EMC World 2009 – Day One

Day one of EMC World 2009 has come to a close and I have trouble thinking of ways it could have gone better.  We had a few bumps and twists on “Day Zero” but the first full day has validated all the hard work our team has put in over the past months.

I began the morning in the EMC/ZDNet Bloggers’ Lounge, a nice respite from the busy convention floor (one I’d return to throughout the day).  People stopped by all day to watch the realtime streaming of EMC World tweets and flickr images.  It was great to have a place to recharge (both electronically and bodily) and have some casual conversation with fellow netizens.  I wasn’t there for long, though, before I rushed off for the first session of the day, run by two longtime colleagues of mine, on advanced reporting integration with StorageScope.  The topic was very focused and the crowd was unusually inquisitive for 8:30 AM on the first day of the conference.

After the session completed (and while my co-workers stayed to answer questions), I ran down to the keynote (available here, along with others), for a glance at the present and future, courtesy of Joe Tucci and Paul Maritz.  Looking at the now, we heard about the realities of this economy and what impact it’s having on all of us.  Looking at the future, though, we heard about what technologies are hot, how they are going to work together, and how EMC and VMware are in the thick of it all.  The keynote was full of attendees, many of whom were passing along information from the keynote to their audiences on twitter.  I was particularly proud when Joe Tucci not only called out our awards from our customers and partners but also some of the “best place to work” recognition we’ve received.

My big test though was at 3 PM, when we all stood in a room with a hundred users of EMC Control Center and helped guide them through a series of hands-on scenarios in three areas of the product.  I’ve written earlier about how this year we took a different approach, and it definitely paid off.  Feedback, both official and unofficial, has been positive.  We heard expert users tell us they had learned new things about the product, and that was very rewarding.

The official day ended with the evening’s opening of the pavilion floor, where in a small roped-off area Scott Shaffer spoke to ControlCenter users about his hopes for our online community.

We celebrated a successful first day with dinner, and took a relaxing walk back to the hotel in the unseasonably mild Florida evening (the rain held off, magically, just long enough).

Tomorrow we start it all over again.

Points to remember from today:

  • Showing my manager (Seth Silverman) a tweet that mentioned his session
  • People getting their pictures taken in front of the V-Max arrays (story via Natalie)
  • Standing in front of the tweet monitor with my co-workers who aren’t “into” twitter
  • Celebrity impersonators on the show floor turning a few heads
  • Reservations for 12 turning into 24 turning into 30