Over twelve months ago I came up with the crazy sounding idea of a vendor neutral education program that would see Mom and Pop businesses (along with regular IT folks) gain a resource with which they could build their knowledge of Cloud Computing. Luckily there were some incredibly progressive folks at Rackspace who saw the value in what I was proposing and got behind the program – We all owe those people a debt of gratitude for avoiding the temptation to make CloudU a marketing platform – rather they got behind it as a neutral and honest educational offering.

Fast forward 12 months and I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved with CloudU. Over the year we’ve produced a dozen or so reports talking about everything from Cloud security to the environmental benefits that Cloud Computing can bring. We’ve run a number of engaging webinars with contributions from people as diverse as Eric Ries, Robert Scoble, Bernard Golden and many others.

So I’m excited to be on the edge of the New Year, and am looking forward to seeing CloudU grow even more in the coming year – over the past few weeks we’ve grown the program significantly. We’ve rolled out something I’m really excited about, the CloudU certificate, a broad based program that will give those who challenge it something tangible that will be of real value on their resume and in their workplace.

In an attempt to scale CloudU as a program, we’ve also created the CloudU LinkedIn group a place were people can engage, ask questions and generally benefit from the knowledge of their peers – over the few weeks that it’s been in existence, we’ve gained several hundred members and, more importantly, enjoyed some challenging and thought provoking conversations.

So 2011 has been an amazing year for CloudU, and 2012 looks set to be even better.

I’d like to wish everyone out there an awesome holiday break and a fantastic 2012. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thanks the people behind he scenes that help to get the CloudU message out to the world – so a big thanks to Michael, Jackie, Adam, John, Dave, Angela, Tiff, Adrian and the others who have an involvement in some way. I’m looking forward to pushing the CloudU message to even greater heights next year – cheers!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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