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July 01, 2008


Carl Smith


Can you give us a better sense of a what product community looks like; how it functions; how it got started?

Chuck Hollis

EMC builds products. Lots of different functions -- from engineering to support to marketing to sales -- touch the product as it goes to market.

A "product community", then, are a set of discussions around different aspects of the product that cut across functional organizations that infrequently communicate.

Topics might be simple questions, or more serious roadmap discussions.

Make sense? Or should I add more detail?

Adam Zand

Thanks for sharing. You reference your work and a new platform in Sept. 2007 - I'm guessing lots of people have been thinking about/implementing social media for more than a year. What role did the wider "team" have in these efforts? Who else worked on it besides Susan? Her last name is?
Importantly - what is the ROI of your group's effort?

Chuck Hollis

Hi Adam -- hard to follow what you're looking for ...

Sure, lots of people were interested in the topic prior to Sept, 2007 -- but that's when launched an official platform and proficiency program. Lots of people helped -- too numerous to mention.

I'll have to ask Susan if she wants her contact detail shared publicly.

The ROI? Really big.

And we consider our justification methodology and results a bit of unique IP ;-)

the storage anarchist

As you know, I'm one of those people that's heading up one of the new Product Communities you speak of ("Symm Central").

I agree 100% with your top-down with bottoms-up support perspective. In fact, that is exactly what we've been nurturing in the internal Symmetrix community for the past 6 months or so.

First we got our General Manager on board. And when he gets on board, he really gets on board: his mandate is now for us to "Create the BEST collaborative community on EMC|ONE)". In true EMC spirit, second-best isn't an option.

Next came the corralling of all the key orgionazations that will have to participate and support the effort. This actually took longer, for we wouldn't move ahead until we had commitment of time from everyone we'd need.

We recently got enough commitment to start up the Steering Committee for the community, and we are nearing the prototype stage. I'm not yet sure we'll be successful in meeting our GM's challenge, but it all has the right feeling.

If you'd like, I'd be willing to chronicle our progress here on your blog(perhaps with Susan's assistance).

Chuck Hollis

Hi Barry

I've found that writing a chronicle of the experience is useful for others, so if you'd be so motivated, that'd be great!

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