One of the things that excited me most when I joined VMware was how passionate and knowledgeable our user community is. After I joined, I remember getting on a plane once. I was wearing VMware apparel (aka ‘schwag’) and carrying a VMware laptop bag (aka more schwag, and yup I am all in on wearing/touting the logo). As I walked through the cabin, a gentleman looked up at me and said, “Are you just wearing the clothes or do you actually work for VMware?” I replied that yes, I worked for VMware. He said, “Thanks.  I love your products!” I’ve worked for many companies, and worn their wardrobe, but this was one of the first occasions that doing so solicited such a response… and not the last! I was humbled. That is one, among many, wonderful interactions I’ve been lucky enough to have with our users. And although not all of those interactions are complimentary, they are extremely valuable. :o)

For me, a thriving user community is key to our mutual success. We are lucky to have VMUG, the embodiment of that community. VMUG provides a number of great opportunities for us at VMware to engage with our users. This engagement is critical. Being well connected enables you to learn about the latest technologies and products from VMware and its ecosystem, to share experiences with your peers, and figure out how to get the most value from using our products. From VMware’s perspective, VMUG provides a fantastic opportunity for learning how our users make use of our technology and an environment where we can get candid, honest feedback and insight to help us improve and innovate.  All-in-all, VMUG is enormously useful to us and our community as a whole.

Well, that usefulness has just increased!

Today I’m delighted to let you know about EVALExperience by VMware, a program for our VMUG advantage subscribers that enables you to easily access and evaluate many of our core, current products, including but not limited to VMware vSphere with Operations Management, vCenter Server 5 Standard, vCloud Suite Standard, vSAN, vRealize Operations 6 Enterprise, vRealize Log Insight, and Horizon Advanced Edition, together with vRealize Operations for Horizon.   If you are a current VMUG Advantage subscriber, you will receive an email from Kivuto Solutions to download the products for evaluation, with a renewable 365 day, non-production license.  So now you have no excuse for not satisfying your urge to evaluate the latest and greatest from VMware!

I think this is an obvious value add for VMUG, making an already vibrant community even more compelling to join. So sign up, take advantage and I look forward to seeing you and getting your feedback at the various VMUG events around the country, and at VMworld!

See you soon!