2013 A Year in Review

As I take a moment to look back, 2013 was a fantastic year and the perfect start for this project.

 1H2013 (January - June)

Both Matt Vandenbeld (VCDX#107) and I (VCDX#106) successfully completed our VCDX at Partner Exchange and Long View became the first Canadian partner to have VCDX on staff.  For a few months we had two and were one of the few partners worldwide to ever have that number at one time.  I was finally able to achieve the goal I started in 2010 and join one of my most respected friends and peers Mark Achtemichuk (VCDX#50 ) as a fellow VCDX.  Without the support from my amazing wife Paula, my family, Long View, and many friends this would not have been possible, thank-you.

Partner Exchange also saw an opportunity to speak as one of four focus partner success stories during the first General Session.  This was a pretty cool experience and I got to play a small part in the magic that is a large conference production, and meet Carl Eschenbach at dinner (the Carl)!

One of the years consulting highlights happened in the Spring after Partner Exchange.  I received a call one evening from our GM of Sales, a client was having trouble in their VMware environment.  What followed makes me extremely proud to work for Long View.  The complex problem was impacting the production environment of a newer client and we swung into action.  Over the next 30 days we would bring over 30 of my peers into play from across the organization to assist with the largest multi-technology recovery and remediation effort we had ever assisted with.  Team members were onsite 24/7, we provided architectural oversight, subject matter experts, project management, resource coordination, change and problem management, crisis management, and communication support.  We forged a partnership that will last for years to come, all starting with one phone call.  Next challenge... the Alberta Flood.

The flood surprised the province to put it lightly and the effects will be visible for many years.  Our offices were without power as were many of our clients, and some of our clients and peers businesses and homes were underwater or inaccessible.  I am so proud of what Long View did next, we were given three priorities: 1. Look after our staff, 2. Ensure our clients were up and running, 3. See how we can help in our communities.  Those who couldn't work remotely and were willing, were organized into volunteer teams to go and help the community.  Long View financed hundreds of hours and supplies to give back to the communities that have treated us so well.  We also did some very innovative work to deploy and expand remote access and VDI solutions for several large public and private clients dramatically impacted by rising water.

 

 2H2013 (July - December)

I said goodbye to my good friend and colleague Matt as he went onto a global role with the VMware Global Center of Excellence in the Summer (Nate Raper went too - theses guys are world class).  He will be missed (and the Twitter banter will of course continue), but we have another VCDX applicant in progress and we will have two again in 2014.  We won't stop there, it's important to support the VCDX program, we will find more candidates.

My first year in my new North American role ended November 1, and we experienced another good year of growth and projects successes.  Five of our branches now have established virtualization teams, the progress continues.  In 2014 we will build out our Toronto team.  Yes, we are hiring, let me know if you are looking in that market, or any of our markets.  Good people are hard to find, we often create positions for them when we can.

I met a lot of great people this last year at conferences (Partner Exchange, VMworld) at Partner Technical Advisory Board, at clients, and am happy to now call many of them friends.  I also saw a great deal of movement as some friends made the move to manufacturers.  The partner community will feel the loss, but we gain advocates for tighter partner engagement.  You can't stop career progression and retaining top talent is always going to be tough in this market.  I wish them all well in their next challenging roles and hope to work with them "on the other side". :D

And to properly close out the year and begin the next, I decided it was time to do something I had meant to do for some time now, start this blog.

In 2014 I will start putting my thoughts to print as something grabs my interest.  I find that the longer I consult and run a virtualization practice the more I want to write my thoughts down about what we do and share ideas about what we have learned along the way.

I hope you find some value in it, and if you have time to comment please do.

I will be starting with a multi-part post on the journey to VCDX, the first part is mostly written and should be out (coffee pot willing) before 2014 begins.  I will also be running a breakout session at Calgary VMware vForum in January on automation and the cloud journey, so please stop by  and say hi.

I hope 2013 was a good year for you as well, and I look forward to seeing you in 2014.  Enjoy the time with your families, all the best to you this holiday season.  Thanks for reading.

Cheers,

James