Friday, March 17, 2017

Always a tight fit … the successful launch of NonStop Insider!

Sometimes you just have to work at it to fit a sizable project into an already tight schedule but for the NonStop community, the creation of the digital publication has truly been a labor of love …

Hustling the Jeep into the space normally occupied by our RV certainly shone the spotlight on just how little room there is to spare when we drive the RV into our allocated storage location. Blue skies above the facility go a good way to explain what was happening here – with temperatures along the front ranges soaring well into the 70sF (20sC) it was time to get the RV smog tested and begin the preparation for an early return to Americas highways. With the sale of our home and office and with a couple of week’s gap before we take up residence in our new home and office, this will become our temporary residence.

Getting into and out of tight spots has become routine for Margo and me, but it still is a tentative situation first up as the winter months finally shake their hold. And not soon enough by my book – I’m no longer a skier so the snow is something that keeps me indoors rather than provides a playground for winter activities. On the other hand, it does mean that I’m spending a lot more time at the keyboard than happens mid-summer and with event activity ramping up and social media channels requiring content, it’s not something I shy away from.

I enjoy a great relationship with many members of the NonStop vendor community as well as with HPE but whenever I am asked about where all the stories come from the simple answer is from all of you! I can’t imagine a week passing by without a vendor or user making either product, directions or organizational changes so it shouldn’t surprise any reader of this post that content is never the issue. Finding the right mix of content with the right media channel often leads to some parring of material just to squeeze it into the publication at the very last moment.

The March / April 2017 issue of The Connection will soon be landing on our desks. For me this continues to be a major communications vehicle for all NonStop stakeholders and whenever the opportunity presents itself, I do my very best to work up a story that fits in nicely with the theme. “Empower data-driven organizations with NonStop (e.g. databases / manageability, products that provide / move NonStop data for consumption)” is a topic near and dear to my heart. Having spent four years working at GoldenGate and before that about a decade working at Insession, the sales channel for GoldenGate, moving data for consumption was all I thought about. So look for this issue when it arrives and check for the story, “Data-driven organizations now realizing the value of NonStop – data has to be fresh and accurate!

However, it has been a publication of another kind that has really captured my attention and perhaps now has become even more near and dear to my heart, and that is the digital publication, NonStop Insider. Readers of my column in The Connection, Back for more … that appears on the back page of each issue may recall the column in the November / December, 2016 issue where I first referenced the appearance of this new digital publication. In that column I expressed how it was NonStop Insider Managing Editor, Margo Holen, who summed up best why NonStop Insider was created. According to Margo, “For some time now I have become aware that even with the newsletters and magazines available to the NonStop community there was a real need to provide unfiltered information covering all that is happening with HPE and with NonStop.” Furthermore and perhaps more to the point, Holen then added that “I consider it the goal of NonStop Insider to provide a variety of perspectives from many parties that continue to work closely with NonStop users.”

Yes, we all know that Margo is my wife and that together we founded Pyalla Technologies. However, what might not be as well known is that Margo sat on the board of ITUG and as ITUG Board’s Vice Chairman ,was instrumental in the creation of Connect where she was the first Vice President of Connect following in the footsteps of then ITUG Chairman, Scott Healey. It was at the prodding of both Scott and Margo that this blog, Real Time View was launched and now, with multiple vendor and community blogs together with a couple of magazines, some physical and some digital not the least of which continues to be The Connection, it was this emphasis of providing a forum for unfiltered information covering all things NonStop that continues to drive the editorial focus of NonStop Insider.

I closed my November / December 2016 column Back for more … with the admonition that developing one more media channel outlet still required the support of the NonStop community. As I said at the time, it’s well known that CIOs look first to their own IT organization for information on products and services; credibility is highest among those working the closest to the CIO. So all that is left for the user community to do these days is to make sure the many newsletters, commentaries and posts aren’t simply left in an inbox. Content is still very much the king so take all the steps you need to take to ensure NonStop content is as visible as you can make it within your IT organization!

It’s now six months on, and with the publication of the March 2017 issue of NonStop Insider there have now been six issues published where the number of articles, commentaries and OpEd pieces has steadily grown to where now, for the last couple of issues, it’s represents a significant body of work. Readership is via subscription and while the numbers continue to climb, it’s now past 1,250 subscribers. And for this and for all the technical support being provided, it would be remiss of Margo and me not to express our gratitude to the team at TCM Solutions for all the support they continue to provide. I am anxious to roll-out an App in support of NonStop Insider but that’s still a work in progress, but one I personally want to see unveiled as nearly everything I do these days is from my smartphone.

“From our perspective to see the work Margo is doing in her role as Managing Editor is not only keeping our folks on their toes,” said TCM Solutions CEO, “but her knowledge about all things NonStop and her expansive contact reach is something few executives we know can match. When we first threw around the idea for NonStop Insider, Margo was immediately onboard and the quality of the content in each issue is a reflection on her intension to guarantee only the highest quality material makes it into each issue is a reflection on both her integrity as well as her commitment to the NonStop community. We really are enjoying our association with Margo on every level.”

For those who view the latest issue of NonStop Insider for the first time, make sure you read Margo’s editorial. In her opening editorial remarks, Margo makes the observation that “NonStop Insider seems to have found its unique voice among the growing list of NonStop publications, and I hope we will continue to evolve into a ‘something for everyone’ magazine.” To that end, what you will see are a number of OpEd pieces from well-known thought leaders within the NonStop community. Whether the topic is security, replication and backup, database or even the business of being a NonStop vendor then expect to see many more contributions coming from very familiar voices within the NonStop community.

When it comes to parking the RV, it’s a very tight fit. It’s also a recognition that it takes work to make sure parking is done right. As for the NonStop Insider digital magazine it has been a tight fit to work it’s creation and sustenance into all of the other commitments we have made. But somehow, Margo has found the time and indeed the focus and energy to ensure this was never going to be about the publication of just one issue. Six months on and with subscriptions on the rise, it’s becoming very clear that the audience Margo was seeking – yes, providing a variety of perspectives from many parties that continue to work closely with NonStop users –has come to fruition. As for me, it makes my task of blogging so much easier as there is now a serious publication that each month provides me with more storylines than I could wish for. But about that well, that’s a story for yet another post ….  

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