EMC Ask the Expert: a little more insight


So I was rather inspired and yes informed following attending the Ask the Experts vBloggers session. The panelists were Chad Sakac, Duncan Epping, Eric Sloof, and the MC was Matt Cowger. So yeah it had some good EMC Elect representation 🙂

They shared their best practices on blogging and the methodologies they used to ensure they blogged frequently. It was nice to hear that blogging was challenging for them and to learn what they did to ensure they remain consistent in it.

One thing that struck a chord with me was something Chad said about sharing things we do. Often we feel we are going to violate IP stuff by sharing but often the information is already in the public domain anyway. So taking that suggestion on board I decided to share something more abut a program I run at EMC called Ask the Expert. Yes I have blogged about it before and for those that know the program forgive me for defining it again for other readers who might be new to my blog.

Ask the Expert (ATE) is an online event series in which technical subject matter experts drive public dialogue and engagement with community members about specific EMC product and solution topics, though building high-value content with broad use and longevity. These simple and quick to organize events rely on timely topics, credible hosts, and a collaborative environment while adapting to your platform of preference. ATE events are hosted in multiple languages for a local or global audience.

So thats the definition. But it has dawned on me that I have been sharing the phenomenal success of this program only with my upper management and team,  not the community at large, who are actually the beneficiaries.

So who are the beneficiaries of this program? Well this is how we see it inside the business:

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 12.22.01 PM


They are the Customers, EMC and the Experts who engage.

This is a really successful program and is widely engaging EMC Customers, partners and employees.

  • From January to August of this year we have had Ÿ143,366 page views.
  • In that time period alone there have been 92,710 visits to the site. And  61,820 were unique visitors to the site.
  • We are averaging 11,500 + visits per month, and 7,727 unique visitors per month.
  • Amazingly Ÿ79 % of unique visits were through a browser search.
  • 29% of those visitors interact with the site for a period of 10 -30 minutes.
  • 13% of the visitors interact with the site for a period of 30- 60 minutes.

To me these stats show how valued the content is on the EMC Community Network for this program. People love the interaction and it gets a lot of attention. It also indicates a there is a lively community that want to have those technical discussions.

So thats what i wanted to share. Let me know your thoughts on this if you have any. I ‘d appreciate any feedback you have.

Oh Yes,  I suppose I should share where you’ll find the space. Its the Ask the Expert Community on the EMC Community Network. For those of you familiar with that community, you’ll se its had a makeover to make it easier to interact.

Drop by and enjoy the content there. Now back to VMWorld. Final post coming out shortly before I fly out today 🙂

My #VMWorld Europe experience representing #EMC (part 2)

This post will tell the legend of Will Quinn 🙂   More on that later. Its day 2 at VMWorld Europe and the conference is in full swing. Plenty of information and sessions have been completed  and more to come. There is so much going on here its hard / nay impossible to keep up with it all. Thankfully all of the sessions will be shared online.

From an EMC Elect perspective today Chad Sakac, came to VMWorld and shared some great things on Software Defined. Chad is always interactive, seeking questions and possibly sharing a little too much on whats coming down the track from EMC 🙂 But Chad believes in sharing for the conversation. He’s a great example of community advocacy.


And Chad wasn’t the only EMC Elect member giving a briefing today. Well Chad is doing a series of them actually.

But Jonas Rosland and Matthew Cowger gave a briefing on scripting and programming cloud automation. They kept it very interactive and stressed it was not a marketing session. And it was in no way. It was very informative and gave very good best practices for coding.




I’ll be attending more sessions in the afternoon. And am looking forward to the Ask the experts event where Chad is one of the panelists. They are always fun and informative.

And now to the legend of Will Quinn. Yes Mr Quinn and many others with the help of Erica McDonald and the man in the shadows Steve Knight, threw an amazing Customer Appreciation Event. The venue was amazing, and the whole event was a wild success. Will and team did a tremendous job. It was the biggest customer appreciation event EMC has done in Europe. So Will Quinn is now the Cool events /party guy 🙂 Kudos Will.




I’ll post more tomorrow, keeping  it brief enough. it is worth mentioning we, Sean Thulin, Dennis Smith and myself are recording footage, live from the VMworld show floor and environs. We are getting together with EMC Elect members present here and recording their perspectives of VMWorld and what part of being in the EMC Elect community is all about. We’ll be sharing that in due course.





My #VMWorld Europe experience representing #EMC (part 1)

It might be day 1 of VMWorld 2014 but there has been a lot going on over the past 2.

I arrived on Sunday afternoon and caught up with people after checking in. Then it was off to the vRockstar event.

The EMC Elect and The ViPR community were one of the sponsors of the event this year. It was bigger and better than ever and gave us an opportunity to mingle with the social rockstars.


I was given a short spot to thank the attendees and I used it to promote EMC Elect nominations. I alos talked a little about how support Communities are changing / evolving at EMC. I did my best to be the best vRockstar I could be, simply by talking to many people and having great conversations. And I rocked the word out to nominate (quite literally).


It was a great event and there are plenty of photos on the social stream under #vRockstar. Many thanks to Patrick Rednap, James Bowling, Hans De Leenher & Marco Broeken for putting it together. And a big thanks to Rachel Foster for marshaling EMC as a sponsor to this event in a short time frame.

Yesterday was partner day. And it was the day Dennis arrived, so we got together to catch up and do some plotting and scheming for the EMC Elect program.:) Good planning, lots of exciting things coming up. More will be revealed in due course.


As it was a less frantic day, it gave me the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. I have mentioned this before, and do so again now by saying that these conferences are an invaluable experience for any attendee and the company or business that paid to send them.. Sometimes its hard for businesses, to grasp this and really see the value. And its especially harder in these difficult economic times to justify the spend. And getting to attend a conference in Q4, well thats a hard sell. Its hard to break what I call consensus thinking.    Now I don’t mean group think, but I do mean following traditional paths to things.  Its tough for people and companies to stop and take a skeptical eye on whats happening. But it does add up on anyone, be it a company, or person, if they continue in a consensus model. I will make a promise to expand on my thoughts on that in another blog post.


In any event the conversations are going very well. And what gives my heart a lift is the depth of those conversations. Be it the encouragement of outside the box ideation from Patrick Rednapp, or James Bowling, or the sage advice and calming but motivating influence of Amy Lewis or Josh Atwell, its all amazing. And there are so many other people too numerous to mention. People who are employees if companies that partner EMC, compete with EMC etc, thats irrelevant. Its the real people behind those roles that speak and converse. And this community of peers in my experience has such a spirit of generosity. They listen, share, validate, and set you straight. Ad believe me, the companies that these people work for, get a tremendous benefit out of it. Thats my perspective at least.

In any event, there is no time to stop. Plenty of sessions today including some hosted by #EMCElect memebers.

More on that in due course.

Finally Reflecting on VMWorld 2014

VMWorld 2014 in San Francisco was my first VMWorld experience. The following blog is my attempt to describe that experience from my own perspective. I’ll do my best to make sense as much as possible. But if I summarized it in one sentence, then I would say the following. VMWorld was a pleasantly and professionally overwhelming experience.

I have attended many conferences and established many peer to peer personal connections at them. What was a revelation at VMWorld was the ability to understand how deep those connections are. The best summary given of this and phrased better than I ever could is by Hans De Leenher in his blog post entitled “This is Sparta“. I certainly made friends, but also further realized the human element of the social connections I have established.

As well as the connections, I was able to have the VMWorld experience and get a feeling for how this show ran, compared to others I attended. Now this experience was not necessarily better than other conferences I attended, but it was certainly different. I had a lot more conversations with other vendors and other partners than I normally would have.

For the purpose of my professional reasons for being there, it was very successful. For the EMC Ask the Expert Program  we successfully executed a great ” EMC Ask the Expert Tweet Chat “on the new RecoverPoint release. It was a well engaged tweet chat and a prelude to the Ask the Expert discussion on the EMC Support Community.  So too was the EMC Ask the Expert discussion I ran covering the VMWorld event.

For the EMC Elect it was a great interactive event. We held a private briefing for the Elect just ahead of the RecoverPoint announcement. There were also a good number of the EMC Elect who spoke at breakout sessions, running hands on Labs and engaging as Social Champions at various breakout sessions. And as ever throughout the conference, we tweeted, met up, had numerous discussions, and good fun that can all be seen on twitter under #EMCElect and the few photos I include here.

And its worth mentioning too that the #EMCElect had a team in the #v0dgeball championship. This is an annual event that goes towards a great cause that is the Wounded Warrior Charity. We were knocked out in our first game 🙂 but were delighted to take part in such a noble event for a great charity. Well done to EMC Elect member Fred Nix for spear heading this event, year after year. And well done to my partner in crime on the Ask the Expert Program, Roberto Araujo for stepping up as a referee.

In summary, VMWorld US 2014, for me was a very valuable and fulfilling experience. I learned a lot, connected with some fantastic people, took part in a great charity event and had a birthday too 🙂 and in contrast to loosing our first dodge ball game I smashed my planned work goals out of the park !

And one final thank you is reserved for the brilliant EMC’ers, Erica McDonald, Will Quinn & Steve Knight.  who did so so much for the EMC events team and for the Elect team particularly.

Who will be the EMC Elect for 2015?


It’s my First VMWorld conference and by far its been one of the more exciting conferences I attended. And thats putting the earthquake to one side 🙂 That was also a first by the way. Waking to a shaking bed and wobbly hotel room 🙂

I’ll be sharing more on my take on VMWorld 2014 in later posts but i am delighted and quite excited to share this breaking news right now.

Today at VMWorld 2014, The EMC Elect team are announcing that nominations for the EMC Elect of 2015 are now open. It’s exciting to think we are already planning for 2015.  This year by opening the nominations now and closing them out on the 31st December gives people plenty of time to nominate those of their peers they wish to see recognized as EMC Elect for 2015.

For those who need a reminder or are just discovering the EMC Elect, here i what it’s all about.

EMC Elect is a community driven recognition and thank you for an individuals engagement with EMC as a brand over the calendar year. The EMC Elect are selected on their outstanding key characteristics of Engagement, Commitment and Leadership.

Engagement is measured on social participation on Twitter (or other platforms based in other countries), Blogs, the EMC Community Network , and in person community presentations (user groups, conferences, etc…)

Commitment is assessed on how an individual is being part of the EMC conversation day in, day out, offering thoughtful feedback and staying optimistic in their language.

Leadership is appraised by looking at the kind of people who take every opportunity to engage with their peers and represent others as part of the community.

So who do you think fits that bill. Is it yourself, is it the person next to you :). Who would you like to see recognized for helping out the EMC community peers. Make sure you nominate that person even if its you. Yes self nominations are perfectly acceptable.

But nominate now! It takes just a couple of minutes. Don’t put it off until December 31st. Don’t be lured into a false sense of Security. Do it now!

The power is in your hands, you decide who makes the cut for EMC Elect 2015! Have fun with it 🙂

Who’s going to be in here in 2015?