Feet on the ground, head in the clouds

By now, you’ve seen the press releases and read the entries on my colleagues’ blogs.  EMC Atmos is officially a product, and now all the speculation about Cloud Optimized Storage can end, and the arguing about what the product can and should do can begin.

I’m a technical guy, but I was pretty far outside the loop on Atmos.  So I’m not here to talk about the product itself, but rather about my view of the launch, from the sidelines.  Obviously I’d heard of the product in its early stages, back when it had a tropical codename.  But I was in the dark about its current progress until I received an invitation to a conference call which took place on Halloween morning.  On the line were a handful of EMC bloggers whose names you’d recognize, as well as some big names from the Atmos product team.  They were talking about the product launch and answering questions so that the bloggers could get an early start on bringing things from press release into real discussion.

Being on that call was one of the cooler things I’ve done recently here.  You might wonder what I was doing there.  I guess my “blogger disguise” was working that Halloween, as nobody kicked me out.  Since I rarely blog about technology or products, I knew I would have little if anything to say about Atmos from a product standpoint.  But I couldn’t resist attending anyway. When it comes to this kind of thing, I try not to hit “decline” on the invite unless I need to.

A lot happened at that meeting.  Some people asked some really pointed questions, and some incredible followup conversation took place on our internal collaboration platform, EMC|ONE.  By Monday, a couple bloggers were already seeking comments on the technical accuracy of things they were planning to say at today’s launch.  It was rapid-fire collaboration, with a week to go.  It was really cool to have been in on the kickoff meeting and be able to watch the discussions take off in full view of the rest of the company, with everyone’s input accepted.

Now, nothing about my job changed because of that meeting. But just being there, knowing if I had a question or a statement it would be heard by some heavy-hitting decision-makers, was a great feeling.  This obviously was not the first time I’ve “stumbled” onto potential opportunities due to the contacts I’ve made by being active online at EMC. They don’t all turn into something amazing, but you never know when one will.

It’s also interesting to know that when the press releases go out this morning, lots of my co-workers will have no idea we were announcing a product today, even though plenty of people have been talking about it nonstop for over a week.  The opportunities and the information are all out there, but not everyone has found a way to integrate that into their busy working days.

People are just starting to figure out how to take advantage of all the new networks we’re building with each other. Being an early adopter is something with high potential. Do not underestimate it, whether you’re at EMC or somewhere else.


#1 Cloud Optimized Storage: Atmos | Info Exponential on 11.10.08 at 2:20 pm

[…] Blog, Mark Twomey at Storagezilla, Steve Todd at Information Playground, Dave Spencer at Dave Talks Shop, and Len Devanna’s […]

#2 gminks on 11.24.08 at 4:31 pm

This has given me an idea for a post…a scary post..