Thursday, September 20, 2012

RUG time – are you ready? Just can’t wait?

Next week many of us will gather in Dresden, Germany for a “Super RUG” event hosted by GTUG and Connect, Germany. I just admire all the work by volunteers that makes these events successful …

Only a few days to go before the September 25 – 27, 2012, GTUG and the Pan-European GTUG/CONNECT event begins in Dresden, Germany. For all those volunteers actively involved, as the days start to wind down, the adrenalin is surely kicking as a sense of heightened anticipation develops. They just can’t wait to see us all. And yes, I am beginning to wind down my other commitments as I focus on what I expect will be a really successful event.

Ever since I heard about this proposed gathering of the NonStop community and Connect in Germany, particularly as it was to be held in Dresden, a part of Germany I have never visited, I had firmly circled the dates on my calendar. For the many years I have been associated with the NonStop community I have really looked forward to such community gatherings, as for me, these are the most realistic “litmus tests” about the health of the community – from the vendor stands to the user presentations, to the hoisting of beer steins late in the night there’s simply no other way to tell just how strong the community remains and how enthusiastic all those from HP have become.

RUGs, small and large, have played an important part in my professional life for more than four decades. Even before I joined Tandem Computers I actively participated in RUG equivalents of other vendors, dating back to the late 1970s. Indeed, if the truth be known, one of the attractions that enticed me to join Tandem Computers were the legendary user events ITUG held each year, where news and anecdotes had surfaced even in Australia.

In the upcoming September – October, 2012, issue of The Connection magazine I devote a feature article to RUGs. The feature that I headlined with “RUG gatherings – the stories they can tell!” takes a look at just how positive a contribution RUGs make to all involved. Yes, the key strengths of the NonStop community has always been its willingness to participate in regional events, and even with so much about NonStop available online, together with the proliferation of blogs, discussion groups and webinars there’s still value to be gained from face-to-face meetings. In all, this article highlights just how much excitement is generated at RUG meetings and events and how this then carries over into marketing, sales, support and development.

As I wrapped up the article I wrote of how surprises do arise from these meetings, and few “energized” interactions escape the attention of HP and the HP NonStop team. For many in the NonStop user community this has become the only way that they can stay atop of NonStop product roadmaps and to express their own priorities and what’s important to them. And this is a similar sentiment to what I included in my post of June 19, 2012, to the NonStop community blog, Real Time View. In a post   entitled
SuperRUGs? Super opportunities!I observed of how, perhaps, it is too early to discount the enthusiasm of the NonStop community when it comes to participation at the regional level. And perhaps the desire to learn more about the products typically found deployed on the NonStop platform hasn’t lessened through the years – supporting as many real-time mission-critical applications as it continues to do today, places a premium on good technical resources being available to NonStop customers.

I also made the observation of how, for me, given the time I have been associated with RUGs, the return of these types of events is particularly pleasing to see. I then added in that post of how it certainly is refreshing to see the spirit of the RUGs, and even Super RUGs, remains and thrives as strongly as it ever has, and will continue to provide the content, networking opportunities and access to HP leaders that simply makes participation at such gatherings something we all look forward to.

There are only a few days to go and I will be participating in a number of ways. There will be the Cloud SIG meeting I will chair on Thursday afternoon – 2:45 to 3:30 in Session Room 1 – about which I have been blogging for some time as I put together an agenda. Perhaps what may not be as well known is that now I am also giving a vendor presentation on the uLinga product suite and the rapid growth it has experienced as it has found user community acceptance very quickly. Look for the presentation "uLinga:(cloud-enabled!) Connectivity to IBM”, that I will give early Thursday morning – follow this link to see the latest agenda:

“A lot of work goes into organizing such an event, but as we are only a few days away, the event team is very happy to report that registrations are ramping up nicely,” said comForte marketing head, Thomas Gloerfeld. “As of right now we have over 30 customer organizations and close to 200 individuals from customers, vendors and HP registered and last minute registrations are still rolling in. It just goes to show that the NonStop community enjoys coming together at events such as this one in order to get first-hand updates on everything NonStop.

And yes, I am only too grateful to all those volunteers working so hard in support of the event for giving me an opportunity to present uLinga – and if the Cloud reference surprises you, then come and hear more! Surely, and it must go without saying, one of the reasons we all attend RUGs is for the surprises and perhaps this event will prove once again that RUG meetings remain the true indication of just how prosperous the NonStop community continues to be!

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