VMware vChampion Farewell!

About four years ago I was invited to join a program called the VMware vChampions…this program is run and operated by the VMware ANZ Channel and Marketing teams and is an invite only advocacy group who’s members are made up exclusively from VMware’s top partners and service providers in the ANZ region. The numbers have varied over the past couple of years, but at any one time there are about 30-40 vChampions in the group.

With my new role at Veeam I have had to leave the program and this week at #vForumAU will be my last as a member of the group. Before I sign off I wanted to openly thank the people who have made the program such instrumental not only from a personal work point of view, but also from the point of view of enhancing my engagement with the wider VMware community. Probably of most importance, superseding both work and community benefits the program has allowed me to develop friendships with those I have come to meet through the program…some of those people I now consider some of my closest friends.

The program helped take me to my first VMworld in 2012 which is still one of the highlights of my career and an experience that included an VMware Executive Brief at the VMware campus and an introduction to the global VMware community. At vForumAU that same year, the vChampion’s where briefed by then CTO Steve Herrod. The following year at PEX ANZ I was able to work towards landing a dream role at Zettagrid and also establish friendships that are still going strong today. Later that year at vForumAU the vChampions had a whole day event that included a discussion with Martin Casado just shortly after Nicira had been acquired by VMware…the inspiring talk by Martin was, again a career highlight and lit of flame under me that got me into Network Virtualization and deeper into automation.

Over the last couple of years the vChampion program scaled back it’s activities and bi-annual meetings become once a year get togethers however the team was still able to secure guest speakers such as Sanjay Poonen and Kit Colbert. In an amongst the speakers the group was given insider NDA access and product roadmaps…and there in lies the true value of the group for VMware and in equipping the vChampion’s with knowledge and updates the group is equipped to go back to their companies and advocated VMware technologies to the rest of their peers and hopefully also spoke out in the community about VMware technologies.

All in all the value that the program has added to my career can not be understated and I would like to thank, Katrina Jones, Anthony Segren, John Donovan, Rhody Burton and Eugene Geaher for allowing me to be part of such a brilliant program. Also a special mention to Grant Orchard and Greg Mulholland for being the vChampion Champions within VMware and for always being there to help organise and support the vChampions.

Thanks guys and I hope the program can continue to deliver!

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