Engagement via the GlobalNOC User Group had tapered off over the last few years.  Engagement had been limited to events occurring sporadically at conferences for other groups like The Quilt and Internet2.  This all changed when the GlobalNOC community and the leaders behind GlobalNOC’s own renewal program determined that the User Group was a critical component of our communal success. Renewing the GlobalNOC User Group was then announced in September of 2018 as a way to improve our engagement as a community.

Although the User Group has been active since January 2019, it is still important to understand why we meet and what we hope to accomplish. The following topics will evaluate some of the motivation behind our revitalization and lay the groundwork for our development over the next few years.

Why is the GlobalNOC User Group important?

One of the values GlobalNOC users receive is a connection to the wider community. Shared experiences across our user base can be used to broaden our user’s experiences and provide best practice for providing the best services to their customer base. Many of the experiences that we have had are similar across the networks and projects. It is important that we all work together to help improve the level of service we provide to our respective customer bases.

While other working groups exist in the R&E community, they tend to be focused on a wider audience than the GlobalNOC user base and do not focus on GlobalNOC services. The GlobalNOC User Group will be able to hone in on improvements, as well as the implementation of the GlobalNOC toolset and processes. The group will allow us to have targeted discussions that are not available in other settings.

What activities are going to be a part of the GlobalNOC User Group?

Monthly User Group meetings have been scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month. These meetings will typically include time for members to provide feedback. All users are encouraged to participate and provide their input. All User Group participants are invited to attend and can be added to the meeting as needed. Although these meetings are recorded, the video is only available via a direct link when sensitive information is involved.

In addition to our monthly meetings, we are going to be hosting an in-person user meeting called GlobalNOC Days. Our goal with the in-person meeting is to facilitate communication between our users, provide a forum for discussions about the future of GlobalNOC, and bring the GlobalNOC user community closer together. One day of the meeting will be focused on presentations, forums, and group discussions. The other day will be used to provide training on how to get the most out of GlobalNOC tools and processes. We will be working with our community members to help identify the content for each day.

Another activity under the User Group umbrella of engagement is User Focus Groups. Large whole group discussions can become overwhelming for specific, targeted discussions about tools and processes. User Focus Groups offer the ability for a smaller group of users to get together, build a charter, and work with GlobalNOC to accomplish the goals of the charter. Participation includes users working alongside GlobalNOC personnel.

An increased web presence is also a component of the GlobalNOC user group. Increased forms of communication with updates and events will help engage our users on a more consistent basis. Emails provide a good source of information, but can be overwhelming. Our goal is to provide alternative methods of communication for those who are already inundated with email. We have expanded our communication to a GlobalNOC Slack channel, a GlobalNOC Twitter feed, and this website. Additional forms of communication will be added as we find more opportunities.

Who can participate and how do they join the GlobalNOC User Group?

Anyone who works for one of the GlobalNOC clients and is interested in providing feedback can join the User Group. In the past, we limited our discussions to our client’s leaders. But with our revitalization, we have expanded who is engaged. Even if you are not a part of the larger discussion, users can join for just one User Focus Group that applies to them. There is no requirement to participate in all of the events. To join the user group community, contact the GlobalNOC Business Operations team. We would love to have you join us!