Since 2004 the Netherlands has an official VMware User Group, the Dutch VMUG. The initiative to start the Dutch VMUG came from employees of XTG, a company which does IT-training. The mission statement is:
The Dutch VMware User Group (VMUG) program is designed to encourage and support the Dutch community of VMware users.
Today the VMUG (lets call it VMUG 1.0) has around 5000 members and organizes the annual Dutch VMUG Event. This event has about 15 breakout sessions & some workshops all focused on VMware solutions and solutions from sponsors.
In recent years some critics were heard about the Dutch VMUG and the way the annual event is setup.
First of all it is not a free event. In 2012 the admission fee was Euro 135,-. Many other VMUG Events worldwide have no admission fee. Another complaint heard is that the event is too much focused on certain commercial aspects and less on the principle of any VMUG: meet counterparts, exchange ideas and experiences. Last but not least; the VMUG is mainly controlled by a company, not by representatives of the VMware community.
In an effort to better support the needs of the community the Customer Council was created in 2011. One of the objectives of the council was to have more frequent, but smaller scale presentations on VMware solutions besides the annual VMUG event. And have more influence for the community.
This resulted in a couple of presentations given at a smaller audience but more frequent that annually.
At a certain moment the Customer Council could not agree anymore with the idea of the original founder of the Dutch VMUG (1.0). This resulted at June 15 2013 in the announcement of the Official Dutch VMUG or Nederlandse VMware User Group (2.0). The website is at http://www.nlvmug.com/ and the Twitter account is @nlvmug
This VMUG 2.0 is independent in the sense that is it not company controlled . VMware Benelux supports the Nederlandse VMware User Group. The official Dutch VMUG 2.0 is part of the globalVMUG organization and controlled by a board of VMware users called the Customer Council!
Does it sound complex and confusing? Yes, it does. We now have two VMware User Groups in the Netherlands which both claim to be official.
So what is official? I can only guess here. I guess the claim Official VMUG means the VMUG is part of the independent global VMUG.com organization. To become a part of the VMUG certain requirements must be meet:
- Maintain active membership of at least 25 users
- Hold group meetings and events at least quarterly
- Participation in a dedicated Local VMUG Workspace
- Maintain at least one leader of the group
The Official Dutch VMUG 2.0 states that the annual VMUG Event (by VMUG 1.0) to be held at December 13, 2013 in the Netherlands is not an official VMUG event. It will not be visited, nor supported by the Customer Council. An alternative event organized by the official Dutch VMUG might be in the works.
Het op vmug.nl aangekondigde evenement is geen officieel VMUG evenement, en zal dus ook niet gesteund en bezocht worden door de Customer Council of VMware. We zullen jullie zo snel mogelijk proberen te informeren over een evenement dat door de officiële Nederlandse VMUG, de Customer Council, VMware Benelux en natuurlijk de community (bloggers) zal worden gehouden
This is a clear statement. It will be interesting what the future of the Dutch VMUG event is. Members of the Customer Council are frequent speakers at the VMUG Event. I guess it will be difficult to find speakers and sponsors for this event now there seems some kind of boycott.
Any VMUG is run by the community and helping the community. I strongly believe in sharing knowledge and experiences. Each person working with VMware solutions has a story to tell. Lets hope we are going to see more informal knowledge exchanges, more speakers, more blogs etc. 😉
I encourage all Dutch speakers with interest in VMware solutions to register at NL VMUG, have a look at their new site at http://www.nlvmug.com, follow them on twitter get registered on http://www.vmug.com/l/pw/rs or have a look at Google+
More blogs on this subject:
Duco Jaspars at vConsult.com
Duncan Epping at Yellow-bricks.com
Marco Broeken at vClouds.nl