Bloggers, tweeters, and user groups work to form a cloud builder community.
Depending on which survey you read, 70 to 90 percent of Oracle customers are considering, testing, or implementing private clouds. That means a lot of technologists are looking for information on how to do it.
Oracle’s Anand Akela wants to help these cloud builders help each other. After getting to know many of them on Twitter and Facebook and on their blogs, he attended COLLABORATE 13 to meet them face-to-face.
Akela is a longtime technologist in systems management, servers, data center efficiency, and enterprise software who now finds himself a principal product marketing director at Oracle. The role fits his social nature, and he’s determined to use his position to help the cloud builder community grow. Akela’s goal at COLLABORATE 13, where he was a keynote speaker for the Oracle Cloud general session, was to listen, learn, and connect people. “The independent community is going to do its own thing, but I can let them know that Oracle is eager to hear their critiques—and can find product experts when they ask,” he says. “I also wanted to introduce the enthusiastic people I’ve known online to the IOUG [Independent Oracle Users Group] cloud builder community where they can find more opportunities to share and learn.” His time at COLLABORATE could not have been more rewarding, Akela says.
LEARN more about the IOUG Cloud Computing SIG
LEARN more about the IOUG Oracle Enterprise Manager SIG
At COLLABORATE, two places to find cloud community members were the IOUG Cloud Computing Special Interest Group (SIG) and IOUG Oracle Enterprise Manager SIG events.
“There were hundreds of people at the Oracle Enterprise Manager SIG meeting. There was a lot of excitement and people wanting to contribute,” says Akela, who had helped to bring a few Oracle product experts to the meeting. “We also had a Twitter-based chat going so people who weren’t at the event could participate online. We took questions and answers from the room and also from the Twitter feed.”
Akela was amazed by the number of SIG members who were interested in volunteering with the cloud builder community—including many who signed up for ongoing volunteer roles on the spot. “[Voluntarism] is imperative for any community to thrive. SIG members picked up tasks such as running discussion groups, writing for blogs, setting up the Webcasts, and running monthly meetings,” he says.
A key part of ongoing dialogue between cloud builders is the work of popular cloud technology bloggers, several of whom Akela met at COLLABORATE. “I have had conversations with many of these people on a weekly and sometimes daily basis, but I hadn’t met them and they had never met each other,” Akela explains. So he met with the likes of Kellyn Pot’Vin, Leighton Nelson, and Fuad Arshad, whose cloud technology blogs he admires. “We will continue to interact online, but now we’ve all met each other, and that enhances the relationship,” he adds. “It will help us work together to build this community.”
To underscore his point about the importance of community, Akela showed me a tweet. IOUG had asked participants on Twitter why COLLABORATE is important to them. One 131-character reply told the story: “I will tell you why, in five minutes at the IOUG party last night I got a question answered that was nowhere to be found on Google.”
“That tweet tells precisely why we need to keep building this community,” says Akela. “If you’re building a private cloud, these IOUG SIGs and bloggers are community resources you should tap into. I will do what I can from my position to help them thrive.”