What is a vSpecialist

I’ve been a vSpecialist for about 5 months now and I’m starting to feel like I’m getting my legs under me.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot to learn but DAMN this is a great job !!  BUT, moving from a 200+ company to one with close to 50,000 has its unique challenges.   The saying “if it was easy, everyone would do it” comes to mind 🙂

One of the unique challenges is trying to explain what our group does.  It’s always interesting when walking the halls of various EMC offices, or even our partner’s offices and I introduce myself, they always start with this question “So, what does a vSpecialist do”?  That usually means “How can you add value to my job” 🙂  It’s a valid question, and one that sometimes has a lot of answers, so I thought I would pull together loose description of a vSpecialist.

First things first, normally my first response is to share with them our team motto.  Which is “Wherever there is V(Mware), E(mc) should always win”.  In other words our team of VMware specialist main focus is to help drive further EMC and VMware adoption within environments.  At last count, from an EMC perspective, we have over 75 points of integration across our family of products.  From VNX, to RecoverPoint, to RSA etc etc.  The more senior guys on the team can speak to each of these points at a drop of the hat.  The rest of us rookies are catching up quickly.

So the second thing to point out is we are NOT just Vblock focused.  I like to describe our relationship with VCE/Vblock as this.  THIS IS JUST MY VIEW – If you’ve ever taught someone how to ride a bike, you sort of run along side them for a little while and then you simply let them go.  This was our early relationship and VCE has blasted off.  They went from 70 employees’ to well over 700 in less then a year.  At this point, they are solid on the bike!!  Now our teams still work pretty closely together.  It just makes sense since a lot of the value around Vblock is things like VMware and UIM.

Some of the other things we do are specifically around VMware.  It might surprise you how solid our team is around VMware and their various products.  In fact, I would guess 95% of the team has a VCP at a minimum and some higher-level certifications like VCDX !!  We regularly get called in to discuss or demo things like vCloud Director, Chargeback, vShield, vOPS, as well as application specific discussion like vFabric and even occasionally Zimbra.  I’ve been spending a lot of time discussing VMware View (VDI).  Our team can come in and help explain what VDI is, what some of the solutions in the market are, and how it all works.  If you already know a lot about that, we can also help you craft testing plans and also point out some things you need to keep in mind as you are building out your project.

Thirdly our team does a lot of IT Business/Strategy discussions.  Whether this is around “Journey to the Private Cloud” or even “Next Generation Datacenter” our team can take the technology concepts and help companies marry this to their 12 to 24 month strategies.  We regularly present at the EMC Executive Briefing Centers and we really love opportunities to sit down with line of business owners, as well as CxO’s to discuss ways to help their IT organization be more efficient utilizing the latest technology as well as orchestration and automation tools they typically already have in their datacenter.

Finally, some of the guys on the team have developed really cool tools like Nick Weaver (@Lynxbat) , Clint Kitson (@ClintonsKitson), Alan Renouf (@alanrenouf), etc etc.  We also spend a lot of time on EMC/VMware message boards answering questions; you will find a ton of us on twitter (vSpecialist Twitter List).  We are heavily involved in the local VMUGS, EMC World, Cisco Live, VMworld etc.  We also do a lot of speaking at seminars as well as lunch N learns.  As you can imagine, there is a TON of VMware out in the world so it gives us a lot of opportunity to speak!!

You know what’s really cool?  At last count I think we have over 200 vSpecialist around the world !!  Hell, we have 7 just in Texas alone !!  Now I will tell you, almost all of us (except this particular vSpecialist 🙂 ) have some form of A.D.D which I think is mandatory on this team 🙂  You almost have to have it in order to stay current with everything we need to stay current with!!

So, the net/net is a vSpecialist is an UBER A.D.D VMware NERD that can help your team move towards the next gen datacenter!!


10 thoughts on “What is a vSpecialist

  1. Nice post. You didn’t even mention the wet fish handshake. I am still freaked out remembering that.

  2. I’m curious to know if there might be room for vSpecialists in the EMC remote support departments! We deal with vmware integration products on a daily basis where I am at…

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