DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions on this site are those of Steve Kaplan and are not approved or endorsed by Nutanix.
Industry Designations: VMware vExpert (7 years). Former Microsoft MVP (4 years). Former Microsoft Partner Advisory Council. Named one of the top 50 most influential people in the virtualization industry by CRN Buzz, and one of the top 100 in storage.
I learned to type early on, long before the advent of PCs, in order to compensate for truly terrible handwriting. A rather awkward teenager, I discovered that typing letters to erstwhile dates significantly elevated my odds of success – and a lifelong love of writing was born. Following graduate school, I joined the marketing department of a convenience store chain where I had previously managed a few different stores and, later, regions. I wrote my first paid article which was published in SuperMarket Business describing a discount model I had developed for calculating how much inventory to purchase. Unfortunately, the firm didn’t even have enough cash to take advantage of early-pay discounts, and I was relegated to learning how to use the company’s one and only PC – a Radio Shack Tandy. That experience led to several promotions and to 13 different PCs by the time I left to start my first company, RYNO Technology. Talk about rags to riches, my brother and I began RYNO as an IBM clone reseller in his bedroom and worked our way UP to the garage.
After trying pretty much everything that a VAR could try – often simultaneously, I discovered Citrix in 1994. A few years later, I read Al Reese’s book, “Focus” and decided to concentrate on thin-client technology. Within a few more years, we were named the Citrix Partner of the Year for the U.S. before selling to Vector ESP (later acquired by MTM Technology). I started writing books about Citrix along the way (along with much more technically proficient co-authors) that were published by Osborne-McGraw/Hill in conjunction with Citrix as “Official Guides”.
Following a stint of doing ROI consulting, my friend Gary Lamb showed me VMware vMotion, and I was reluctantly, but instantly, hooked. We co-founded AccessFlow in 2005 as a consultancy focused on enterprise virtualization and later incorporated disaster recovery hosting. I created the VirtualMan comic book series to help explain the concept of enterprise virtualization (and at a level that even I could understand), and the character became an instant hit at VMware.
Our plan from the beginning was to quickly make AccessFlow one of the top consulting firms in virtualization and then get acquired by a larger organization looking to assimilate our expertise. While business plans almost never work as designed, ours amazingly did and we became part of INX in mid-2008 (acquired by Presidio in late 2011) following receipt of the 2007 VMware Rising Star of the Americas Award and the 2008 Rainmaker Award.
Now I have crossed the channel to Nutanix which is certainly challenging, but also a lot of fun. I get to visit with great partners across the globe and also participate in client calls and speaking events. And in my spare time, I get to write this blog. It certainly helps me to better understand technology – and I hope my readers find some value as well.
Theatre, curling, college sports, snow boarding, mountain biking, and bikram yoga