Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Canadian Stakeholders in Data Storage hold Discussions

Last Friday, July 16th, the representatives from Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) Canada Geo-forum, SNIA End-User Council and Toronto SNUG got together to brainstorm and produce a list of potential activities of interest for the next year.

The meeting was held at Sun Microsystems facility in Markham and lead by Wayne Hogan (Sun Microsystems), acting SNIA Canada Chair and Laurence Whittaker (Hudson Bay Company), Vice Chair SNIA End User Council and Acting Chair Toronto SNUG. The other participants were Rudy Lippens, acting Treasurer of SNIA Canada, myself, Eric Jenkinson (Foresters), and Rick Dart, Robert Smalley and Shawn Pritchard (all three from Bank of Montreal).

First of all, in my opinion, this was truly a very productive meeting (a rarity these days). The meeting started out with Wayne introducing SNIA Canada and Laurence introducing the SNIA End User Council and Toronto SNUG followed by an open discussion.

Following is the summary of discussions highlighting points and suggestions made by various attendees.

- Elections for SNIA Canada executives will take place probably in September 2004. Various SNUG chapters in Canada will have representation on the SNIA Canada executive board.

- SNIA Canada is planning to have a three-tier membership fee structure for Vendors, Resellers and End-users. An issue about exempting government employees and academic people from membership fees was discussed. An issue was also brought up to clarify how the membership of a Canadian in SNIA USA will impact the membership in SNIA Canada.

- It was pointed that End User Council at SNIA organization in USA (SNIA USA) sees itself as change agent. A suggestion was made to establish SNIA Canada End User Council to give Canadian end-users a united voice at SNIA Canada as well as at SNIA End User Council. Also it was suggested to encourage SNIA Canada members to participate in various committees at SNIA USA.

- The main focus of the SNIA Canada is end-user outreach and delivering education and information to data storage and IT community. And as a start, TSI Learning is offering discount to SNIA Canada members on its storage certification courses. A suggestion was brought up about requesting TSI to offer SNIA Canada membership as an incentive to their students.

- The first SNIA Canada sponsored event will be the IP Storage Roadshow, Toronto in October. SNIA Canada is planning to take this event to Calgary and Montreal also with the help of Infostream. This event is also being positioned as the showcase of the value SNIA Canada brings to the table by bringing SNIA events to different cities in Canada from all over the world.

- SNIA Canada plans to have sessions and events on quarterly basis. A suggestion was put forward to bring analysts from market research firms as event speakers to profile the storage market in Canada.

- Put together a speakers board - people willing to speak voluntarily at various events, their credentials, topics of interest and availability in various cities around Canada.

- Organize short training sessions on specific topics for SNIA Canada and SNUG members.

- Develop How To’s, Best Practices, RFP Guidelines and TCO/ROI models.

- Inviting vendors to communicate and present their technology and product roadmaps on specific SNIA initiatives such as SMI-S.

- Elevating public awareness of SNIA Canada and data storage technologies through SNIA Canada speakers presenting at other organizations such as Disaster Recovery Information Exchange (DRIE) and Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS).

- Inviting local universities and academic researchers to get involve in SNIA Canada and communicate their interests.

- Informal exchange of information and experiences from end-user perspective; end-user case studies and in-depth technical overview presentations from vendors and other technical people.

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