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Cisco Love for Cisco Live

Level 18

"Sore throat from talking, sore feet from walking, sore face from smiling. Must be @Cisco Live!"

I have a whole post about what I saw at Cisco Live and what I think about what I saw, which will be posted in the next few days, but as I started writing that article, I realized that I had a lot of ink to spill about our amazing SolarWinds team and the experience I had working with them during the convention this year. I realized that it deserves its own dedicated space, which is what this post is about.

I hope you'll take the time to read this preface, share my gratitude, and maybe even leave thoughts of your own in the comments below if you were able to experience any of our shows.

The first thing that plucked at my heartstrings was the booth. Veteran event specialists Cara Prystowski and Helen Stewart executed masterfully, including a completely new (and jaw-droppingly awesome) booth design with the largest team ever assembled. Words cannot do it justice, so here are some pictures:

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The team this year boasted an incredible mix of skills and perspectives. We had our usual complement of engineers and geeky types, including NPM Product Managers Chris O'Brien and Kevin Sparenberg; Sales Engineers Sean Martinez, Andrew Adams, Miquel Gonzalez, and David Byrd; Product Marketing Managers Robert Blair and Abigail Norman; and even some of our depth technical leads, including Product Strategist Michal Hrncirik, Principal Architect (and resident booth babe) Karlo Zatylny, and Technical Lead Developer Lan Li.

This was a powerhouse of a team, and there wasn't a single question that people brought to the booth that couldn't be addressed by someone on staff.

Of course, Head Geeks Patrick Hubbard and Destiny Bertucci (not to mention Yours Truly) were there, as well, adding a unique voice and vision for where technology is heading. I can’t stress this enough: Destiny, our newest addition to the Head Geek team, kicked serious geek butt, in the booth, on the trade show floor, and at our SWUG. She is a juggernaut.

But the awesome didn't stop there.

Wendy Abbott was working the crowd like the THWACK rock star she is, helping people understand the value of our online community, as well as the spreading the word about our upcoming THWACKcamp, happening September 14th and 15th. She also split her time between the booth and helping the inimitable Danielle Higgins run our first-ever "mini-SWUG": A SolarWinds User Group for Cisco Live attendees and Las Vegas locals. It was a total blast.

Our Social Media Ninja Allie Eby was also on hand, helping direct visitors and field questions while capturing and promoting the ideas and images swirling around our booth on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Support can be an unsung and under-developed area in any tech organization. But Jennifer Kuvlesky was on hand to show off the new Customer Success Center, helping existing customers and people new to our company understand that we are committed to providing in-depth technical information about our products and the problems they solve.

We even had senior UX designer Tulsi Patel with us, to capture ideas and reactions about our new Orion UI, as well as the features and functions of our products. How's that for responsive? We actually were able to take user feedback from the booth as people were interacting with our products!

Jonathan Pfertner and Caleb Theimer, crack members of our video team, were tirelessly capturing video footage, testimonials, customer reactions, and action shots of the show. Look for some of those images coming soon.

Even our management team was firing on all cylinders. Jenne Barbour (Sr. Director of Marketing and un-official Head Geek wrangler) and Nicole Eversgerd (Sr. Director of Brand and Events) put in as many hours, logged as many carpeted miles, and radiated as many geek-friendly smiles as the rest of the team.

Finally, we had a top notch onsite setup crew. Patrick mentioned that it was the first time he was able to just walk in and turn on the PCs. No small thanks for that goes to Kong and his help provisioning systems last weekend.

It was, as Patrick mentioned on Twitter the "best #CLUS ever.”

Now that you have an appreciation for just how awesome the SolarWinds crew was, sit tight for my thoughts about what I saw this year, and what it means for us as IT pros.

25 Comments
MVP
MVP

Most excellent post adatole​ !

I had a chance to meet several of those fine folks at the Dallas SWUG and you (Solarwinds) have an amazing team there.   I am looking forward to hearing more about the event.

Level 11

You guys are awesome! Can't wait for the live footage.

Thank you for sharing all the good news and positive vibes--and especially the group photograph of such great looking, optimistic and enthusiastic SW staff!

Level 14

Awesomeness!  A little jealous though. goodzhere

MVP
MVP

Jealous for sure!   I think they'd laugh at me here if I even asked to go to something like Cisco Live - pretty much zero training!!

Level 8

Good read, Jealous ones envy

Very nice. Jealous as always of your jet-setting, Don Draper-esque lifestyle. 🙂  So tell us, did any of our suggestions that you solicited for how to survive conferences come into play?

Level 17

So what month's mission grand prize will be all paid expense for 2 to the next Cisco Live!?

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hmm. Noted.

MVP
MVP

Heck, I'd be happy with hotel and airfare for one! 

I agree--a trip to Cisco Live would be something I'd work for!

Level 15

Thanks for the love adatole​!

I know just enough to know who to send your way

Our Head Geeks are such a great resource!

MVP
MVP

Great to hear everything went awesome. Stand looks fantastic, well done to all of you!!

Level 18

For those following along, my ACTUAL thoughts on the conference can now be found here:

What I Saw at Cisco Live Las Vegas

Level 14

I can add a little bit more to this.  I want to give a major shout out to all of the SolarWinds crew that attended this event and to all those that made it happen.  It was awesome!  The booth was really cool.  I am a little biased, but I thought it was one of the best there.  It was a very good use of space and had a whole lot going on.  Not to mention, there were people all crowded around it every time I went by.  The people at SolarWinds really know what they are doing.  They were all professional and all of them know their stuff.  Here are some additional pictures for your pleasure.

How to get to the booth:

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The booth:

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Some SolarWinds Head Geeks doing their thang:

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An added benefit.  Before the SWUG began, we saw a diver and some aquatic life giving us a show:

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MVP
MVP

Hmmm..think tank, shark tank, shark bait ?

Level 18

Shark bait, oo-ah-ah!

Level 15

Thanks for sharing all these great pictures! It was so awesome to meet you in person!

Cool, Thanks for the pictures. 

Level 13

i think you should give away a trip to the next one as a reward prize!

MVP
MVP

Looks like you all had a fantastic time, attendees and SolarWinds crew alike!

Level 18

I'll pass it along to DanielleH​ and Cara Prystowski to see what they think!

Level 11

It was SUPER AWESOME to be able to make it to this SWUG meeting and Cisco Live! Great picture of me with my hand on my face! It was great to meet Leon Adato​ , Patrick HubbardWendy AbbottDanielleH​​ and a few others in person! You all rock!!!!

Level 14

It was great meeting everyone.   I wish I had had more time.   You all are a good group of people!

The presentation is very positive; who wouldn't be drawn to this both, to its fun and youthful and enthusiastic and experienced people?

I look forward to being able to attend one day.

About the Author
In my sordid career, I have been an actor, bug exterminator and wild-animal remover (nothing crazy like pumas or wildebeasts. Just skunks and raccoons.), electrician, carpenter, stage-combat instructor, American Sign Language interpreter, and Sunday school teacher. Oh, and I work with computers. Since 1989 (when you got a free copy of Windows 286 on twelve 5¼” floppies when you bought a copy of Excel 1.0) I have worked as a classroom instructor, courseware designer, desktop support tech, server support engineer, and software distribution expert. Then about 14 years ago I got involved with systems monitoring. I've worked with a wide range of tools: Tivoli, Nagios, Patrol, ZenOss, OpenView, SiteScope, and of course SolarWinds. I've designed solutions for companies that were extremely modest (~10 systems) to those that were mind-bogglingly large (250,000 systems in 5,000 locations). During that time, I've had to chance to learn about monitoring all types of systems – routers, switches, load-balancers, and SAN fabric as well as windows, linux, and unix servers running on physical and virtual platforms.