A New Way to Find & Connect with Data Center Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

Have a problem and need some 'expert' advice? But where do you find experts with the specific expertise and experience you need? .... and how do you assess if they are any good?


Sometimes your just looking for someone to 'point you in the right direction' and would appreciate it if they would give you some basic advice. In other cases you will be looking for detailed information and you would be willing to pay for an experts help. So how to you get started?


How Do You Find Industry Experts?

Well, I'll tell you how I do it and maybe you can give me some pointers.  I'm sure I'm doing something wrong! :-)


Firstly, I would aim to use my own network and get recommendations. But what if this still doesn't solve the problem?


One way is to search for experts on the internet, find their company websites, and look for articles they have written, and to see if they've been active giving presentations at various industry events etc.


Another is to try to search LinkedIN profiles, to try to join the various industry groups (there are so many) and assess peoples contributions to answering discussion question or ask for help, another is to read recommendations left on peoples profiles! Personally we've found LinkedIN limited and quite time consuming in these areas – but maybe we're just using it badly!


For instance when searching for specific data center criteria on LinkedIN today I got a result of 177 people – but it really was going to be difficult to find enough targeted information about these individuals. Maybe the LinkedIN premium account would work better – but I'm unwilling to pay between $19.95/month and $99.95/month to find out! $19.95/month gives 300 profiles in results, the top rate gives 700 profiles!


So – is there an alternative?  A better way maybe?  We hope to provide one.


An New Alternative to Finding Data Center SMEs


We hoping to help solve this problem by providing specific profile questions and an advanced search feature that allows you to easily identify and connect with subject matter experts using the data center professionals network.


As part of the recent updates to the network we are going to help you find such experts by encouraging expert members to:

a) Identify themselves as 'Subject Matter Experts'

b) List their areas of expertise (using a predefined list of areas of expertise)


In addition you will also be able to determine whether the experts are:

a) Independent consultants (not tied to a vendor)

b) Vendor consultants.


We believe these filters may be key in helping you select professionals to give you impartial advice, if thats what your looking for.  Here's what part of the advanced search feature looks like:



Once you have identified an SME you can then view their profile pages on the data center professionals network.


Using Network Profile Pages to Assess SMEs

Profile pages provide a powerful 'calling card' for industry professionals.  They are unique in that they provide, summarised on one page, an overview of all that persons activity on the network.


If an 'expert' has contributed large amounts of comments/discussions/blogs/etc you can see this on their personal pages and hopefully assess their level of expertise.  Obviously this will only be useful if the person concerned has used the full power of the network to help promote themselves!


If your not familiar with network profile pages here's a reminder of what you get:


  • Persons Latest Network Activity (comments made, etc)

  • Blog/Articles Posted

  • Discussions Started/Participated in (may demonstrate some of the good advice they've given)

  • Profile Comment/Recommendations wall (allows other members to leave a personal comment/recommendation for this individual)

  • Videos & Photo contributions (experts sometime produce great video tutorials etc)

  • Professional Connections (if an person is well connected in can say something about their status in the industry)

  • Participation in industry groups (network based groups)

  • Ability to add Slideshows etc (Can be added as embedded code on a persons profile page via their own customisable text box)

  • Events posted/attending

  • Twitter Feeds (via our profile page twitter app)

  • BoxNet Files (via boxnet profile page app)

  • RSS Feeds of the content they have added to their own company website or blog


Oh, and Don't Forget you can Ask for Help via the Forums

Often other professionals are more than willing to jump in and offer some great free advice.  Its worth a go.  If you are struggling to get a response please let us know and we'll try to help by sending out a network wide broadcast message to try to wake the members up! :-)



We hope these new features provide great additions to the network and encourage a new level of interactivity between industry professionals.


For subject matter experts - we hope this is a great new way to promote your own expertise in the industry, to promote your business, and to also help others.


For those looking to find expertise - we hope this provides you with a really useful new feature to help you in your professional activities and really makes a difference to you. 


As always, if you have an suggestions or queries about this new initiative please don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to help. 


Best Regards,


The Data Center Professionals Network

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