The last four months of 2009 sees a relative flurry of activity for the NonStop community in Europe. The first of six different outings in the space of three months started with the Viking NonStop User Group’s (VNUG) annual event. This year it was held in Sweden at the Vidbynäs Slott golf hotel in Nykvarn. That’s about an hour from Stockholm, or more like an hour and a half if you had our taxi driver, whose aptitude for navigation was matched only by our grasp of Swedish – what goes around comes around I guess!
This is XYPRO’s sixth visit to the well run and very friendly VNUG event, which has never been held in the same location twice and switches between Finland and Sweden – sometimes literally, as was the case of the ferry-based conference a couple of years ago!
Day one (28th September) was an optional education or golf day. The accredited education (Troubleshooting in the NonStop OSS Environment) was provided by HPE at its Solna office and the golf was on the very picturesque course next to the conference hotel. We were unable to attend either this year, arriving late in the evening on the 28th, but on talking to the golf participants in the bar, it sounds like we were spared a tough afternoon of searching through aggressive rough and the loss of several balls to tricky water hazards!
Days two and three (29th, 30th September) saw the conference proper. A busy agenda of eight vendor presentations, two slots from HPE (interesting to hear about the launch of quad core blades in 2010/2011) user presentations, and an HPE Q&A session.
XYPRO’s PCI compliance and enterprise auditing presentation was scheduled in for just after lunch on the 29th. That turned out to be great timing, as everyone left lunch in an upbeat mood after having had some very good food.
Later that day saw all participants divided into teams for the VNUG competition. This involved walking the Vidbynäs Slott grounds answering NonStop-based quiz questions. An expertly timed beer stop after question four ensured everyone had enough lubrication to complete the full ten questions without any hardship. Proving that my team was paying full attention during the day’s presentations, I found myself in the joint winning team (9 out of 10 correct) and recipient of a rather splendid chopping board and carving kit – which later resulted in a fine from British Airways for overweight baggage, but that’s a different story! More great food and wine at dinner set the scene for a good evening of business networking and competitions in the pool lounge upstairs…
Day three picked up where the conference part of day two had ended. HP’s NonStop Programs Marketing Manager, Diana Cortes’ update made for some interesting viewing, including news of the Connect Global NonStop Summit being planned for October or November 2010 in California – exact details are still being finalised. The conference came to an end mid afternoon on the 30th, with presentation of various vendor and VNUG competition prizes – congratulations to Esa from Nordic Processor who won XYPRO’s prize, a wireless iPod dock.
Our thanks to Tommy Johansson and everyone at VNUG for putting on another excellent event. We’ll hopefully see you again in December for the unofficial ‘VNUG Christmas Beers’ I was talking to Sami about! Failing that, we look forward to VNUG 2010.
See the XYPRO calendar for all upcoming European and global events we’ll be attending.
European Marketing Manager