My Second Year at VCE

by Jay Cuthrell
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You are witnessing the transformation of an entire industry.

_ Pay attention. It will be faster than you think._ — VCE Deal Desk Mission Control Room

Two years ago this week was my first day at Acadia which later became VCE. The past year at VCE started off with a review of my first year at VCE. To keep things consistent I’ll follow a similar format for this anniversary post.

I’m posting this one a bit ahead of time because I’ll be soaking up knowledge at OpenStack Summit 2012 in San Diego.

Grow and go

My role has shifted more than a few times within VCE. Those shifts were ones I could see happening as VCE grew and I went into my second year knowing travel might be a bit more intense. Sure enough, my travel has been wide and often but this year really stepped up on the international front.

Looking back on the past 12 months I’ve traveled all over the US to meet with customers. In addition, I’ve visited Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Germany is right around the corner. Before 2012 is over I’ll likely visit even more countries where customers have realized the benefits of Vblock Systems.

While the travel have been exciting for me, seeing the success of VCE in terms of our customers, partners, and investors has been incredibly rewarding. Knowing folks that have been with VCE going back to Acadia and pre-Acadia days gives me a new sense of respect for their strength of will and their ability to see to this rocket ship soar. Each time I have a chance to meet new hires it reminds me where I started in this mix and I’m right back at a small meeting in Boston getting fitted for my new space suit.

Last month I spent a day at the VCE office in RTP. The building was familiar to me when I visited it the first time a few months ago. One of the things that really stood out was the pair programming / extreme programming rooms. Those are going to be popular. I’m also delighted at the amount of meeting space and all the touch down spots for folks like me. It’s been several years since I had an office with a door and I don’t miss it.

Last week I was in San Francisco again. Previously I had pondered why I’m not out there permanently. A few folks brought clarity via the Twitters and for that I am thankful. The wisdom of relocating for the sake of a larger airport is still interesting. In fact, I’m still working on living in five major cities in five years. It’s fun to have a side research project.

Harder than you think

Just to segue for a moment… this is my blog. Mine. I’ve talked about VCE a bit here over the past two years.

During this time, the outside coverage of what VCE is and what VCE does has also been on the rise. I wish I could say it was all positive and supportive of the mission of VCE — or at the very least, objective. I say I wish because I’ve learned a lot along the way.

On the getting better each day front I think of the tech analysts. You see, the investment group analysts that I supported years ago are different from the tech analysts that are part of the subscription content world in that investment analysts are razor focused on financial impacts whereas tech analysts take a much wider view of indicators that (may) lead to financial impacts.

Tech analysts typically have some variety of pulpit for publication and dissemination of their points of view and that might include a blog of sorts. Good tech analysts have a track record, lineage, and are well known.

Very often the tech analysts have a serious background in technology or made the jump from technologist to analyst and with it an easily identified perspective and a track record you can query. As such, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know this group so that I might better understand their motivations, needs, and tendencies.

To be clear, these tech analysts are not to be confused with so-called tech bloggers.

So what do I mean by tech bloggers? Simple. Tech bloggers are folks tend to appear from nowhere and while they cover tech topics… the world of productized converged infrastructure is pretty specific.

That means you have to be careful with tech bloggers. Why? Because the tech bloggers can really get things twisted if you are not extremely careful and deliberate in your message. Then again, even if you are extremely careful and deliberate in your message some of the tech bloggers… will still get it twisted.

When it comes to tech bloggers, there are probably some analogies to swimming that can be made. Some tech bloggers are gold medal winners that dazzle us with their insights and long form analysis that might make you wonder if they aren’t destined to become tech analysts one day.

Others… yeah, not so much. You see, some tech bloggers swim in an ocean knowing full well they didn’t even have their badge for the deep end of the kiddie pool. Many of these same tech bloggers will have a limited horse race, hyperbolic, zero sum, or war motif vocabulary that they invariably use to bury the lead like the dead fish it represents in terms of thoughtful consideration, deliberation, and analysis.

To put a fine point on it, it is the kind of tech bloggers that are always fixated on some kind of death watch. They won’t get it and it might be fair to say they don’t want to get it.

With each year VCE has thrived it has become some kind of personal affront to these kinds of tech bloggers. For these reasons, the single most annoying thing I read these days is the occasional misinformed, poorly sourced, and outright lazy phone it in contrarian coverage when it comes to all things VCE as seen through the fog glazed spectacles of tech blogger wearing bright orange inflatable arm bands.

If there were a handful of things I wish these tech bloggers and their editors would finally grasp it would fit into a short and sweet list:

  1. VCE is a successful company in every metric that matters and our customers, partners, and investors know this to be true.
  2. VCE customers are realizing the benefits of Vblock Systems over and over again.
  3. VCE partners are committed to succeed with Vblock Systems to provide delightful and repeatable converged infrastructure experiences for customers.
  4. VCE investors are committed to our success.

I know. Crazy right? 😄


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