Yes, it has been awhile, but I figured this was as good a time as any to dust off the login credentials for this site 🙂 As the title alludes to, I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the Veeam Vanguard program again for 2022. The last few years have been a bit different for the program, and despite having limited in-person interactions, it did spawn significantly more frequent get togethers (whether formally organized webinars, social events, or special one-off sessions). We’re all hopeful that with 2022 we’ll all be able to see each other at the annual Vanguard Summit. However, with the way the world has been for the past two years, I’m not placing any bets on it yet.
Let’s get to the heart of this post. There were a few items I wanted to share my thoughts on.
First off, a sincere thank you to everyone involved with the Vanguard program. The Product Strategy team headed by Rick Vanover is a prime example of how to get feedback from and to the field. When Nikola joined Veeam a few years back (July 2019, if memory serves) she took what was already a fantastic experience for Vanguards and kicked it up to 11. And of course, the secret sauce behind what makes the Vanguard program excel: the Vanguards. This entire program is the perfect example of how members can amplify the value. You are all awesome.
LUCKY NUMBER 7
So, this is now my seventh year as a Vanguard. I am truly humbled and honoured to be invited back. There was lots of stiff competition this year, resulting in a total of 65 Vanguards. Not only has my day job changed dramatically in that time (going from the customer side of things to the vendor side), but so have my activities. I used to run a Veeam User Group, which was an absolute blast. Similarly, I used to blog a lot more, whether about Veeam or otherwise. Lately, I’ve cut back on a lot of that though. You may be asking why I am still so excited to be a part of this group?
WHY I’M EXCITED – THE SELFISH BITS
- The Hive Mind with this group of individuals is nothing short of impressive. Understandably, a lot of the conversations centre around Veeam. But at the end of the day, a lot of us are technologists and we are all constantly learning from others. Whether it is technology specific (e.g. Veeam, VMware, or Microsoft related questions), or maybe it is a matter of needing to get some ideas around soft skills; chances are this group will jump at the chance to help.
- The swag… Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve got enough Veeam shirts, socks, jackets, and sweaters to last me a long time. And I am truly very appreciative of all that. The swag itself is amazing not only in options, but also in generosity. At the end of the day though, the swag has zero decision in me re-applying. Admittedly I’ve got a good stockpile. My point is that you shouldn’t be joining this program just for the swag.
- The Vanguard Summit: this is a big one. If you aren’t familiar with it, this is a chance for all of the Vanguards to get some face time with key individuals from Veeam. It’s an opportunity to directly influence products or offerings, as well as learn what is on the roadmap. The past few years have seen the Summit held in Prague, and Veeam covers most costs.(Disclaimer: I have totally fallen in love with Prague). But honestly, I would be just as excited if the Summit was held 10 minutes away from my house. Everything that goes into the whole Summit experience is completely awesome, but the content (i.e. the people) is what gets me stoked
HOW DO I THINK I CAN HELP?
I like to help people, and I have felt that way for as long as I can remember. That’s likely how I started down the IT path. My hope is that by being a part of the Vanguards, then it will be an avenue to continue doing this. Whether it’s helping individuals out with areas that I’ve dabbled with a fair bit (CDP, for example). Maybe it is providing some assistance on VMware-related technologies. Either way, helping others gives me a rewarding feeling. Knowing that I may be able to help customers solve problems by providing feedback to the product team is awesome. Helping other Vanguards solve infrastructure problems (even if I am only one cog in the wheel), is really cool and fulfilling.
To sum things up, after seven years in the program and many changes on my end, this program is still very near and dear to my heart. It is one that I still strive to provide value back to and I look forward to the opportunity.