I’m pleased to present this blog from one of our customers, Joshua Bauer, Sr. Manager of Network Operations, Acorda Therapeutics. Joshua is a returning customer to VMworld and not only is he benefitting from IT simplicity and efficiency for his IT operations using VMware solutions, he continues to grow his knowledge and business, through the information, networking, learning and labs he experiences at our annual event. For instance, you’ll be able to check out small and mid-size sessions including, but not limited to:
- Transforming Your Business Through Cloud Computing
- How to profit with VMware’s Cloud Solutions
- VMware Go: The Zen for Small and Midsized Business IT Management
Take a moment to read these exclusive tips from Joshua and how to make the most of your VMworld experience. For those of you attending VMworld, I look forward to an opportunity to meet you there.
Until next time,
VMworld: A (Golden) Gateway for SMBs to the year’s biggest virtualization and cloud event.
A Blog Post by Joshua Bauer, Senior Manager of Network Operations, Acorda Therapeutics
So you booked your flight and hotel, packed your bags, turned on auto-reply for email (you’re welcome) and are officially ready to conquer the VMworld 2012 Event. But what will you do when you get there?
As a small or mid-size business, how do you best maximize your time? This is my 5th consecutive attendance to this event! Why? Please allow me to share just some of the many SMB benefits, tips and recommendations from personal experience, so you can walk out knowing what your next step needs to be, to simplify and/or modernize your IT and grow your business.
Book those Sessions!
- There are over 350 sessions this year. It’s not humanly possible to attend all of them (if you aren’t human, you can skip reading this section). Therefore, take some time now and book your calendar using the schedule builder. You can always cancel or change items later.
- Cover as much ground as possible. If you are travelling with colleagues you can split up and compare notes later.
- Diversify your portfolio. If your main objective is to learn more about disaster recovery or desktop virtualization, be sure to also book plenty of sessions in other areas. I highly recommend you be diverse in your selection of session types as well. Breakout sessions, group discussions and spotlight sessions are all unique experiences and you don’t want to miss out! I have found this approach to be invaluable in helping me identify solution options, and develop my roadmap and next steps to continually simplify my IT operations, gain efficiencies, and help meet our business goals.
To be an Expert SMB Attendee, Mix It Up!
They call it VMworld for a reason. With so much to do, learn and discover, it truly is like being in another world. Attending sessions is great and is certainly the meat and potatoes of the event, but don’t miss out on all this other cool stuff.
- World class hands on labs. With over 20 hands on labs planned for this year, you have a unique opportunity to become familiar with a new technology or get refreshed on one you’re already using. And with dozens of passionate lab experts nearby, you can be assured that your experience will be smooth, fun and educational.
- It’s not just about virtualization. With over 250 exhibitors showcasing their best of current and future technology, you’re going to be floored by how much there is to see in the Solutions Exchange. Want to see Dell’s next generation servers or Intel’s processors in action? The Tech Exchange is for you. Have an architecture issue you want to discuss with a VMware expert? Oh yeah, you can do that too. Head on over to the VMware booth.
- Networking is critical. When will you ever get the opportunity to meet over 20,000 people who love and do what you do every day in one place? Introduce yourself to strangers! Share datacenter war stories. Chances are you will find someone who’s already completed a project successfully and will have some great advice for you. And you’ll have some for them.
Explore the Vast Partner Relationships
- VMware is known for its vast network of partner relationships. Get to know some of the partners and understand the various ways they work with VMware to help build and implement the solutions you need. As a small or mid-size business, we do not always have the time, skills or resources to begin. The partner network is amazing and will provide many ideas and partner options mapped to your specific needs, for you to take away and discuss with VMware when you get home.
Relax, have fun, embrace the energy!
There is nothing quite like attending a VMworld conference. As soon as you arrive at the Moscone Center it will be pretty intimidating. But take a deep breath, forget about what’s happening back at home base and enjoy yourself.
- Stay nourished. VMware has the meal system down to a science. If you have time to spare, grab one of the many hot meals served buffet style throughout the event. Sit with a table that has lots of people and you’ve got yet another great networking opportunity, with a high likelihood of talking with other SMBs (as I’ve learned). If you’re late for a session, they also have cold meals that you can take with you. But don’t skip meals; you’ll need the energy!
- Get some sleep! Your brain needs rest from the massive amount of information you’re uploading into it each day. San Francisco is a really fun town and it may be tempting to party all evening (save it for Wednesday), but do yourself (and your boss!) a favor and get to bed at a reasonable hour and get plenty of rest each day.
- Attend the VMworld party! After 3 days of intense learning it’s nice to unwind a bit. And what better way to unwind than with excellent food, drinks and fun activities? There’s no party quite like a VMworld party.
Peer to peer, I highly recommend the VMworld 2012 event (annually) as an integral SMB strategic business tool. While it is a massive event, it has helped me to bring home the next best steps to take for my virtualization and cloud journey, and keep my IT environment progressing forward and help achieve success for our company.
If you’ve been to VMworld, what SMB advice do you have to offer? Would enjoy receiving any comments and perspective you have.
See you at VMworld!
Acorda Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on developing therapies that restore function and improve the lives of people with MS, spinal cord injury and other neurological conditions.
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