Paying it Forward with Splunk…Pays Off

GTRI has been fortunate to be a part of the greater Splunk ecosystem since 2012, and as I have mentioned in previous posts, we truly feel fortunate to be a part of such an amazing group of companies, agencies, partners and individuals across the globe. As 2016 drew to a close, we were interested in reviewing the metrics and insights our free, hands-on Splunk Bootcamp trainings have provided.

Initially begun as a thought leadership exercise in 2014, GTRI’s “Spunk Fundamentals” and “Splunk for Security” interactive webinars have remained popular for the past three years, and the results have been impressive. We have had over 2300 individuals across 1350+ unique organizations attend one of the sessions, with over 300 individuals attending both. Attendees range from Fortune 1000 and large multi-national corporations to public sector agencies across the DoD (Department of Defense), the Intelligence Community (IC) and federal civilian agencies alike. Even perceived competitors from other Splunk partners and Splunk employees have found value in attending our sessions.

When looking at the statistics, it is interesting to note many of the attendees were Splunk users looking to hone their skills and get more familiar with other uses cases, techniques, etc. However, there were also hundreds whose organizations did not have Splunk, but they had heard about it and wanted to attend one of the Bootcamps to learn about the value Splunk could provide and for their general professional development.

On our participant survey, we have a free form part and the comments are overwhelmingly positive and appreciative on how much people enjoy the hands-on labs and Q&A with GTRI’s talented team of experts, as well as requests for GTRI Professional Services, licensing and even requests for further training.

We also get “creative feedback” from attendees which speaks to the uniqueness and appeal of the platform and ecosystem and I would like to share just a few of those below:

  • “I am not the admin but they are in our group. My boss always encourages us all to ‘Drink the Splunk Kool Aid’.”
  • “I am interested in becoming a Splunk Kungfu-Master!”
  • “I was very impressed with Splunk’s capabilities and will be communicating that sentiment to the decision makers up the food chain.”
  • “Great bootcamp, perfect for a new user to get comfortable using the tool.”
  • “Great training, I’m amazed at all the capabilities this tool (Splunk) provides, a great asset to have in the tool box.”

No one can deny the power of Splunk and its evolution to THE Big Data Platform for IT Operations and Security Intelligence. However, as one of my colleagues pointed out in a post last year, GTRI has seen what happens when Splunk users are not adequately trained. Our professional services team has found itself onsite during Splunk delivery engagements on multiple occasions just to find that the first task is for us to provide basic training on concepts and terminology. As my colleague stated, Splunk is too valuable of a platform to languish on your network due to an inadequate understanding of the basics, which can lead to long searches, systems with high maintenance costs and a potential for rendering inaccurate data.

I would be remiss if we didn’t look at the other side of the proverbial coin to see what these Splunk Bootcamps have done for our people and GTRI in general. Sure, this format is compelling and value laden and we have extended our reach and brand beyond our geographies and picked up new clients along the way. However, it has also enabled us to ingratiate frontline sales engineers to our practice, and build comradery and friendships across nearly a dozen dispersed GTRI Splunk Certified sales engineers and consultants who support our Bootcamps and enable us to scale. Furthermore, it has provided opportunities to meet other Splunk services partners with which we have developed synergies and continued successes, ensuring that we continue to provide the best possible value to our joint clients and the overall ecosystem.

As I said in my last post after CONF2016, one of the greatest things about Splunk’s ecosystem is the willingness to share insights, lessons learned and best practices from Fez’s, other Splunk’ers and even perceived competitors – everyone genuinely desires to provide feedback to help the platform which in turn enables the ecosystem “to get even better”.

So, as we enter 2017 we want thank all our Bootcamp attendees, customers, partners at Splunk and everyone else who reside within the ecosystem for a great 2016 and happy Splunking. We look forward to seeing you this year at a GTRI Splunk Bootcamp!

Robert Berger is Managing Director of Big Data & Analytics for GTRI’s Professional Services practice.

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