2015 VMUG Leader Summit Recap

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I had the honor of attending the VMUG Leader summit on Dec 2 – 4th.  The summit was held at VMware HQ in Palo Alto.  There were 91 local VMUG leaders that attended the event.  Having so many VMUG leaders in one location was very valuable. I want to thank VMware VMUG HQ staff for coordinating the event and thank VMware for hosting this awesome event.

The purpose of the summit was to share ideas and learn additional methods to enhancing local VMUG’s.

There was a jam packed schedule of events.  I arrived Wednesday and there was a reception that evening.  It gave all the leaders a great opportunity to hang out and meet other leaders.

On Thurs we had a jam packed day.  To start off the General Session Brad Tompkins (VMUG CEO) welcomed everyone and let us know what was going to happen that day. He also announced that VMUG will have a European office starting in 2016.  Next Mariano Maluf (VMUG Board President) talked about what was going on with the VMUG organization.  Last, Guido Appenzeller (CTSO for NSXBU at VMware) gave a presentation on NSX.

Next we were broken up into groups and attended different breakout sessions.  There were four different sessions that we attended throughout the day :

  • Architecting Your Leadership Group for Success
  • Deep Dive into Local Group Meetings
  • Virtually Everywhere – Getting Your Group Noticed
  • Integrating into the VMUG Community

These sessions were designed to give us the tools and information to better run our local VMUG’s.  These sessions also initiated a lot of discussion about what worked and what was not working at each leaders local groups.  It was great to hear other leaders share their experiences.

After two of the breakouts we had lunch and then Kit Colbert (VP & CTO of Cloud Native Apps at VMware) gave the afternoon keynote on Software Defined Everything.  It was really focused around DevOps.  Kit is a great speaker and did a great job presenting.

After the Keynote we attended another breakout session.  After the breakout session was over, local group leaders who have a UserCon attended a session on “Making the Most of Your VMUG UserCon.”

Surprisingly it was raining off & on Thursday, but we were given a tour of the Vmware campus after the UserCon session.  The VMware campus is huge and very beautiful.  VMware is a very green company, so everything was designed with that thought in mind.1204151205b

The campus tour was awesome, but we had one more breakout session to attend.  After that breakout session we walked across the VMware campus for a “VMware Demo Showcase”.  VMware engineers from different product groups had demos setup for us to watch and ask questions.  About half way through the Demo Showcase we had a huge surprise.  Pat Gelsinger stopped by with one of his good friends Michael Dell.  Michael talked for a few minutes and then him and Pat had to leave.  It was a highlight of the day for me.IMG_20151203_181230

The Demo Showcase was great, but it was late in the day and I was tired, so after we went back to the hotel, I did not stay at the reception for very long.  There was a lot of food and drinks.

Friday was only scheduled for half a day.  We had a great breakfast that morning – lots of BACON!  The morning was kicked off with a panel discussion from four VMUG leaders about what they had learned from the summit.  I was honored to have been asked to be on the panel.1204150835

Pat Gelsiner returned Friday for the last General session.  He spoke about different VMware topics and then answered some questions from different leaders.

The last keynote for the summit was presented by  Dr Don McMillian on  “Effective Communication in the Information Age”.  I did not realize Dr McMillian was a comedian.  I do not remember the last time I laughed that hard.  He is extremely funny and if you ever have the opportunity to see him you will not be disappointed. .  You can check out some of his work at his website – http://www.technicallyfunny.com/

Robin Matlock (CMO at Vmware) stopped by and spoke briefly about some marketing initives going on at VMware and then answered a few questions.

Brad Tompkins closed the summit by inspiring all the leaders to take what we learned and apply it to our local groups.

Overall, I thought the VMUG Leader Summit was a huge success.  I learned a lot from all the sessions and I learned even more from all the discussions going on between different leaders.

Check out all the  Pictures from my VMUG Leader Summit trip.

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