The past week was a nice period of downtime to try and catch up on the personal “not done yet” pile, spend some time with family and prepare for changes. The first change you should notice is a new look and feel here on the blog. I appreciate your patience as the last few tweaks are made to the site. The reason for this public change is to signal a personal shifting of focus.
Shifting away from Virtualization and VMware
After an amazing seven and a half years at VMware as part of their Global Accounts team, a new area of focus has been building for me personally and a new career opportunity came my way that enhances that focus. After today I will no longer be employed by VMware. My experience at VMware was career defining in many ways and I look forward to still keeping an eye on VMware as one of the cornerstones of IT infrastructure as well as a stock holder. Leaving all the friends and colleagues that I’ve built at VMware over the years is hard, but I know that the teams within VMware will successfully execute on the many opportunities that lay ahead.
As a parting gift to my VMware related readers, make sure you bookmark the Getting More Out of VMware webcast series. This has been a critical learning resource for all my previous clients who were heavily leveraging VRA and VROPS within their enterprises. You can also reference the historical webcasts on virtSanity’s page, thanks to Ryan Cartwright for maintaining this!
Speaking of maintaining, my VMW Launchpad will now be moving into historical snapshot mode. The Launchpad was a means of sharing the most critical VMware related links for my clients. Under it was the VMware Network Port List, listing all the ports used across all the VMware Products (a public resource that was built by many individuals across VMware); and my VMware Acronym page, helping to decipher the acronym soup that developed around VMware over the years. All these pages will not be updated moving forward but will be left in place for historical reference and existing links.
This also marks an end to my Virtualization Roundup (#VRU) tweets. This was a habit I got into, leveraging that tag when I shared Virtualization or VMware related items on twitter. And for my previous VMware clients, this will likely mark an end to the account newsletters that I published on a rough quarterly basis.
Shifting Toward Internet of Things (IoT) via Covisint
The new area of focus that I have been working on personally for over a year now has been the Internet of Things. Initially from a personal perspective as a user of consumer IoT solutions. Evolving to exploring how IoT could be leveraged to help members of the sandwich generation, like myself, assist our aging parents and ourselves with the challenges associated with aging, the needs of maintaining privacy, and the complexity of family being geographically spread. And eventually leading me to Covisint, a IoT Platform as a Service.
Internet of Things, sometimes referred to as Internet of Everything (IoE), is a term that has been around for at least 4-5 years (if personal memory serves me right). Over my tenure supporting Cisco as one of my Global Accounts at VMware, I heard that term often from Cisco leadership during internal vendor meetings and quarterly earnings calls. The simplistic way of thinking about it was devices, billions of them, connecting to the Internet requiring more IP’s and generating more traffic (and cynically requiring more networking infrastructure). But as this idea has been explored more over the years by many that physical connection becomes just the first step of a much longer journey around disruption of existing business models and customer’s expectations from the devices they own, evolving into a continual ownership experience through device augmented experiences.
Whether that device is a smart phone, watch, thermostat, sprinkler controller, automobile, tractor, or airplane the expectations of the user of that device have changed and that drives a whole new set of business opportunities for companies. Companies that have realized this shift of expectation are disrupting larger established competitors, disrupting themselves, or are on track to become part of the 50% of the S&P500 that won’t be on that list in 10 years. These opportunities are focused around data collection from the device, a cloud based platform to securely communicate with the device and the user, and true joint value add services for the device producer and owner. Covisint provides the cloud based platform that any IoT based services would need as part of their software infrastructure, allowing businesses to focus on quickly iterating on providing a new customer experience.
Personally, I feel we are entering the slope of enlightenment around IoT and the eventual plateau of productivity will change the world that we all live in and that my children will see as normal. Like any paradigm shift of this nature, there are risks involved. Not just around security but the large impact some of this change will have on business, laws, and society.
That is the focus shift that you will see here at latoga labs. I have joined Covisint as Director of Strategic Alliances and will be writing more about IoT, touching on the technology of an IoT PaaS, but focusing more on the business impacts of IoT and challenges associated with those impacts. And there will continue to be the occasional flotsam of other items that catch my interest. I hope that long time readers of the blog will continue with me on this journey and I look forward to the new readers and their participation.