I’ve been meaning to write this blog for a while now but work keeps getting in the way, so here I sit (refreshment in hand) on a transatlantic flight after another whirlwind week of demonstrating Kainos Smart to more wide-eyed Workday customers. That however is not what this blog is about. This blog is about my experiences of the beautifully unique world of Workday RUGs (RUG stands for ‘Regional User Group’ not the nice piece of material that adorns your floor). Let me begin…

“Some people just aren’t cut out for life on the road”

That’s a direct quote from Lloyd Christmas. If you don’t know who Lloyd Christmas is then you are too young to be reading this blog or have missed out on one of the funniest movies ever made, Dumb and Dumber (either way, check it out).

So, what relevance does that quote have to me? Well, I have recently completed a Coast to Coast tour of Workday RUG meetings. I was invited to present our automated testing product for Workday, Kainos Smart. To date I have presented and demonstrated Kainos Smart at RUG meetings for Washington DC Metro, New York Metro, Philadelphia, Washington State, Boston and Wisconsin. Surely that is some sort of record in the Workday ecosystem? It’s not exactly a hop, skip and a jump to get between those places!

In this blog I just want to share a few thoughts and experiences of those RUG meetings I have attended. So, here goes…

Workday RUG meetings are an amazing concept. Workday actively promotes and encourages their customers who are geographically close to each other to come together and share experiences good and more importantly bad. At my first RUG meeting, I was standing at the back of the room wondering why a company would actively encourage one customer to share a bad experience with a room full of other customers.

By the time I had visited all the RUG meetings the answer to that became obvious to me. Workday takes customer satisfaction extremely seriously. The sometimes painful lesson learned by one customer benefits the community as a whole when shared. It epitomises a company that is open and honest and puts the wellbeing of its customers above itself and that perfectly aligns with our attitude at Kainos Smart as well.

The customer committees that organise the various RUGs and the companies who offer venues to host the meetings do an amazing job. So the next time you are at a RUG, take a moment to consider the logistics and organization that goes into arranging that meeting and remember that those people have day jobs too but they still make the time to put on your event. I was at a RUG meeting hosted in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, how cool a venue is that!

GET INVOLVED! If you haven’t joined your local RUG or attended a RUG meeting in person YOU ARE MISSING OUT! It’s an amazing opportunity to see a presentation on a topic you are interested in (like Kainos Smart!), network, or connect with people that have already sorted out the issue you are currently working through. I saw this to amazing effect at the Wisconsin RUG. At their meeting as opposed to being purely presentations and breakout sessions the RUG Manager from Bemis initiated what is best described as ‘Workday Community Live’.

Basically the microphone was passed around the room and people stood up, introduced themselves and then asked a question or explained an issue they were currently having and other people in the room then answered it there and then or said they have a similar issue. Those two people then met during the break to discuss a solution. That’s a powerful thing, two people working for two different companies who didn’t even know each other let alone that they had the same problem to solve. Two minds are better than one…and ten are better than two. You get the picture.

Have some fun during your RUG meeting. Whether it’s a full day or a half day, it can be hard to stay focused the whole time. At the Wisconsin RUG the folks from Bemis organized a Wisconsin based quiz. I’ve always aimed to learn at least one new thing every day…and that day I learned that there are about 247 million different types of cheese that come from Wisconsin! Ok, it’s not in the millions but if I remember correctly it is 247 and that’s an awful lot of cheese.

I have a tendency to ramble on when I write so I’ll finish this up, but before I do I just want to say thank you to a few people.

First, thank you to the people who invited me to present Kainos Smart at your RUG meeting. It was a privilege and I hope that my presentation enhanced your meeting in some way.

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Great turnout at the Kainos sponsored Wisconsin RUG

Secondly, a very special thanks to two of our Kainos smart customers who presented along with me. Stephanie Altomari (from Brown University) who presented with me at the Boston RUG and Michael Tomcho (from Johnson & Johnson) who presented with me at the Philadelphia RUG.

Hoping to see you soon, at a RUG meeting near you!

(Please contact smart@kainos.com if you are interested in having a Kainos Smart presentation as part of your next RUG meeting)