From EMC to Infinio – Thoughts on the Culture Shift

Leaving EMC to join Infinio has been a huge cultural shift for me.

First, some further context.

Most know I spent five foundational years of my career at EMC. Fewer know that I had three distinct roles in those years (tech support, engineering & social media marketing).  This makes heading to Infinio my fourth role in enterprise IT (and the fourth division of my career, now that I’m in Sales).

Here are the biggest rules (heuristics really) I’ve had to learn to adapt to my new culture.

#1 - At EMC you first assume there is a process.
At Infinio, you start confident there isn’t one yet.

At EMC you had to find the person that “owned” the process you wanted to impact. No matter what it was, you could be sure someone owned it officially or had a sense of ownership over it.

I always thought of it like a soccer team — most parts of the company played their own positions like professional footballers would do. The worst parts of the company would play like an energetic pack of five year olds.

Good-vs-Bad-team-management

 

In this new environment, there are less defined positions.

The VP of Engineering is our de facto HR person. Why? Because he did it on day one. Our data specialist orders food for the fridge for the same reason. I’m brought in on interesting marketing, engineering and devops projects.

The line in the sand is one of getting your job done first, but that said, the lines are just a bit blurrier between roles simply out of necessity.

blurry-line-in-the-sand

#2 – Everything at EMC aimed for the long game.
At Infinio, I focus on today.

No matter what task I had to get done in a given day, there was always a sense of tomorrow at EMC. The company was around long before I was employed by it. It will be around long after I have left.

Tasks have a sense of urgency of course, but with a different feel to it. I found most of my time was looking at the long run.  Meetings focus on the down-the-road view. We spent the day conscious of where we wanted to be next year.

It’s not so anymore.

Everyday at Infinio feels more statistically significant. I sit in a room filled with 95% of the company. I’m 25% of the Sales division. We’re early enough on that I know all our customers by name.

There is an energy to the in-the-moment experience we have to have everyday. We know, following rule #1, that most frameworks don’t have a process yet, so our days feel like a chapter out of The Lean Startup:

If there is no process, make one.
If there is a process, ask “how could it be better?”
Implement better idea.
Repeat.

The more we focus on today, the faster we learn for tomorrow.

methodology_diagram

To simplify the feelings above, I’m having a new experience. It’s true that both company’s have today and a sense of tomorrow, but the level of urgency feels different.

One is not necessarily better or worse. They certainly feel different and I have been inspired by the change.

 

Other questions that I’ve been asked:

Q: How was the training?

 A: All learning is by action at Infinio: we learn by doing. My first day started – literally first thing on day one – with jumping on a customer call. You learn by doing. I honestly found it stressful to feel behind my colleagues – knowledge-wise – at first, but I can tell you that this throw-in-the-water-to-swim process gave me a sense of responsibility that helped me ramp up quickly. 

Q: Why join Sales?

A: I have a personal goal of being experienced in four distinct domains of enterprise IT: support, engineering, marketing and sales. That said, I didn’t think I wanted to go to Sales just yet. The only thing I was certain of is that Infinio would be great for me. As a wise person once said, “if you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.”

Q: Do you miss EMC Elect?

A: Everyday.

Q: Do you do anything with social media anymore?

A: Most definitely and with more free reign than I ever had available to me at EMC. I’ve helped standard a social listening practice, have been active on Spiceworks and will represent Infinio in a few upcoming blogs. Most importantly for me, I still record The Geek Whisperers every week.

 

Do you have any questions for me? Ask away.

VMware, Puppet, EMC and SAP: Better Together

by Jeremy Wonson @virtualwonton

Who should read this?

If you already have orchestration and automation in place, and you’re interested in adding SAP to your already automated environment, this should get you started.

 If you’re already a happy user of Puppet and/or Razor, and you want to use it in your SAP environment, this may help you start a conversation with the SAP team.

If you’re part of a SAP team, and you want better control over your server deployment and configurations, parts of this blog post will work for you as well.

Why should you read this? Because EMC and SAP go together like peas and carrots.

peaandcarrot

At least, that’s what countless customers have told me at various conferences and events, such as EMC’s SAP Week. This is an event co-sponsored by EMC and SAP, with generous involvement from VMware, Cisco, VCE, Deloitte and others. Topics of discussion range from HANA to LVM to Cloud-enabling SAP. As an experienced Cloud Architect with a limited background in SAP, I was given the task of understanding how to cloud-enable SAP using VMware.

Before I started on this project, I decided I should define what cloud-enabling means in a SAP environment. With that in mind, I arrived at the following characteristics:

  1. Solution includes orchestration and automation outside of SAP

  2. Automation/Orchestration addresses both physical and virtual servers

  3. Non-SAP software works in harmony with SAP products or tools

  4. Solution includes closely related applications outside of SAP (bolt-on)

  5. Focus on VMware tools as much as possible

  6. Portals are intended for IT, SAP Basis and applications staff, not true end users (Accountants, HR, etc)

 

Why I chose those characteristics

1. Solution includes orchestration and automation outside of SAP

If you ask SAP about private cloud, they first talk about LVM, or “SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management”, and then they may talk about HEC or “HANA Enterprise Cloud”. HEC on the customer premise is not ready for prime time right now. When I’ve spoken with the teams within SAP that own and support HEC, on-premise private HEC is a future vision. LVM is an awesome tool for the SAP Basis team. It takes tasks that would have taken days or weeks and through the magic of automation, those same tasks take minutes or hours. Since it’s created and supported by SAP, it’s often preferable to the custom scripts the Basis team would create to do some of the same tasks.

It’s important, however, to understand what LVM does, and what it doesn’t do. In figure 1, the different layers of a SAP environment are shown. LVM works primarily with the database and central instance layers of SAP. LVM can clone, copy or refresh those layers. The only thing that LVM does with the application servers at this time is “Automated Capacity Management”, which means it can scale out/in application servers based on pre-determined thresholds. If I want to clone a production environment to make a new training environment, I would need application servers, and possibly bolt on applications to make the training environment run properly.

The only way I can accomplish this within LVM is with custom scripting, which leaves much to be desired. The cloud solution must not only incorporate SAP resources outside of LVM control, but also bolt on applications outside of SAP entirely.

 

2. Automation/Orchestration addresses both physical and virtual servers

A recent survey estimates that approximately 15 percent of productive SAP environments today include some server virtualization, almost exclusively using VMware. In fact, SAP is the fastest growing VMware workload. However, most SAP environments still use physical servers for the Central Instance and Database servers. Bolt-on applications may or may not be virtualization friendly. SAP LVM works with both physical and virtual machines due to this reality. The cloud solution must therefore work with both physical and virtual servers.

 

3. Non-SAP software works in harmony with SAP products or tools

As I mentioned earlier in this post, SAP has a private (on-premise) cloud message using their own products and services, specifically LVM. Any orchestration and automation tools or portal software needs to be compatible in some way with LVM.

 

4. Solution includes closely related applications outside of SAP (bolt-on)

 As I explained in the description of the first characteristic, bolt-on applications must be considered. Today this is done manually or possibly using scripts. To cloud-enable SAP, the bolt-on applications must be automated and orchestrated as well as the SAP applications.

 

5. Focus on VMware tools as much as possible

 Let’s face it, I work for EMC in close cooperation with VMware. Cisco makes a nice orchestration/automation solution with many parts and pieces called CIAC, Tidal, ITPA, etc, that works with SAP, including API integration with LVM, but it’s complicated and expensive and takes a significant amount of professional services to get running properly. I’m going to tell you how to get it done with VMware tools and Puppet, both because VMware invested significantly in Puppet Labs, and because that combination is less complicated and less expensive.

 

6. Portals are intended for IT, SAP Basis and applications staff, not true end users (accountants, HR, etc)

I’ve found that when I refer to creating a portal, it’s important to describe the intended user of that portal. This narrows the scope and reduces the spinning of wheels. The portals that are referenced in figure 2 are for DevOps staff, as well as SAP Basis and other applications staff.

 

My Cloud Apps Cocktail

 At first, this felt a little like assembling a puzzle without a picture of what the end product should look like. I took the basic functions needed for a private cloud-like service and started building. Along the way, VMware decided to change the names or retire various products or pieces of the vCloud Suite…I just love it when the picture on a puzzle piece changes or the piece disappears.

I also learned that VMware invested millions in Puppet, which seems to be a direct competitor to one of their products. I’m not going to say why I wasn’t surprised, but I wasn’t. The mix of technology I eventually selected is shown in figure 3.

Portals

 I chose to start with the description of the portals because I’m starting from the point of view of IT’s customer, the application owner or Basis Admin. This is the change in mindset IT shops need to undergo: View IT services from the perspective of the consumer.

In figure 4, the workflow of an order or request is shown. In figure 5, the future workflow of an order is shown, once API integration is offered. You can probably see why I’m really looking forward to API integration.

 

Orchestration

I chose SAP LVM for some of the SAP related workflows, since it’s supported by SAP and it makes some pretty complex workflows very easy. I chose VCAC (big surprise) for the overall orchestration function, and anything that was not covered by LVM. Although API integration between VCO and LVM is not available today, it is being developed at the time of this blog post.

 

Automation

The automation of tasks related to SAP workflows that SAP LVM manages is executed by SAP LVM. Automation of tasks in workflows outside of SAP LVM are executed by vCenter Orchestrator (vCO). Physical server and VM image management and deployment is handled by Razor, which is called by vCO. Application deployment is also handled by Puppet. All the automation tools, with the exception of LVM, will work for the environment outside of SAP as well.

When I showed the present and future figures to one of my clients, they were very happy that there is separation between the SAP Basis functions and the VMware administrative functions today. Their IT Management doesn’t want to put the ability to create systems in the hands of the SAP Basis team. IT Management likes the idea of someone on the systems team being aware that resources are being requested and deployed. Manual tasks can be added into workflows. This level of control can be offered with most orchestration tools.

 

Is Reporting Important?

Many enterprises today have invested in people, but not in tools. Data is gathered manually, recorded in spreadsheets and then pasted into presentations. When fulfilling requests made by the business, the admins have the opportunity to check the system. That’s when they become aware of shortages and potential problems (not failures, which are typically captured by a monitoring tool).

When those administrative duties are replaced by automation, reporting becomes paramount. No longer will the admin happen to notice that the array is down to 10TB available, and they have a request in their inbox for 20TB, and it’s the beginning of a new quarter.

When applications, and the infrastructure underneath, are deployed without human intervention, reporting is how IT stays ahead of demand and forecasts growth and budget. Without reporting, you can easily orchestrate and automate yourself out of resources, and not realize it until it’s too late. For reporting, I recommend vCenter Operations Manager (vCOPS), Watch4Net and Puppet. SAP LVM will integrate with vCOPS within the next few months. Watch4Net has integration with all major server, hypervisor, storage and network products, as well as many applications, including Oracle and SAP. Puppet does a great job of telling you which systems are out of compliance, based what you’ve already set up and may also fix those compliance issues for you automatically during the next run.

 

Today and Tomorrow

Since API integration between vCO and LVM doesn’t currently exist, vCO works independently of SAP LVM, as shown in figure 4. That means that there’s a person who uses vCAC, and therefore vCO, to deploy everything SAP needs, including the servers or VMs that LVM will use as target systems. Then that person or another person uses LVM to do the pieces of the workflow LVM does best. Last, someone uses vCAC, and vCO, to tie it all together and make everything work together. This is not pretty right now, but it will improve as soon as soon as VMware finishes the LVM/vCO API integration.

 

What does the future hold?

When vCO has API integration with SAP LVM, it will be able to call LVM workflows and ask LVM to perform tasks. At that point the orchestration layer is much simpler and more reliable. As shown in figure 5, vCAC will handle the entire workflow from beginning to end. It will use vCO to call LVM to perform the tasks it does best, and will call vCO to do the rest. vCO will call Puppet and Razor as needed for app/system deployment. This will also change how the portals are used.

While the same portals are in place, the LVM portal will be used only when the overall workflow occurs solely within the LVM context. For example, you may decide you don’t need to put Automated Capacity Management in a vCAC portal when the only person to use the portal will be Basis Admins, and the entire process occurs within LVM. In that case, you’ll probably just let the Basis Admins use the LVM portal.

 

Where do I start?

Start by talking with your favorite resources from VMware, EMC, VCE, Puppet or SAP. If you still have questions or can’t find the information you need, feel free to send me a tweet. I can probably point you in the right direction.

You can also see us at a future SAP Week event in coming Months to engage further on this topic: SAP Week Atlanta Feb 11th-12th & SAP Week Santa Clara March 4th-6th  in 2014.

 

Jeremy Wonson: Cloud Architect and vSpecialist focused on Service Providers and Systems Integrators. Known to enjoy automation, orchestration, SAP and bacon.

@virtualwonton
jeremywonson@gmail.com
jeremy.wonson@emc.com

Everything Must Change: Starting at Infinio

After a diverse and inspirational 5 years, I will be leaving EMC in two weeks to head to Infinio, the startup out of Cambridge.

infinio_logo-371x247A Massive Thank You

The acronym behind EMC is often a sticking point for people. While all new hires learn the fact it’s named after the founders, anyone inside the company likes to add their own flare to what it could mean.

My favorite is “Everything Must Change.”

I joined EMC with a CS degree and a thirst for new knowledge. The company has fed me well — too well at some conferences — and grown me into the community building Technologist that I am today. Thank you to the many hardworking minds that have taught me along the way.

everything-must-change

On EMC Elect

To community members who are wondering what happens next with EMC Elect, the answer remains the same: It goes wherever you want it to go.

The program is a success, with a vibrant community of leaders within its ranks and a second year of membership on its way to being announced in January. EMC Elect was never about one person nor do I hope it is ever about just one person.

It’s a community platform: make of it what you wish it to be. 

Structurally, EMC Elect is built like your favorite EMC products: there is no single point of failure in the system. So while a node failure may seem disruptive, the system continues to be resilient.

Next Steps

The team at Infinio is brilliant, friendly and has a product as elegant to install as it is valuable to the infrastructure. It feels like the right team for me as I dive into the startup scene and the right way for me to go back to my roots as a hands-on Technologist.

This next move of mine, as a Sales Engineer, will allow me to work with customers in a new way. I’ve done tech support, worked in engineering and am finishing a wonderful ride in marketing. Sales is the missing puzzle piece for me.

If you’re wondering what that means for my social media hobbies – from Geek Whisperers to my enthusiastic use of Twitter – don’t fret. The story behind why I joined social media was never about a job.

I joined social for the people.

No matter where I am or what my title is, I look forward to continuing to build the community with you.

Building SAN Infrastructure, Brick by Brick #XtremIO

XtremIO is live and generally available. The official word is here, but there is an upswell of incredibly detailed blog posts by community contributors. Here’s what I’m reading and why: 

By the end of reading these thoughtful posts, you will certainly understand what’s available today and why it’s impressive. EMC-XtremIO-LogoWhat I want to dig into for the rest of today is speculative with an anchoring in reality.

I want to ask where the platform could go.

As part of the EMC Elect program, we received early access to incredible whitepapers on XtremIO and I found some key insights worth quoting. The following is all verbatim with some emphasis added by me.

xtremio-xbrick

The Future is Scaleable

“When additional performance or capacity is required, the XtremIO Storage System can be scaled-out by adding additional X-Bricks. Multiple X-Bricks are joined together over a redundant, high-availability, ultra-low latency InfiniBand network.”

“When the system expands, resources remain balanced, and data in the array is distributed across all X-Bricks to maintain consistent performance and equivalent flash wear levels.”

System expansion is carried out without any need for configuration or manual movement of volumes. XtremIO uses a consistent fingerprinting algorithm that minimizes remappings. A new X-Brick is added to the internal load balancing scheme and only the relevant existing data is transferred to the new DAE.”

Storage capacity and performance scale linearly, such that two X-Bricks supply twice the IOPS, three X-Bricks supply three times the IOPS, and four X-Bricks supply four times the IOPS of the single X-Brick configuration. However, the latency remains consistently low (less than 1ms) as the system scales out, as shown in Figure 10.”

X-Brick-Scales-Linearly

“Since XtremIO is specially developed for scalability, its software does not have an inherent limit to the size of the cluster.*”

“*The maximum cluster size is based on currently tested and supported configurations.”

One Platform To Rule … Most of It All

The lack of theoretical bounds on X-Brick scalability gives way to a future that could include much less complexity down the line. There is nothing at all stopping XtremIO from doing what Isilon has done to the NAS world through a beautifully unifying architecture.

Will XtremIO be the one-and-only ruler of all data center storage? I’d say it’s unlikely. 

Will XtremIO be the one platform – maybe even with a single pooled storage resource – for all SAN in a data center?

Now we’re talking conceivable outcomes. 

As costs for hardware within X-Bricks (again, review posts above for the details) continue to fall precipitously, all SSD systems will lose more and more of their sticker shock. Add lowering hardware costs, a uniquely architected deduplication design along with an unbounded scale-out architecture and we may just have the answer to an entire tier of storage.

I’m left with one last question worth asking:

Can you imagine a data center designed with XtremIO as the scale-out SAN solution and Isilon for scale-out NAS?

I sure can.

xio-icon

Common Question: I Work at EMC. Can I be EMC Elect?

I’ve been asked enough times about whether EMC’ers have the chance to be recognized as EMC Elect 2014 that I want to answer in greater detail here.

The EMC Elect program treats EMC internal influencers as equal members of the community and well deserving of recognition. We publicly support this equality in the FAQ.

EMC Elect is about recognizing those that go above and beyond their job duties. As an EMC’er, you may have a higher bar of entry.

If you’re questioning your eligibility, here are some specific questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you blog on your technical or high tech business experience?
  • Do you engage others about the enterprise IT industry on Twitter?
    • Do you share interesting information about EMC tech on Twitter?
  • Do you speak / leader / share at live events?
  • Do you help answer questions or direct people to documentation on the ECN?

The reviewal process works to keep the playing field focused on what we care about. If members of our community are paid to do some of these tasks, they will not receive as high of a bonus for being a participant.  Through this process, we keep it about what each person does above and beyond the average contribution. 

Did we miss somewhere you contribute to the community? Tell us in your nomination! Your input will improve this recognition.

One conclusion is sure: the only way the program can recognize you is if you are nominated.

Take no chances – nominate yourself or someone you respect in our community today.

Innovation as a Function of Twitter – The (Anti)Hive Mind

On and off again for some time now, I’ve had the pleasure of co-sponsoring academic research for EMC thanks to Steve Todd.

Here’s some of the proposal from professors Eoin Whelan (NUI Galway) and Salvatore Parise (Babson):

Our theory is that if the people an employee follows on Twitter already follow each other, then over time a groupthink situation emerges which is not good for generating novel ideas.  On the other hand, if the people an employee follows on Twitter all move in different circles, then the employee is constantly getting access to novel information which should be good for ideation.

I love the theory and wanted to help see it come to fruition. Steve writes about some of his initial thoughts here as well.

Early results are in.. and I want to highlight just two of them.

EMC-Innovation-Network

#1 – It’s How You Use It

Some other interesting findings starting to emerge.  Initially we examined if twitter users generated better ideas than their non twitter using colleagues, but we found no differences.  After more analysis, what we have found is that it is not whether you use twitter that makes a difference, but how you use twitter i.e. those who use twitter to connect to disparate information sources (the highly fragmented networks explained in the last post) generate significantly better ideas than non twitter users.

#2 – More Followers Doesn’t Mean Better

We also found that the size of your twitter network is related to the quality of ideas generated.  We looked at this from a network perspective.  So if I follow lots of people, and they in turn follow lots of other people, then the data is showing this is negatively correlated with ideation.  This metric is call ‘average degree’ in social network analysis speak.  So it seems that too much information from your twitter network is harmful for ideation.

These gentlemen are neck deep in analysis that Steve will continue to highlight on his blog.

I’d love to extrapolate on how these findings impact my thoughts on Twitter, but I’d much rather hear your thoughts.

What do you think?

Update: More Contributors, More Frequent Posts

Big technology events are the classic social firehose moment: More information is coming in than you’ll ever be able to consume.

This year’s take away from VMworld was simple:  I’m surrounded by brilliant people that need a friendly push to get their smarts out in the social sphere.

The maintenance of a blog or the daily kaizen needed for Twitter are commitments not everyone has time to make. As someone who does have that time, I’m realizing I have a unique opportunity to enable others to join us.

The social media allure

The social media allure

I’m excited to announce that after great conversation with colleagues at VMworld 2013, this blog has grown in scope. You will now see some more technical insights from some great community colleagues.

Here’s the plan:

I Tech Therefore I Am covers the range of possibilities between technology and how it effects our lives. Whether speaking bits and bytes or social media measurement, we all aim to dig into the fundamental understanding of a concept.

This collection of authors are brought together by curiosity & technology. While we all work at EMC Corporation, we keep an eye on Enterprise IT from a holistic perspective.

matt

Matthew Brender: A Technologist forever changed by Twitter. SAN background, focused on social media advocacy and community, but may be mistaken as paid by tweet, pun or code snippet. @mjbrender

jon

Jonathan Hyde: Sr vSpecialist fascinated by the crossing of technology with human behavior. Often found enjoying wine with his wife. @vFezzik

jeremy

Jeremy Wonson: Sr vSpecialist focused in the Service Provider space. Known to enjoy Puppet Labs, SAP and bacon. @virtualwonson

brandon

Brandon DaCosta: Cloud Architect, vSpecialist, all around smiley guy. Love warm weather, new tech and infrastructure at scale. @bd_cloudy

Storage is Sexy (Again): Thank you VSAN

Despite the apparent misnomer, VSAN has brought SAN back to the forefront of the conversation.

Here’s a combination of why I care and what I’m reading about this massive announcement from VMware.

Virtualize me

While you might read my blog for social media how-to’s and EMC insight, my love for storage came before I knew either of these well. I joined EMC in 2009 supporting CLARiiON storage area networks. From there I grew into the NAS space of Celerra and went on to be a Systems Engineer of the VNX and VNXe. I support these all indirectly through the EMC Community Network now, but big releases still get me excited.

The VSAN announcement  re-awoke a sleeping storage nerdiness I don’t let out too much these days. To be able to add to the discussion, I want to first run through some key design points. All sources are below.

I’m focusing on theory of operation and some quick facts, so if you want to feel how it works, I recommend reviewing all that Cormac Hogan put together here.

Tier 1 Storage… ? (with thanks to professionalvmware.com)

Here’s a summary list of what I’ve found:

  • As Cormac put it, “VSAN has got nothing to do with SAN,” and will remind you more of a Centera or Atmos with its RAIN object storage architecture
  • Follow up: For those not as comfortable with object data, you could think of VSAN like the scale-out magic inside Isilon’s OneFS, as long as you keep it as a metaphor only. It looks to work quite differently
  • per-VM QOS (i.e. performance guarantee) granularity on your data access (without the wait for vVols)
  • minimum connectivity requirement of a(nother) 1Gb pipe between systems
  • The VSAN software is designed into vSphere 5.5 without the usual seams – no additional VIBs or appliances necessary
  • VSAN is a distributed transactional software stack, which is similar – at first – to ScaleIO

Questions I have:

  • Given that VSAN isn’t going the ZFS route, what dependable technology is this “home-grown” design based on? It’s not parity, so is it erasure code?
  •  Why exactly are SSDs required on all nodes?
  • Follow up: …And the answer is much deeper than “for performance.” Dependencies on higher IOPS flash storage could either result in an explanation of clairvoyant proportion or end up revealing a brittle architecture that throws the spray-and-pray power of flash out there as a meat shield for poor design
  • Importantly  minor, is this product officially being shortened as vSAN or VSAN?

Posts referred to:

It’s great to see this vibrant conversation on storage in the new light of hypervisor integration. I’m curious to see how it plays in the VMware portfolio: what plays well, what doesn’t and how it may fit inside the software-defined data center our customers are building.

Thoughts on being #NotAppy at #VMworld

look-and-laugh-spiderman

Obvious point: I work at EMC.

Less obvious point: EMC is making use of the hashtag #NotAppy as you may have seen.  Not everyone is finding humor in it:

I want to take a moment and dig into how I feel about these from a factual and a speculative standpoint.

FACT – we at EMC have released a number of photos, and even a movie, calling NetApp into question.

FACT –  NetApp is part of the Fortune 500 and is deployed in many others companies that make it on the list.

FACT – many community contributors in the partner space, and in the EMC Elect, sell NetApp to their customers.

Which metaphor fits? Let's dig in.

Which metaphor fits? Let’s dig in.

OPINION – A level of quality is required to be deployed in our competitive market.

Said another way, no company in production as tier 1 storage is without respectable qualities universally recognized by experts in our industry.

Data integrity is a no-compromise conversation in the technical industry. Checkboxes like high availability and strong performance results in standards such as SPC-2 benchmarks are required.

OPINION – I respect the technical skill running through every member of the EMC Elect, which translates into a trust that I can have some respect for NetApp technology.

OPINION – I see NetApp as our hometown rival. We shout and wave our arms in public. The crowd goes wild.

Then we all go out together for a beer.

Like I imagine Bill and Jon doing.

Public disagreement does not mean a lack of respect, shown quite respectfully by Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart

Given this thought, I think the #NotAppy-ness is not a go at “punching downwards” as thought above, but more like picking on a friend. You’ll see quite a bit of it if you follow me on Twitter and even more so if you follow Joe Onisick.

There is certainly a line between razzing in a humorous way and public mockery. Where that line stands is another opinion; one only discovered mutually between two people.

Do I want us to continue to outsell NetApp? Of course. But I also rely on the Sales org to worry about that part.

Me, I build communities. That makes this conversation a whole lot easier.

We are all one community.

How #SAPWeek is Killing it Socially

While I do my best to be known in our enterprise world, my role in the EMC social world is quite a small part of the island.

The teams within Corporate Marketing under the social media banner are broken out into community, social (i.e. properties like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc), data science and advertising. Today’s post isn’t about any of these groups: it’s a highlight of a big part of the hub-and-spoke model.

Some spokes know how to bring in the big guns of social.

The team carrying the SAP banner have an incredible opportunity for our customers. They synchronize the physical and social world around #SAPWeek: powerful events connecting customers and partners together under one roof. I love these events because they center around people engaging with people, with social media being leveraged to highlight these connections.

Why is this worth blogging about?

I find the #SAPWeek initiative to take it a step above and beyond. They span the gap between social and physical in a way I keep in mind as I plan my own initiatives.

They also have a huge event coming up for those in Northern California.

THE PITCH

Why (SAP customer) should attend SAP Week Santa Clara in August (1 day EBC event):

1.       SAP subject Matter Experts from SAP, EMC, Cisco, VCE and VMware will be there. The top resources from around the world are flying in for this EBC event.

2.       EMC IT Project Propel SAP Team will be there in person walking through our EMC SAP journey for Private Cloud for SAP (Vblock) and SAP HANA

3.       Other SAP (Vblock for SAP) customers will be at the event to collaborate, present and share their experiences around their Private Cloud for SAP and HANA deployments

4.       This is a Collaborative & Workshop Briefing environment with customized agenda based on the clients priorities – NOT a Products pitch

5.       Customer Community driven environment with Users Group format discussions over lunch and in the evenings during joint customer dinners (Peer-to-Peer interactions)

 

If you can make it, sign up here: SAP Cloud and HANA Transformation

Register Now >> Tuesday, August 13th
Register Now >> Wednesday, August 14th
Register Now >> Thursday, August 15th