General, vExpert

Quick Thought: VMUG is now part of DTUC

I awoke this morning to the news that an announcement was made at DELL|EMC World that VMUG had been rolled into a the recently formed Dell Technologies User Community (DTUC – doesn’t quiet roll off the tongue now does it?) …I also awoke to a lot of VMware community backlash on Twitter not only in response to the news but also in the way in which it was not communicated to the existing local VMUG leadership and steering committee members.

From the reaction i’ve seen, most people are fairly ticked off with the fact that almost everybody found out about this through public channels…mainly Twitter. It’s worth watching the video below to get an overview of the changes from the VMUG President and CEO as it does go some way to clarifying the what’s what of the announcement.

Just to clarify, VMUG is not changing it’s name to DTUC.

My Take:

I think everybody knew that VMUG was in trouble from an organisational standpoint with a lot of changes during the first few months of 2017 and some interesting moves around the removing of Nutanix staff from leadership role. So this news isn’t a total surprise however for me, the one key ingredient that VMUG offered is now well and truly in danger of being wiped away…and that is it’s relative independence.

The VMUG community was born out of the technology ecosystem that grew around VMware’s success in the virtualization market and it meant that all of VMware’s technology and alliance partners where given a seat at the table in terms of event sponsorship and presentations. It was a place equally where smaller startup’s could come and talk about their new technology solutions and where the more established vendors could talk around why there where still cool and relevant.

Now, with DELL|EMC plus VMware product portfolio my fear is that finding sponsors will become even more of a challenge as it has been worldwide for the last 12 to 18 months. This is an interesting move but again, but not a surprising one given what I’ve seen with my involvement in VMUG over the past two years. It’s not all doom and gloom though as I feel the VMUG UserCons are still brilliant events as was the case with the recent ones held in Sydney and Melbourne.

Time will tell how this plays out, but there is one thing I believe the wider VMware community doesn’t want to see drop off or disappear…and that is the community it’s self!

3 thoughts on “Quick Thought: VMUG is now part of DTUC

  1. Hey Anthony, I think you’ve summed up most people’s thoughts – it was the lack of communication with leaders PRIOR to the announcement that has concerned most folks. I would like to, however, point out that the user group wasn’t initially formed out of the tech eco-system. In fact back at the very first VMworld in San Diego – when I was a VMW employee – we had a tiny wee user group booth, encouraging customers to sign up to it. As the user group grew and grew, VMware relinquished ‘control’ of it and thus the VMUG organisation that you see today emerged. During my time as a London/UK VMUG leader we moved from being an ‘independent’ VMUG committee to part of this newly created VMUG organisation. There were good and bad aspects to being rolled into the official VMUG, but mainly the good outweighed the bad. Now, however, I see VMUG organisation – not the community, but the organisation behind VMUG – becoming bureaucratic and a wee bit of a dictatorship IMHO. The question for me is where is this being driven from?

    Whilst VMUG needs to EVOLVE not CHANGE , the community is as strong and as passionate as ever and I’m proud to be a part of it.

  2. I think everyone can agree that communications to leaders and members could have gone much better. However, I am curious as to what specifically you see that threatens VMUG’s independence? Like Jane I was around when VMUG moved to becoming an independent organization. From being part of the group that evaluated the move, planned the move, helped execute the changes and was on the VMUG Board for the first 6 years (through 2016). VMUG has never been 100% independent as there has always been one Board seat (and vote) allocated to VMware which has been filled by a VMware employee. Without VMware there is no VMUG and they are VMUG’s most important strategic partner. With VMware now part of Dell Technologies, it’s not surprising that VMUG would want to work closely with DTUC. If anything I think you could see VMUG having more influence over other UG’s in DTUC than DTUC impacting VMUG. That being said I think VMUG will see benefits from cross promotion as well as better access to other product lines (and sponsors) who are part of Dell Technologies.

  3. Well for me the Choice was simple. Me and my team decided to just remove ourselves from any VMUG involvement. We are running vmware on cisco and HP hardware, and only negative feelings from Our experience With Dell Products. The Whole point for us joining VMUG was to be in a vendor independant (except vmware) forum where we meet ALL types of Technologies. Knowing Dell, I am fairly sure that you will see more and more focus on other Dell Technologies and less involvement from non-Dell vendors, so Choice was simple. So thanks for the time in VMUG, its time to have a really independant user Group again.

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