In my 20-year IT career I have been involved in user groups as both a member and a presenter. User groups are an important part of our industry and an excellent way for individuals to learn, network, and collaborate to solve problems. As an ‘old timer’ in the tech industry, I’ve been a member for so long that sometimes I forget that new generations of professionals may not have experienced or truly grasped the power of user groups. I’d like to share from my perspective, and then introduce the new Cohesity User Group.
We believe that user groups are about the users and for the users, not for pitches and selling. I don’t need to tell you that in tech there is always a challenge a day…perhaps one every hour. Instead of spending hours and hours researching it yourself, it’s great to have a community to fall back on to help you out. Maybe someone else has had the exact same challenge. Or…maybe not! And you spend the time investigating, perhaps even working with the vendor, and discover a new answer. It’s great to not only rely on the community, but there’s a real pride in being able to contribute back into it as well..
For attendees, user groups provide a way to improve your ‘soft skills.’ Take me for example. Before joining the VMUG community years ago, I was a shy retiring guy. No, not really for those that know me. 🙂 But while I was outgoing, I wasn’t comfortable or polished at leading large group discussions or public speaking. Getting into the VMUG community built my skills in that area within a group that was supportive, and it definitely helped me in my career. You can talk to many folks around the industry who got their start speaking at user groups long before they became famous on stages like VMworld or AWS RE:Invent. I expect the Cohesity User Group to be no different in that respect.
So why are we introducing the next generation of Cohesity User Groups now? There’s a great podcast on this very topic, but the simple answer is, it’s the right time. Our original user group, which started three years ago, has organically grown to 10 across the US with hundreds of users across finance, healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment and more. These leaders have done a tremendous job, but it was time for us to invest in the community. And we’re doing just that with a dedicated user group platform launching in August. The buzzword is “multi-modal” which basically means there will be different ways to consume and contribute to content which will include dedicated podcasts, videos and blog posts. We’re really looking forward to seeing what the community brings forward. We also are investing in the community by bringing our resources to enable discussion on industry relevant topics and introduce industry leading experts and technologists. So while YOU, the users will run the show, we’ll help provide:
This is all the more important as we all are seeing how data is the differentiator for our businesses, while at the same time it’s under constant attack from cybercriminals, especially ransomware. Now is the time to come together and figure out how we all raise our game and deal with existing and new challenges in the IT battlefield. We want to support the user group leaders through their journey as they help grow their local Cohesity User Group. So how can you get involved? There are several ways.
Get involved, become a speaker or even a leader and help us grow a strong community of users helping each other. Cohesity User Group will be a valuable resource and another avenue for people to jump into the user group forum.