Kenneth Cukier Speaking During General Session at NetApp Insight Las Vegas

When you’re as big a fan of NetApp as I am, it doesn’t take much to get excited about the company’s biggest customer event of the year. And with a venue like Las Vegas or Barcelona, you can’t really go wrong. But what about convincing your boss to let you attend? If you’re trying to come up with a solid case for why you need to be at NetApp Insight this year, let me give you some tips.


First and foremost, Insight is a tremendous opportunity for you to expand your professional knowledge. Insight is the place to be to learn about all things NetApp, as well as new and upcoming industry innovations in cloud, data management, software, storage, and more. You name it, there’s probably a session about it at Insight. By becoming more familiar with the technologies you need to be successful at your job, you’re not only gaining confidence for customer conversations, but you’re also becoming a better asset to your company as a technical expert.


Attending the sessions, whether they’re ones you’ve booked or maybe one or two that just caught your eye at the conference, is always a worthwhile investment of your time. There’s so much good content available, and while it’s nice to boost your knowledge in areas that you’re already proficient in, I would recommend branching out and trying something new. Insight is a great opportunity to learn about technology and trends that you maybe wouldn’t be exposed to in your day-to-day routine. By becoming more diversified in your expertise, you’re extending your value as a professional and proving to your managers that you aren’t just a one-trick pony.


If the cost to attend is something your manager is concerned about, I would bring up the opportunities you have to get certified at Insight. NetApp offers free certifications in a huge variety of proficiencies and technologies, and you can take as many as you want while you’re there. I’ve been to my fair share of these types of conferences, and I haven’t been able to find one from a company like NetApp that gives you the same value for your money in terms of education.


Or course, there’s no hiding the fact that a big part of Insight is having fun. Why else would they have it in Las Vegas or Barcelona? Sure, you’ll be spending a lot of your time in breakout sessions, taking certification exams, and listening to keynotes, but the networking and relationship building component of Insight is just as important. Getting facetime with industry experts and the NetApp brains behind all the technology you use every day is invaluable. You can use this opportunity to ask those burning questions and get immediate feedback “right from the horse’s mouth,” as they say. There are always Q&As after the sessions that spill out into the hallways, and those are quality opportunities for one-on-one conversations.


NetApp tries really hard to make sure everyone at Insight comes away with a positive, personalized experience, and that’s something you don’t get with a lot of other vendors in our industry. I’ve made friends at past Insights that I still keep up with today, and we all support each other as part of the global community. Especially as a member of the NetApp A-Team, I look forward to Insight every year as a chance to see my fellow A-Teamers to talk shop and learn about what NetApp’s got in store for the next year.


As a partner, there are even more incentives to attend Insight. It’s a great time to reaffirm the relationship between you the partner, NetApp, and your customer, and I’m seeing more and more partners getting repeat business because of Insight. The NetApp partner community is unmatched in the industry, and Insight is your chance to meet up with folks from other NetApp partners around the world that you may not get a chance to see on a regular basis. Everyone is always willing to help each other out, and that’s a relationship that is due in large part to our experiences together at Insight.


At the end of the day, only you and your manager can decide if Insight is a valuable investment of your time and money. But I can tell you that for me, it’s worth every penny.

Register Today for NetApp Insight 2018

NetApp Insight is the premier customer experience for data visionaries around the globe. Strategic leaders, IT executives, architects, administrators, and developers will discuss how the NetApp Data Fabric helps you inspire innovation with cloud, build clouds to accelerate new services, and modernize IT architecture with cloud-connected flash. Register today to learn how to transform your business and succeed with data.

Ruairi McBride

Ruairi is a Technical Account Manager and Team Leader for Arrow ECS based in the United Kingdom. His main focus is enterprise storage, particularly the NetApp portfolio.

When he’s not sitting in front of a keyboard, Ruairi can be found cycling the roads of Hampshire near his home.