vExpert Spotlight: Jane Rimmer

Name: Jane Rimmer

Twitter Handle: @Rimmergram

Current Employer: hiviz-marketing

How did you get into IT?

I started in IT in 1986 working for Sun Microsystems, and was involved in PC-NFS, TOPS peer-to-peer networking and Wabi – having previously been a Wang administrator at a telecoms company.  In those days email was all internal, no access to the outside world 🙂

I then joined Hayes Microcomputer Products, and was involved in another IT innovation– the Hayes AT Command Set, unfortunately the company went into Chapter 11 and was finally sold, but after I left and joined another company involved in a paradigm shift in computing, Citrix.

I joined when WinFrame 7 was launched, and I remember thinking “this stuff is back to the future”, very mainframe-esque. It was also a learning curve living and working through the Microsoft times of licensing MultiWin and continually combating the market’s view that Terminal Services would be the Citrix “killer”. They’ve continued to work in “co-opertition” with Microsoft and I’ve used their success in managing this relationship many times in analogous reference to questions about competitive situations.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

Onward to VMware, I joined as employee number 2 in Europe in 2002 and ESX1.5 was just released. 

Initially, it was an up-hill struggle getting traction with customers, the press, analysts and recruiting the channel, at least from an enterprise perspective. VMware Workstation was loved and adored by the developer community, but I’d be very rich for every time I was told “ESX is not production ready, it’s only OK for dev/test”. I was in complete awe the first time I saw a vMotion demo at our sales kick off meeting in Palo Alto and then VirtualCenter and Virtual SMP followed. 

I was also part of the taskforce that developed the original channel program, the VIP Network. The EMC acquisition finally put paid to rest the questions surrounding the “future” of VMware – many times I’d be speaking with a customer or an analyst and they’d love the products and demos, but they’d question the longevity of the company.  I was also responsible for launching the first TSX in Amsterdam at the request of Jeff Jennings.  At the first one we conducted a survey with the attendees to suggest a name for what would become an annual event. It was named TSX as a) a play on ESX and b) stood for Technical Solutions Exchange. It was another success that grew into bigger and better things, culminating in its demise when VMworld came to Europe. The first VMworld was held in San Diego in 2004, where we had just over 1600 attendees and I attended with some of our big customers and partners from Europe, along with some key press and analysts. I’ve attended every VMworld since (apart from the 2005 one in Vegas) on both sides of the pond and find them great events for networking, learning and creating business.

On leaving VMware in 2005, I set up my own marketing consultancy, hiviz-marketing and have worked with some very innovative technologies, helping them to increase their brand awareness and lead generation in the EMEA market.  I was honoured to be asked to join the London VMware User Group Steering Committee in 2010 and my work on the committee has led to me being awarded the illustrious vExpert award this year.  I am responsible for all social media and publicity of the London VMUG, as well as securing speakers and sponsors. We are now busy preparing for the very first UK-wide VMUG event in November this year!

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

I have been very fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time and have gotten to where I am today by hard work, determination, knowing what I want and going after it – all added with a large dose of good luck.


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