Apr 19

First EMEA HP Channel Partner Matrix InstallFest

Being described as elite and crème de la crème is always a brilliant way to start a course.  But this was no ordinary course I was attending, because of ITEX’s (the HP Channel Partner I currently work for) outstanding partnership with HP, and coupled with my not too shabby qualifications 🙂 I had been invited to attend the very first EMEA HP Channel Partner Matrix InstallFest in Grenoble.  The InstallFest is not a training course, it’s a full assessment of the ability of the consultant to deploy the HP Bladesystem Matrix (HP’s enterprise public & private cloud offering) in their first steps towards becoming a Master Matrix Installer.  At the moment, there are only 85 Master Matrix Installers in the world, and they all come from within HP, a select number of HP Channel Partners have been invited to participate in creating new Master Matrix Installers from within their ranks, of which, I am working towards becoming one.

So, what did this InstallFest entail?  5 days of constant assessment by 2 Master Matrix Installers who both have dozens of installs under their belts and who have contributed to the actual design of the HP Bladesystem Matrix solution.  I was tasked with deploying a solution as would be completed at a client site and every stage of this was commented on and evaluated by the assessors.  It might sound easy, but there is a lot of pressure to prove yourself, and considering a Matrix solution comprises of virtualization products, storage area networks, virtual connect networking, blade based hardware and a plethora of HP software products, all of which need to be configured in the correct way such that this enables them to interact and communicate with each other correctly, its very taxing on the brain.

It wasn’t all work work work though, we did enjoy the sights of Grenoble, and had some pretty interesting meals out, highlights including the South African team drinking a restaurant dry of beer and the Spanish contingent annoying the waitress by trying to take photos of her all the time! 🙂

So, after all the hard work, and a little fun :), what was the outcome? I graduated!  I am now part of the mentoring scheme, which means I have to now complete two live Matrix client deployments alongside a current Master Matrix Installer, once these are completed and assessed then the worldwide Matrix solution team meet to decide my fate, and if they agree I will be granted the Master Matrix Installer role within HP and the Channel Partner program, joining a rather select community of consultants across the world!  Watch this space for my progress…