Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in networking, virtualization, and cloud computing

New Year, New Challenges, New Opportunities

I suppose there’s no sense in beating around the bush. As the blog post title indicates, I’m taking on a new set of challenges (and a new set of opportunities) in 2013–and the way to do that is in a new role with a new company. So, effective 2/8/2013, I am leaving EMC Corporation to join the former Nicira group at VMware, working directly for Martin Casado. I’ll be working with folks like Brad Hedlund (see his announcement here), Bruce Davie, and Teemu Koponen. I’m truly awed by the talent on this team.

My time at EMC over the last three years has been great, and my choice to leave was a difficult choice to make. The decision to leave does not reflect anything bad about EMC, but rather reflects the magnitude of the opportunities for personal and professional growth that lie ahead with VMware’s virtual networking group. There is a saying among my former team at EMC that goes like this: “Once a vSpecialist, always a vSpecialist.” I don’t agree with this statement, because it implies a sense of permanence—something those of us in IT simply can’t afford to have. You must change, you must evolve, you must become something more than what you were in the past, or you will become irrelevant. While I appreciate my time at EMC—both my time as a vSpecialist and my time within the ESG CTO’s office—the time for growth and evolution has come. This move will help me further evolve and grow. I’ve always been interested in networking, but this will be the first time it will be the primary focus for me, and I’m really looking forward to expanding my knowledge, learning new concepts and ideas, and leveraging my existing experience and expertise with virtualization in new and exciting ways.

Although there are great opportunities ahead, there are also a few challenges. I’m not relocating (I love Denver too much!), but my travel schedule will ramp up quite a bit. Travel has been down for me for the last several months (since I left the vSpecialist team), but in the new role my travel will go back up again as I’ll be meeting with the rest of the virtual networking team in Palo Alto, meeting with strategic customers and partners, supporting community events (expect to see me at VMUG events), and educating field sales resources on virtual networking and why it’s important. Undoubtedly the increased travel will have an impact on Crystal and the rest of the family, and I appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers as we sort that out.

One other challenge will come from a shift in “allegiance.” I experienced a similar effect when I joined EMC. When I was with ePlus (it seems so long ago!) I was able to maintain reasonably good relationships with different storage vendors as well as different networking vendors. When I joined EMC, the other storage vendors no longer wanted to work with me. I suppose I can understand that. I was able, though, to continue maintain reasonably good relationship with various networking vendors (and even a few other virtualization vendors). I suspect now, though, that my shift to VMware will alter that landscape again. I can only hope the relationships I’ve established with colleagues at “competing” organizations (real or perceived competition) aren’t negatively affected too much.

Long-time readers know that several transitions have occurred over the nearly 8 years that I’ve been writing here. As I’ve done for the last 8 years, I’ll continue to post as much useful, relevant, and interesting content here as I’m able. Will there be a shift in focus? Possibly; I can’t promise there won’t be. Still, I’ll strive to keep sharing as much as I’m able as together we grow, change, and evolve along with the IT industry. Thanks for the support, and I hope that it continues.

Courteous comments are always welcome, so if you have questions or thoughts you want to share, feel free to speak up below.

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