SNIA Storage Developer Conference 2015

This will be a small note.

I know I am a bit late here but thought I would anyway let you know in case you have not seen this.

SNIA is holding its Annual Storage Developer Conference India at Royal Orchid Road, HAL Airport Road, Bangalore on May 29th. Unfortunately I have a prior commitment on that day and hence may miss attending the conference.

The home page of the conference: http://www.snia.org/sdcindia/venue

The Agenda of the conference: http://www.snia.org/sdcindia/agenda

The Agenda is interesting and if I were to attend the conference I would be in two minds on which tracks to attend since all of them are interesting. Scale Out Filesystem, OpenStack, Cloud are areas of my interest. As could be expected, the talks promise to be a mix of theory and practice. I am happy to note that Sundara Nagarajan (whom we fondly call SN), who is like a mentor to many of us, is also giving a talk in this conference.

The Storage-Cloud relationship seems to be covered quite extensively here. Would have loved to see more of Storage-Hypervisor relationship being covered as well. Lot of innovation is happening in this area with lot of APIs coming out which allow for tighter integration between the Hypervisor and the Storage Array. (You would know this if you are following the developments at VMware and the Storage APIs on offer there.) A company like Nutanix or VMware (with its VSAN) presenting would have been great. But then, like the Top 10 Movies of all time list, each of us will have our own preferences.

If you are working on Storage this is definitely a conference you should attend. I hope it is not too late for registration.

AWS Partner Summit : Customer comes first

AWS Partner Summit

I attended the AWS Partner Summit at Leela Palace, Bangalore on 29th April 2015. It was a well organized meet and the hall was full. They had stalls by sponsors outside the hall and we could get to interact with Solution Architects of Amazon, which was nice thing. I was able to talk to them and get some of my doubts clarified.

There were quite a few talks but the most impressive ones for me were the panel discussion in the morning and the keynote address by Terry Wise (did I get the name right?). The panel discussion had AWS customers and consulting partners as the panelist. This gave a good idea to people on how AWS is being used in India and what are the opportunities for consultants in this field. Each one spoke about how they came to AWS, what benefits they are deriving and also addressed important issues like security.

The keynote was very well done by Terry Wise. It was concise and at the same time covered a lot. The two important takeaways for me personally was about customer success and not being afraid to fail. When I joined the industry quite some time back, the buzz word was customer satisfaction. It later changed to customer delight. Customer delight was just not enough and the buzzword transformed to Customer Success. I remember the time in my previous company when this buzzword hit us and it lead to me preparing a deck for me CEO to deliver on this topic to Project Managers and other mid-level managers. In case of Amazon, the statement which made a great impact was not ‘We succeed when the customer succeeds’ but ‘We succeed only when the customer succeeds’. The ‘only’ was underlined. This does change everything doesn’t it. To be fair to Amazon, they have been following this diktat and been improving their services, introducing new services and cutting cost. (From my personal experience I can say that their team in India is also very hungry and they helped us land our first consulting deal.) I believe in the space we are in (Competency Development & Consulting) we cannot afford not to help our customers succeed.

The other part of not being afraid is also an important message. The importance here lies in the fact that this is a culture which comes top down. When the leadership is scared to fail, the people below become risk averse or is they are willing to take a risk, they get punished for failing. I have seen the sense of insecurity and the unwillingness to take initiative

amongst mid-level managers in more than one company and you can directly trace it to the leadership of the company.

I do hope for sake of other companies, Amazon succeeds in its endeavor. Going by their recent $5B announcement, they are on their way. More power to them.

I will conclude this with a trivial request: Next time when we have such a summit can we have coffee without sugar please !!