By Lisa Coleman
In its ongoing effort to expand communication between end users and vendors, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is launching a customer focus committee (CFC) to coordinate its end-user forums. The CFC's goal is to ensure end-user feedback is incorporated into the development of future storage networking products.
"The SNIA understands that the value of customer feedback is immeasurable," according to Lynn VanArsdale, chairperson of the SNIA Education Committee and the CFC Committee. "Without the interaction of vendors and end users, no actual progress can be attained in storage networking standards and solutions."
The CFC will oversee two end-user councils that were formed last spring—the customer executive council (CEC) and the customer advisory council (CAC). The CEC comprises executive-level managers who provide high-level strategic input about end-user storage strategies. The CAC provides more tactical input from IT managers and other contributors.
To accelerate its CFC effort, SNIA also launched the "customer company"—an associate class membership category to attract storage consumers to SNIA. Users who join under this designation can participate in all CFC programs, have access to SNIA members' Websites, and get discounts for special events.
Besides directing end-user forums, CFC is collaborating with the Information Storage Industry Center (ISIC) at the University of California-San Diego to sponsor the joint funding of StorageNetworking.org, a non-profit initiative whose mission is to support storage technology users. The organization is establishing a portal on storage networking and will provide support of regional storage networking users' groups.
For more information about SNIA, go to www.snia.org.