Brought to book

Editorial Type: Interview Date: 2020-10-21 Views: 987 Tags: Storage, Virtual Effect PDF Version:
Storage magazine Editor David Tyler caught up recently with John Greenwood - a past winner of both the "Contribution to the Industry" and "Channel Excellence" Storage Awards - about his new role at Virtual Effect, lockdown and his new pocket-sized book "An A to Z of Data Storage"

David Tyler: Let's start with some background on Virtual Effect, and how you came to be there.
John Greenwood: The opportunity arose to join a dynamic and agile business - Virtual Effect are growing their UK customer base and have a specific focus on storage. As Chief Strategy Officer I have the ability to identify and recruit emerging and disruptive vendors that replicate the ambition of the company. Coupled with some of the more established and proven names, our portfolio provides a blend of storage startups and more mature players. It is an exciting role and, with the many contacts and relationships that I have been lucky enough to develop during my time in the storage industry, provides the perfect platform to build upon.

DT: Has the outbreak of a global pandemic affected the company's plans?
JG: You could say that Virtual Effect were somewhat ahead of the game as the company has a "Work from Home" culture at its core. Subsequently the team already had the infrastructure and systems in place, along with a cultural discipline, that allowed things to be "business as usual" when lockdown came. We have seen the role of many of our customers change, with their focus moving to service and application delivery and support. Our supply chain has also, thankfully, been largely unaffected. Personally, I think we are a fairly resilient, flexible and adaptable industry and this scenario has been testimony to that.

DT: And how have you made good use of your time during lockdown?
JG: In some ways I feel a little accountable for lockdown - when asked if I would be putting together a Storage Guide, having previously written fifteen of them, I quipped "Not unless someone is prepared to shut me away, undisturbed, in a room for 10 weeks". Subsequently, when lockdown came, I really didn't have any excuse and the writing of Virtual Effect's "An A to Z of Data Storage" commenced.

Working in the industry helps enormously of course, as we have constant access to information and visibility of what is coming. The challenge with this book is that the storage landscape is such a fast-moving one and nothing stands still. The secret is to try not to get too far into specifics, the book is supposed to be a high-level guide to the industry rather than to provide definitive specifications.

DT: Tell us more about it - and of course how Storage magazine readers can get hold of a copy.
JG: Perhaps most importantly I should stress that the book is only available as a printed book. A recent study showed that readers of printed books absorb and remember more than readers of e-books, which (at this point in time) is why we have chosen to adopt this approach. The book has been written for end-users, specifically (as I term them) 'the Custodians of Data'.

Within the 100 pages are over 140 storage vendors, a goat and a reference to the eighties band behind the hit 'Sometimes' - so it's not all serious techie stuff. I have tried to put an occasional smile onto the face of the reader. To get a copy, send an email to and this will trigger a reply that will ask you for a little more information. Upon receipt of that, we will then send you (on the basis you are an end-user) a copy of the book for free.

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