For fear of stating the obvious, I'm not a regular blogger as I don't want to clutter your lives with unnecessary garble. In addition to keeping you informed on how the VCC program is developing, your input on the concept and format of the Advisory Network will be beneficial.
The VCC core is still and will continue to be a high-touch program. We seek to build strong and close relationships with you. Because of the importance in uniting like customers, the core council is largely enterprise and global companies.
The product management team has expressed the desire to hear from smaller customers, as well. VMware uses the term 'commercial' to identify customers with 50-2000 servers and fewer than 5000 employees. I've accumulated a list of approximately 50 people who have provided beta feedback previously and wish to participate in the a program like the VCC. To start, this program is mostly online sessions. In the interest of uniting like customers, these sessions may cover similar information as VCC calls, but will be held separately.
I've been using the term 'Advisory Network' to differentiate them from the core council.
The community has been a good place to post information. And I suspect that more PMs will leverage it as word of it's value grows. But, let's face it, it's not the most active site around. Would you find it desirable, acceptable, or undesirable to have these smaller customers as part of this community? Another option would be to make them part of this community and provide the core VCC with it's own sub community.
Like you, all of these customers are required to be under NDA. Some of them are quite sophisticated in their use of virtualization and their feedback has been of high quality. Customers on the Advisory Network include health care organizations, local or divisions of state government, education, insurance and manufacturing. Some of the more recognizable names are E*Trade, Estee Lauder, FICO, and Southwest Energy.
Ultimately, the goal is to keep the core council as a higher-touch, elite group.
I'll take help from anyone that is willing. One thing I would appreciate, even for the existing council, is to have an optional location on the customer list to put a ittle bit of information like server count, products used, etc...