A Newcomer’s Perspective on Data Protection User Groups


I am new to EMC, having joined the company just over three months ago. It has been a great experience and as you can imagine, a bit overwhelming. I spent the first few months learning about EMC’s products, solutions, vision – and even won an award at sales training. My brain is overloaded with a ton of great content and ideas. One avenue that is particularly exciting is EMC’s Data Protection User Groups. As a newbie on this topic, I thought that it might be helpful to summarize the Data Protection User Groups and the key values that I think they bring for attendees. 

What is a Data Protection User Group?

For me, a Data Protection User Group or “DPUG” as we refer to it on Twitter is an event where EMC partners and customers can mingle with EMC experts, while at the same time gaining insights into data protection best practices and future direction. In my view, the best DPUGs are the ones where the customers do more of the talking and the EMC team act as facilitators to help guide the discussion. The content is typically customized for each region and so the local team and IT practitioners have significant involvement in the content and scope of the discussion.

Where are they located DPUGs?

EMC’s DPUG initiative is global, and so we have had events across the Americas, APJ and EMEA. Being an Americas guy, I can tell you that we have nine coming up between now and the end of the year. Upcoming cities include:

Boston Nashville Tampa
Cleveland San Diego Toronto
Indianapolis St. Louis Sacramento

For the latest on dates and locations, I suggest that you visit the DPUG website.

What is covered?

We discuss a broad range of topics related to data protection and availability. Each agenda is a little bit different, based on the desires of the audience and the local team. Regardless of the agenda, we keep the conversation interactive and include multiple solution demonstrations as well. We also strongly encourage customers to present and in many cities, we have many non-EMC presenters. From an EMC viewpoint, some of the key topics covered include:

  • The data protection continuum
  • Company protection not just data protection
  • Zero data loss – zero downtime
  • Getting the most from your data

Can I attend?

EMC customers and partners can register here.

How can I get involved?

Customers and partners can participate in the DPUG in a couple of ways. The simplest form of participation is to simply register and attend. All of the dates and details are available on the web and registration is simple. You can also volunteer to present at a session. If you are interested, I encourage you to reach out to your local EMC team to discuss the different options.

Will you be doing this again in the future?

Yes! The DPUG series will continue into 2015 and beyond. We review the feedback from every event and are constantly evolving the program to respond to attendee input. I encourage you to attend one of the Q4 sessions. If not, the series will continue in 2015. We are open to nominations for future cities so if we didn’t visit your location in 2014 and you think we should in 2015, I encourage you to reach out to your local EMC team.

In summary, I am really excited about the Data Protection User Group. Keeping open channels of communication between vendors and customers is a critical to success for both parties and I see DPUGs as a great avenue. I encourage you to review the current calendar, and I hope to see you at a DPUG near you!

About the Author: Jay Livens