While I’ve been away

Just an update for the few who are wondering where I have been.

Well if you follow me on twitter you know I have been travelling a bit. VMWorld US 2015 was intense and if I get the time I will write up how that went. New York, attending the CSE 2015 conference asa panelist was fun and I also  learned a lot while I was there. Again, if I ever get time I will flesh that exprerience out on a post. One thing I have been doing that is a completeley out of my depth adventure is podcasting. It’s not as easy as others make it look. But I really enjoy it. I have kicked off the EMC Elect podcast Tech sElect. You cann appriase what we have done with it by listening on Soundcloud or iTunes. For your listening pleasure I have embeded the firsto of the podcasts here:

Thanks to @Erichagstrom and his go pro, you can watch and listen here:

While doing all this, I ‘ve challenged myself further and begun a Diploma in Data Business which is the beginning of a Masters. With that being a dad, with school runs in force etc and atteempting to have a life is currently very interesting.

One thing I will say, is that putting the podcast together, the Diploma course and conversations on my business travel have made me reflect on the IT sector. My self and another genlteman, who shall remain nameless, but is in the same Industry none the less, are planning to build out a podcast that facilitates the groundforce customers in telling thier stories and what they see in the industry. Its a work in progress. But we want to give real customers a voice, vendor agnostically, to hear the truth about IT as it really is. No hacks nor punditry. And to be honest, it may not even see the light of day. Its not as if I don’t have enought to do already. and VMWorld Europe looms large indeed.

I had to force myself to make this post, but am glad I did. Even if no one reads it, it helps me galvanise my thoughts. Safe travels, all, until my next post.



EMC Community Appreciation Event @ EMC World 2015 with very cool door prizes.

Well it is EMC World time again and we are throwing a customer appreciation event! What the heck, admit it to yourself, its your party for being an incredible member of the ECN community! And you deserve to be celebrated. Without you there would not be such a vibrant community.

If you popped over from the tweetvite then you know there are door prizes and you want the details !

And they are very cool prizes!  You will not want to miss the party for your chance to win one of these!


So are you salivating? Are you keen to celebrate with your fellow Community members in Vegas.

Then do not forget to “Register” for the party! Can’t wait to see you there.

New beginnings : a natural evolution and an exciting challenge

Discovering the New Frontier!

This month I celebrated 10 years and 3 months with EMC.

When I joined EMC way back in 2005 I soon learned, that no day is ever going to be the same. I mean ever!  And that has not changed since that day to this. EMC is maniacally focused on its Customers and for me with the strong customer service background that was and still is  maniacally attractive.

Continue reading

Wrapping up 2014: A challenging but fulfilling year (part 2)

Well I would be remiss if I did not wrap up things talking about EMC Elect. This program, holds a special place in my heart because it was a dream I was able to see made real. Again this was not my doing, it was the EMC Elect community members that made it happen. And boy did they!

Again, Lets set out what the EMC Elect Program is:

At its heart, EMC Elect recognizes what our influencers did over the last calendar year. And this distinction thanks them for what they did then. But by recognizing these advocates the distinction of EMC Elect empowers them. And because of that recognition they get to see a little bit more under the covers of EMC.

It’s the premier advocacy recognition program at EMC, and its is a runaway success externally.

2014 has been our best year in engagement, briefings and yes fun when it came to the Elect. While the EMC Elect are technically “the cool kids” its not about being popular. Influential, yes, but popularity is not whats sought. And this group is influential. Just look at the following they have.

80 Members, with a collective 50,000 followers on twitter and a social reach across multiple platforms of 500,000. That’s a big audience.

They average 27,000 social media impressions per day.

And at major conferences  like EMC World, VMWorld its 500,000 social media impressions per day.  This has a major impact.

The total EMC Elect at EMC World 2014 impressions  was 5,500,000!

Yes the typical EMC Elect membe would tweet much more than the average EMC World attendee.

Elect _at_World

By comparison the Total EMC Elect at EMC World 2013 impressions was 700,000. So clearly this program is growing in scale.

In Total the EMC Elect garnered 9% share of the Social Media voice At EMC World 2014.

At the EMC Mega Launch in London this year, the #EMCElect was the  #2 hash tag, overtaking the other EMC product hash tags. The had a social media impression number of 2.2 million. Clearly it was the influencers who had the ear of those interested in EMC Mega Launch. Yes #EMCElect certainly was popular and had influential metrics at VMWorld in US and Barcelona. Everywhere the EMC elect are present they have an impact.

Yet we have to remind ourselves of who the people that are called EMC Elect really are.

They are essentially humble heroes and heroines. They are real people with real jobs. But are passionate about community and collaboration and very curious about technology. But it is their community aspect which makes them so influential. They represent their peers, and what they learn they share (when an NDA does not get in the way 😉 ). They are not cheerleaders for EMC by any stretch of the imagination. They give feedback to EMC, not all of it positive, but all of it is candid. And they disseminate what they discover with their community.  As EMC Elect they were able to attend private briefings, roadmaps online and in person, have the benefit of a private EMC Elect community , and have exclusive alpha and beta testing offerings. All of which they put to good use for the benefit of themselves and their community. And that’s why they hold an influential position.

When Matt Brender and I got this program started, we honestly did not know how big this was going to be. But fundamentally we knew that the Elect program would empower the right people and influencers for the benefit of the EMC community as we said at the time in this impromptu video.

And at its core that’s what the program continues to do.

I’d also like to say that 2015, while capitalizing on the roaring success we had with Elect, we are going to bring it back to its fundamental basics. It’s about the community. And we intend to improve the program refocusing on this. We will still do what we have always done very well, in fact even better than before. We will keep those exclusive opportunities coming for the EMC Elect. But as well as making big social noise we will be focusing on further engagement, building stronger ties with the EMC community. And we are going to go further to empower the EMC Elect members. I won’t give too much away as to how yet. You will see it roll out in 2015.

Now if this sounds interesting to you and you’d like to be involved in the EMC Elect, or could see one of your peers fitting in nicely to this, there is still time. Nominations for the EMC Elect of 2015 are still open. But you’d better hurry, nominations close on the 31st December, 2014.

So don’t delay, nominate today. 

And that concludes my wrap up, at least from my professional perspective. And I have so many people to thank. The EMC Elect of course, Sean Thulin and Dennis Smith particularly. Todd Forsyth, Brace Rennels, Chris Gardner. A special thanks to Mary Kilgallen as well, who is the reason why EMC Elect works at all.  Another special thanks goes to Rachael Foster, another lady that is an unsung heroine for the program. And lest I forget, I owe a debt of gratitude to Tommy Trogden and Brian Carpenter for their unwavering support and keeping me focused on the community.

What I love about community is that I have met so many people, who have helped, me and I am forgetting to mention so many. But I have to conclude this post. They know who they are anyway.

I am looking forward to this break. A lot was achieved in 2014. But there is much more to do in 2015. I look forward to it with great anticipation.

For those that celebrate it, Happy Christmas! For those that don’t Happy Holidays! And a Happy New Year for good measure.

Wrapping up 2014: A challenging but fulfilling year (part 1)

Well it is that time of the year, where once again I reflect on things. I am getting this done early because quite frankly come Friday the 19th of December, 2014, I am going dark and on my Christmas holidays. Some proper family time, good cheer, overindulgence and some much needed down time and reflection is the prescription I am following.

During the drafting of this post I realised it would have to come in two parts. I dislike writing overly long posts when I don’t have to. So this is part 1 🙂  This one focuses on the Ask the Expert Program.

As I am getting used to my role in EMC IT following my departments re-org from Customer Services, I feel obliged to wrap up some numbers on how well the EMC Ask the Expert has done in 2014. These are early numbers mind you, going from the start of the year to December 10th, but as the program takes a hiatus from the 19th, the discrepancy of the final result should not be a major difference. I recently posted some stats on the program. EMC Ask the Expert: a little more insight. And I posted the 2013 results which can be seen in this post: Happy Holidays, belated Merry Christmas and a recap of 2013 and into 2014!

Its just amazing that since its inception back in 2012, the program has had phenomenal growth. Its really no longer a project, its a genuine service provided by EMC online. and its free. This is all down to the amazing community participation of EMC Community Network members. This program would have none of the success it has had without the EMC community backing it. The accolades and praise for this success is theirs. I am delighted to have facilitated it. To me I was its trustee.

So before I share the numbers, let me define the program direct from our executive summary:


And this is what our numbers look like for participation in 2014 (at least up to December 10th, 2014)


  • 145,561 page views. 16% increase on 2013
  • ~ 13,232 page views per month
  • 92,276 visits. 29% increase on 2013
  • ~ 8388 visits per month
  • 62,487 unique visitors. 34% increase on 2013
  • ~5680 unique visitors per month

And as you can see primarily anonymous users, indicating these events are being found via web search. These numbers account for 2.5% of all the EMC Community Network traffic in 2014 (up to December 10th) , which itself looks like 6,000,000 views this year. Indeed this program takes a fair chunk of the ECN traffic. It says a lot about the program.

And when we look at how long people stay in the Ask the Expert Community?

28.7% of visitors stay from 5-10 minutes, with a further 13.2% staying from 30 minutes to an hour. That means a lot of people find this community via web search and stay a good while to search the content. And they keep coming back.

It is amazing to think, that when this program started in 2012, we had 3 experts and one program manager, all from customer services. Now The stake holder list has grown rather substantially.

They now include:

  • EMC Total Customer Experience Team
  • EMC Global Services
  • EMC Product Marketing
  • EMC Technical Leadership Academy
  • EMC Elect
  • EMC Inside Sales
  • EMC Customer Services

It’s a program that has had humble beginnings, and now is a critical service online for EMC. It’s been a pleasure to lead it, work with amazing experts, community managers, customers and partners. And this has to include the Multilingual teams. The local language Ask the Expert events in Chinese contribute a lot to the metrics shown here. and events are growing in number in local languages such as Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese. Just look the global heat map to see the interaction taking place


It’s been an amazing three years building and taking the lead for this program. I have learned a lot, made superb connections I would normally not have been able to do in a traditional customer support role. I have mentioned plenty on that before. It’s not been easy either, but I learned quickly to let the community tell you whats a hot topic. They will anyway. I learned to listen, be ambitious, to continue a maniacal focus on supporting our customers and a thing or two about EMC products 🙂 And I thank all those people, in EMC and outside EMC for making this program what it is.

In  2015, I will be focusing on EMC Community Network Forums, helping redefine the communities and improve the overall experience. Its a big project and I will be sharing more on that as I dive in next year. I am still heavily involved in the EMC Elect program management. Nothing has changed there in any way. I will still be consulting on the Ask the Expert program but my colleague, and my current joint program manager partner on this,  Roberto Araujo will be the primary contact on the program. It’s been great working with Roberto over the last ten months on the program and he has definitely been a great partner in this program and done some great hard work supporting it.

So thus concludes part 1 of this blog. I’ll be posting more tomorrow to round out my end of year roundup. Thanks for reading and listening to what is entirely my perspective. And feel free to comment. I welcome any feedback you want to provide.

Part 2 will deal with my perspective on the EMC Elect program over 2014.

EMC Forum in Dublin, December 2nd. Why attend?

If you do have the oppurtunity to attend the EMC Forum Tour, arriving in Dublin on December 2nd, make sure you do.

First of all its free!

Second of all its got two track of amazing content, one for technical and one for business, both with awesome content.

“The EMC Forum Tour is specifically designed for IT managers and executives looking for insights to cloud solutions and opportunities to network and share with peers. It is also ideal for technical architects, storage administrators, and infrastructure and information security managers/directors.”

If you are  curious about how Hybrid Cloud, Flash Storage, or Big Data redefine IT, you need to attend this Forum.

And you’ll get to network with an amazing number of your peers who are Partners and customers of EMC.

It’s  a jam packed day, but well worth it for the insight into EMC’s perspective on Hybrid Cloud, Data Lakes and Software defined strategies.

Don’t miss out.

For your free Registration : http://emc.im/TourIE

Don’t delay, the 2nd of December fast approaches.