Highlighting / embedding the answer in discussions, making it easier to mark questions as answered with one click. Other major abilities we have are Ideation and Videos. They were there before the upgrade, but with the improvements we will be using these features in the Support Forums to broaden the experience and sharing of solutions and knowledge.
As a distraction from testing the platform during the upgrade, I took time out to read Why Social Media is disruptive 
It was a fascinating read. The referred article was written in February of this year. What was especially interesting was the “Social Media Case Study: Inspired by Dell”. Now it is obvious that Dell is a rags to riches story in this case. But it is interesting to see how Dell got personally involved and listened to its customers socially. It is clearly apparent that social listening is absolutely required from a Customer Support perspective. Dells efforts are well highlighted and I take my hat off to them for a job well done.
EMC is coming from a different place. But what is common to Dell’s requirements (and practically all other businesses out there in Social) is the need to get personally involved. Social Media is a good disruption as it challenges us to integrate more with our customers.  EMC is certainly getting that right. In our Support Forums, not only are we opening up content, we are opening up our engagement. This broadens out to other Social channels too. 
For instance @EMCsupport on twitter listens and shares information on trending topics in our Support Forums. Over time this will grow to sharing other initiatives like featured blogs and videos on the Support Forums, related to trending EMC Support topics. We are developing a plan to share video solutions for trending Support problems our customers are having. The idea here is to quickly share the workaround to a known issue, and get it published to our Forums video section. (YouTube is also being considered for this also). We can then share this via Twitter, Facebook, Google + and other Social channels. Our own social listening from a Support perspective is still developing. There is a lot more to do to improve and build further engagement. We will be providing that by widening our Forums to Multilingual geographies with Multilingual Support Forums very soon. 
There are many other exciting initiatives underway. But essentially it comes down to customer engagement, listening, getting personally involved, and of course being relevant. A lot done, a lot more to do!