I recently had the opportunity to visit Prague courtesy of the Veeam Vanguard program, this is my second year being a member of this fantastic community which is arguably one of the best evangelism/advocacy programs run by any vendor out there. While it was a long journey to get to Prague it was well worth it, to not only catch up with the other Vanguards but to get access to Veeam’s Product Strategy team, R&D personnel and Product Managers for in-depth discussions of everything Veeam related.
The summit consisted of two and a half days of sessions that included content filled to the brim with Veeam goodies ranging from upcoming updates to entirely new products that were still very early in their development cycle (kudos to Veeam for sharing). Veeam certainly was not holding back as questions raised from fellow Vanguards were answered honestly and truthfully, nothing was off the table including any questions about v10. All of this provided an insightful glimpse into the inner workings of the Veeam team and further cemented the value I place in the Vanguard program.
The real golden nuggets of information were found whenever we delved into the reasoning behind how and why certain features and capabilities were developed. For example, session speakers might detail the limitations of a particular feature and how they have worked to address them even if it might mean investing more time than anticipated in developing the feature. Yes, it’s a difficult decision to make but Veeam isn’t in the business of making half-baked software and it certainly shows in just how reliable their software has been to date.
Some new features covered during the summit
Tweets, blog posts and podcasts were aplenty during the summit mixed in with Goulash, local beer and some awesome sightseeing along the way. You may have even seen #VanguardTakeover or #VanguardSummit goes crazy on Twitter, I know my feed certainly did.
Vanny Vanguard, of course, was there for the entire summit, enjoying the local cuisine and helping out at the speaking podium during the sessions. I must say that Karl Widmer took the responsibility of Vanny caretaker very seriously and Vanny never left his sight.
One of the most memorable sessions during the summit was a presentation run by Cristal and Dave Kawula in which they covered how to become a community rockstar. It was an excellent piece on how to get your presentation selected at any event and several tips for slide decks creation and writing content.
I can’t thank Veeam and the Vanguard team enough for the time spent in Prague. Rickatron and his team really put on a great event which is no small feat considering the number of speakers and the logistical challenge of getting all the Vanguards to Prague.