Stone Soup – ATUG 2.0
Nobody really seemed to know how long it had been. Could nobody really put their finger on how it ended? Did it simply fizzle out or was there a big bang? The closest recollection….’sometime in the 90’s when they were still Tandem’. But on September 29th on another beautiful Georgia day, the Tandem User Community from the Atlanta area converged and convened ATUG 2.0.
My name is Dale Van Stratten, I’m with XYPRO Technology and I look after our customers in the Eastern US and Canadian Territory. This responsibility includes attending regional TUG meetings within the territory and trying to better understand our clients wants and needs. These TUGs include, OTUG (Ohio), SunTUG (Florida), MATUG (Mid Atlantic, DC area), the newly reformed NY/NJ TUG (you can figure that one out), NENUG (NE NonStop Users) and finally CTUG (Canadian). That’s a whole lot of TUG’n. That’s also a lot of speaking with customers and prospects and a great way to share information, some new and some refresher. In short, it’s a great information exchange.
In the early years there were TUGs everywhere. I remember Denver, Washington State, Omaha…. all having TUGs. Many of you reading this can probably remember an old TUG group gone, but certainly not forgotten. I also remember ATUG. Atlanta/Columbus combined cover a lot of territory. The area is also home to at least eight NonStop Accounts with several others having operations or personnel in the area.
The new phenomenon in group meetings are ‘MeetUps’. You can Google them or you can access their App for iphone to look for MeetUps in your area. I’ve attended several technologies based meetups. Generally, these sessions consist of an evening meeting with a speaker/or vendor and perhaps a sponsor buying Pizza…. These are short meeting groups or club type of events. Meetups are great for local clubs (like the Des Moines Weather Club or Rock Hounds of Laramie). TUGs on the other hand are multi-faceted. They bring a variety of processing ideas and needs together. They are a great way to socialize with your peers and likewise socialize ideas.
ATUG 2.0 started like everything else starts, with a seed (I was going to say kernel). A simple discussion or plan in which we were trying to bring some customers together for an event in Atlanta. It’s sort of like inviting a few friends over and the next thing you realize, you’re having a party.
You’ve probably heard the story about ‘Stone Soup’. A small village is on hard times and food is scarce. A stranger wanders into town and starts making a pot of soup with just a stone and water. One villager brings a carrot. Next villager brings a potato…… before you know it the entire village is sharing a wonderful cauldron of soup. Everybody brings something to the party. ATUG was like that…..It simply started as a discussion with HPE’s Nelson Alvarez about a customer meeting. Then it became an event. Next, The Home Depot stepped up and offered their facility and catering services for the meeting. Then HPE said they would come. Vendors said they would come and present. Most importantly, the NonStop customers said they would come….
So what made ATUG a success? Several factors each brought by a different villager to the party. A huge thanks to The Home Depot for their help with the facility and catering. The facility and your support was incredible! A big, big thanks to HPE for all their support getting the message out as well as providing content. Another thank you goes out to all the vendors who supported the effort with their messages and content. Finally, a big thanks to all the NonStop Users who attended. All in all, we had a big party and all of the villagers agreed the soup was great!
The Home Depot has already said that they would host next year’s event. We’ll be looking for additional Customer and Vendor Support as we begin to plan our event for 2017! Feel free to contact me directly if you would like to help make the soup next year.
Dale W Van Stratten