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Spotlight on a Volunteer - September 2014

Posted By Lyndsey Zajac, Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Americas Volunteer

Kate Fontanella
Senior Technical Instructor
HP Vertica
Big Data Champion

Kate Fontanella is a Senior Technical Instructor at HP Vertica.   She has a passion for training and facilitating adults to gain the skills they need to grow professionally.  In her new role at Vertica, Kate is excited to welcome long standing database professionals to the world of big data, allowing them to process data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications.

Throughout Kate’s career she has worked with many database technologies including Cognos, SAP and Oracle.  She most recently worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology building online courses for staff on SAP and Cognos.  Kate spent over 10 years in the legal industry as a Marketing Technology Manager managing a SQL based CRM system and its team.  During that time she also managed a peer group for the International Legal Technology association focused on the CRM system and eventually all marketing technology tools.

She holds an MBA with a concentration in Marketing and Human Resources from Clark University.

Kate is also an avid biker and sailor and in the summer you will find her on the Charles River most nights after work.


EMEA Volunteer

Andreas Birk
Founder & Principal Consultant
Testing, Quality, and ALM SIG Leader

Dr. Andreas Birk is Founder and Principal Consultant of Software.Process.Management in Stuttgart, Germany. He serves the HP Software community as a leader for the worldwide TQA (Testing, Quality, and Application Lifecycle Management) Special Interest Group of Vivit. He also has served as a member of several Vivit and HP Software committees. His special interests include tool-based requirements management and requirements management in agile development using tools like HP Quality Center / ALM and HP Agile Manager.

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New Leader Blog - August 2014

Posted By Lyndsey Zajac, Sunday, August 3, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Get Connected

We welcome the following Leaders and their expertise. We invite you to join their Local User Groups to share tips, best practices, and real-world experiences. Join their groups by clicking on the group name under their picture and select the "Join Group” icon which will appear at the top of the group web page if you aren’t already a member. Connect to them by clicking on their names. Member sign-in required.


Liz Lovelace
Director of Marketing
Mobius Partners
Houston Local User Group

Raj Neravati
Chief Operating Officer
Cigniti, Inc
Dallas Local User Group


Mark Skowron
Account Executive
Mobius Partners
Houston Local User Group

Lauren Stoewer

Lauren Stoewer
Application Analyst
Mid-Atlantic Local User Group


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Spotlight on Volunteers - August 2014

Posted By Lyndsey Zajac, Sunday, August 3, 2014
Updated: Monday, July 7, 2014


Dan Boswell
Task Manager
Ace Info Solutions
Kansas City Local User Group
St. Louis Local User Group

Dan currently works as a task manager for Ace Info Solutions for the USDA in Kansas City, Missouri.  He works with the federal leads to assist in training and using of all of the HP testing tools. Dan has also worked to setup the current automation process and procedures for the USDA where it comes to the HP products used, to include all reporting using OTA and Rest server.

Prior to working for the USDA, he was at Sprint/Nextel working as a testing lead/manager for 6 years putting process and procedures in place.  Dan was also key in starting some of the automation for the Digital Lounge testing for  Working for Amdocs, Dan was one of the key people that performed over 8 conversions into the Amdocs billing systems from other various systems with a 98% accuracy rate.  Dan prides himself in not having a single major defect going into production from areas that he has tested in the past 12 years.

Serving the HP Software Community, Dan volunteers as the Chapter Leader for the Kansas City and St Louis Vivit chapters.  He is working to revive the Kansas City Chapter; the first Kansas City Chapter meeting for 2014 had over 40 people attend in person and virtually.



Pramod Singh
Director: Digital and Big Data Analytics
HP Global Analytics
Big Data Special Interest Group Leader

Pramod is one of the leaders of the Vivit Big Data Special Interest Group. He is Director of Digital and Big Data Analytics at HP Global Analytics. He has more than 18 years of leadership experience in design and implementation of analytics solutions. Pramod has been with HP since 2000 in different roles. For the last thirteen years at HP, Pramod has lead advanced analytics teams in areas of customer knowledge management, e- business , global business intelligence in IT and digital analytics at Hewlett-Packard. Before joining HP, Pramod worked at Wal-Mart’s Information systems. Here he designed and developed advanced assortment planning system, a technology that revolutionized the store assortment practices for Wal-Mart. Pramod has a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Arkansas and an MBA in Marketing, and he is author of several published papers and regular speaker at international conferences.

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New Leader Blog - July 2014

Posted By Lyndsey Zajac, Friday, July 4, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Get Connected

We welcome the following Leaders and their expertise. We invite you to join their Local User Groups to share tips, best practices, and real-world experiences. Join their groups by clicking on the group name under their picture and select the "Join Group” icon which will appear at the top of the group web page if you aren’t already a member. Connect to them by clicking on their names. Member sign-in required.

Ricardo Paraguassu
Blue Elephant Systems Inc.
Brazil Local User Group

"My mission in Vivit is to build a Brazil community of people interested in sharing knowledge and experiences with HP Software. The Brazil chapter is focused on serving the HP Software community, by facilitating a network of people interested in sharing knowledge and experiences."

Jan Pontéus
Swedish Tax Agency
Sweden Local User Group

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Wrap up of HP Discover Las Vegas 2014

Posted By Lisa Nordhoff, Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Updated: Friday, June 20, 2014

Wrap up of HP Discover!

"Experience the Magic of Vivit by connecting with other members, special interest groups, local user groups, Vivit staff and the elected board of directors” was the overall theme for Vivit at HP Discover in Las Vegas, June 10 – 12, 2014. If you didn’t attend the conference, we hope you will consider the same opportunities to experience the magic with Vivit now.

Vivit has over 22,000 members worldwide and is proud to have some of the IT industry top thought-leaders as members and volunteers. These individuals volunteer their time to lead local user groups (LUG) and worldwide virtual special interest groups (SIG). Leaders from around the world gathered at HP Discover to represent their groups and discuss the latest HP Software developments and game changing technologies.

Experience the Magic of Local User Groups and Special Interest Groups

There are 76 LUGs in 26 countries and 19 virtual SIGs. Each LUG and SIG has its own focus and personality. Members of LUGs meet face to face to share best practices, tips, and tricks. Members of SIGs meet online and can participate in blogs and webinars. Locate your LUG and SIGs of choice and select the "Join group” icon which will appear at the top of the group page if you aren’t already linked. Don’t see a local user group near you or a particular SIG?  Contact us to start and lead a new group.

Experience the Magic of Vivit’s Award Winning Leaders

Tammy Young, LUG & SIG Chair, Board of Directors, presented the community awards for the Americas region at HP Discover during a leader reception at Vivit’s booth. This year marks the sixth anniversary of the awards presentation recognizing outstanding volunteers. Connect with these leaders who are at the forefront of community activity. This year’s winners are as follows:

Top Virtual Contributor – Randy Mikel

Champion of the Year Award – Todd DeCapua
Speaker of the Year Award – Ron Cornwell
Leader of the Year Award – Paul Shovlin

(left to right) Randy Mikel, Todd DeCapua, Ron Cornwell & Paul Shovlin

Experience the Magic with other Vivit Members

Vivit is the longest-standing independent, worldwide HP Software user community providing an infrastructure of support for members through advocacy, community and education. We're your only source of information on HP Software that is completely unbiased, uncensored, and field-tested. We have worked hard to build a community platform where relevant conversations happen. Our booth at HP Discover provided many opportunities for individuals to connect and interact with each other. Over the past five years, Vivit has successfully changed, grown, and adapted to align with the new style of IT. Many conversations took place during HP Discover, both members and non-members had the opportunity to discuss and learn more about Vivit, plus individuals had the opportunity to play some foosball and win some great prizes.

Individuals visiting Vivit booth.

Prize drawing by Vivit leaders.

Some Vivit prize winners.

Individuals playing foosball.

Experience the Magic of Vivit’s Board of Directors and Staff

Nine outstanding members and thought leaders serve on the Board of Directors. They met face to face for two days prior to HP Discover to discuss the state of the user community and programs to serve members going forward. Many of the dedicated staff attended HP Discover as well. If you didn’t get a chance to meet them in person, feel free to contact them anytime.

We hope to see as many members as possible at future events. Mark your calendars for HP Discover in Barcelona, December 2 – 4, 2014. We are already working on our community program. It is our mission to help fellow members tap into the wealth of collective knowledge in Vivit, the trusted, unbiased, and field-tested HP Software user community.  If you have any suggestions or requests, please contact us.

Tags:  #HPDiscover 

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Vivit Names the 2014 Americas Award Recipients

Posted By Lisa Nordhoff, Monday, June 30, 2014
Updated: Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Vivit Board of Directors presented the 2014 Americas award winners at the HP Discover Conference in Las Vegas on June 11, 2014. The Champion of the Year Award went to Todd DeCapua, Leader the Year Award went to Paul Shovlin, Speaker of the Year Award went to Ron Cornwell, and the new Top Virtual Contributor Award went to Randy Mikel. 

This year marks the sixth anniversary of the awards presentation recognizing outstanding volunteers. Winners are chosen from submissions by members worldwide. The Americas Awards are presented each June, and the Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific awards are presented each December.

"As a volunteer community focused on helping HP Software customers be successful and develop their careers, we are driven to create a forum for sharing best-practices and sparking game-changing conversations,” said Tammy Young, Chapter and Special Interest Group Chair, Board of Directors.”  I have deep respect for these talented volunteers who share their expertise by presenting webinars, organizing Local User Group meetings, and creating content to share with members worldwide.”   

Todd DeCapua​Todd DeCapua, 2014 Champion of the Year, was recognized for expanding the Vivit community by co-leading Local User Groups in Delaware and Philadelphia, four global Special Interest Groups focused on DevOps, Mobile, Agile, and Performance Engineering, frequently delivering webinars, and writing blogs. Over the years, Todd has received several recognitions from Vivit, including HP Software Universe "Best & Brightest,” 2010 Leader of the Year, and 2013 Speaker of the Year. 


Todd is a seasoned software professional with more than 20 years of experience in IT applications development, IT operations, product marketing, product management, channels operations and business development in several domains including Mobile, Agile, Cloud, and Performance. He recently joined HP in April 2014 through their acquisition of Shunra; he is currently a Senior Product Marketing Manager of Application Delivery Management, Go-To-Market and is responsible for Network Virtualization and Service Virtualization.


Paul ShovlinPaul Shovlin, 2014 Leader of the Year, was recognized for his leadership of the Florida Local User Group. Paul started as a contributor and speaker with the Tampa Mercury User Group in 2005 and was instrumental in starting the Vivit Local User Group in Florida six years ago. He helped increase the number of Florida meetings by moving to a quarterly model. Paul has spoken for multiple Local User Groups across America this past year, and he has shared his extensive meeting planning knowledge with other leaders. In addition, Paul fostered a relationship with HP Marketing representatives to bring them to the table. Paul also contributes his expertise worldwide by serving on the Membership Committee.

Paul has worked in software quality for 18 years and currently holds the position of Director of Client Management for Checkpoint Technologies. Paul focuses on assisting customers to identify Quality Assurance (QA) and software testing challenges and offering cost effective and industry leading solutions. Paul is HP Certified in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and is an HP Certified Instructor.

Ron Cornwell, 2014 Speaker of the Year, frequently delivers webinars to members worldwide on topics related to Data Center Automation. He was spotlighted as a panelist and presenter at the Vivit Virtual Summit on Cloud in November 2013. He presented three sessions at HP Discover 2013. In addition, he co-leads the Vivit Data Center Automation Special Interest Group and has served as a member of the HP Customer Advisory Board on Cloud and HPOO Special Interest Group for the past several years.


Ron has worked in the IT field for over 15 years. He has been involved with several key initiatives including Data Center Consolidations, Data Center Automation, and most recently deploying Private Cloud. He is currently the Team Lead for the Data Center Automation group at McKesson Corp. Prior to joining McKesson, he was a member of the US Army. He continues to support our country’s military through volunteerism and donations to support the Wounded Warrior Project.


Randy MikelRandy Mikel, Top Virtual Contributor, received recognition for his participation in and contributions through Vivit’s website. He has been a member since 2007 and has utilized the many resources available to members. He participates in virtual Special Interest Groups, attends live webinar events to acquire cross-training on HP product and services, and searches the forums, blogs, and newsletters regularly for solutions to issues or questions about HP product installations. He also offers his tips and knowledge on issues that other members post in the forums and participates in the Houston and Chicago Local User Groups. He hosts Local User Group meetings at his place of employment and has presented a case study on his company’s ITSM implementation. He also participates in all online Board of Directors nominations and elections to bring outstanding leadership to Vivit.   


Randy has over 15 years of experience with Project and Portfolio Management (PPM). Currently at Halliburton, a Houston-based energy products and services industry leader, he provides IT team leadership to support 3,200 users of the HP PPM Suite for the global SAP application support teams, as well as over 400 other enterprise applications and the Project Management Organization which manages over 1,500 global IT projects. He also supports other HP software products: Service Manager, uCMDB, Asset Manager, and Quality Center.

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Americas 2014 Award Nominees

Posted By Lyndsey Zajac, Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Updated: Monday, April 28, 2014

Vivit Leader Magic

It is time once again to recognize the efforts of our members who have chosen to be Leaders in the Vivit community. Your Leaders chose to enrich our user community by volunteering their time and sharing their knowledge, ideas, experience and support.

These people are full-time employees at various companies and industries, and we all benefit from their decision to lead our user community in Local User Groups and Special Interest Groups. Vivit has been fortunate over the years that the best and brightest continue to become not only Vivit user community members, but Leaders as well!

Each year, Vivit asks members to nominate exceptional Leaders to be recognized for their efforts, and it is Vivit's honor to select from those nominees Leader of the Year, Speaker of the Year, and Champion of the Year.

In congratulating this year's nominees, we would like to say that the hard work and dedication of our leaders is what creates the magic of Vivit! Congratulations to each of you, and thank you for your efforts and contributions. 

Ron Cornwell
Data Center Automaton SIG Leader
Speaker of the Year


Todd DeCapua
Chapter and SIG Leader
Leader and Champion of the Year

Shane Evans
Product Manager, HP LoadRunner
Speaker of the Year

Chuck Fugee
Houston Chapter Leader
Leader of the Year

Evan Hamilton
Colorado Leader and Configuration Management System SIG Leader
Leader of the Year

Amy Heindel
Sr. Presales Solutions Consultant
Champion of the Year

Mark Herbert
Arizona Chapter and HP Software Education SIG Leader
Leader of the Year

Christine Olsen
Solutions Architect
Speaker of the Year

Brian Pohl
San Antonio Chapter and Mobile SIG Leader
Leader of the Year

Megan Shelton
Ohio Chapter and Performance Engineering SIG Leader
Speaker of the Year

Paul Shovlin
Florida Chapter
Leader of the Year

Michael Vaughn
VP Technical Sales US -West
Champion of the Year

The Leader of the Year award is presented to an individual for outstanding local user group or SIG leadership. The Champion of the Year award is presented to an individual for outstanding effort to advance and grow the Vivit community. The Speaker of the Year award is presented to an individual for outstanding presentations to the Vivit community.

The award winners will be revealed and celebrated at  HP Discover in Las Vegas the week of June 9.

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New Leader Blog - June 2014

Posted By Lyndsey Zajac, Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Get Connected

We welcome the following Leader and her expertise. We invite you to join her Local User Group to share tips, best practices, and real-world experiences. Join this group by clicking on the group name under Saime's  picture and select the "Join Group” icon which will appear at the top of the group web page if you aren’t already a member. Connect to Saime by clicking on her name. Member sign-in required.


Saime Mercan
Meritcon AB
Sweden Local User Group Leader

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Where Do You Go For HP Software Help, Hy-Vee?

Posted By Christopher J. Scharer, Monday, June 2, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chris Scharer
Christopher J. Schärer, Treasurer, Vivit Board of Directors
Iowa & Nebraska Chapter and
Testing, Quality, Application Lifecycle Management SIG Leader

Senior Automation Engineer, Visionary Integration Professionals® (VIP)


Hy-Vee’s slogan, "A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle," expresses the foundation of the company’s operating philosophy. If I had come up with a slogan for Vivit, I think a slogan similar to this would fit quite well — such as "A Helpful Smile in Every Chapter (LUG/SIG).” The Mission Statements of the Performance Engineering and Testing, Quality, and ALM SIGs demonstrate this important aspect of Vivit.

GroupMission Statement
Special Interest Group: Testing Quality and ALMVivit TQA is the Special Interest Group on "Testing, Quality, and Application Lifecycle Management" (TQA) within Vivit, the independent users community of HP Software & Solutions. Vivit TQA addresses organizational, methodological, and technical questions surrounding the application of products like HP Quality Center/ALM, HP Performance Center and HP QuickTest Professional. Vivit TQA fosters experience sharing among users and communicates feedback to HP.
Special Interest Group: Performance Engineering SIGThe Vivit Performance Engineering SIG will connect performance engineering practitioners within the HP user community for training, advocacy, and knowledge sharing. The community will benefit from sharing challenges, solutions, and best practices as well as by providing opportunities for member skills uplift.

Yet, I’ve found in discussions with other leaders in the community that members rarely reach out unless they attend an event. Moreover, they often spend hours researching issues or questions themselves and sometimes just give up due to frustration from not finding a solution.

The original three pillars of Vivit were Advocacy, Education and Community. However, Vivit recently included two additional pillars to make the following five pillars of Vivit (Your Independent HP Software Community):

  1. Advocacy
  2. Education
  3. Community
  4. Collaboration
  5. Conversation

With that said, I would like to encourage all Vivit members to reach out to your chapter and/or SIG and share your Education and questions with the leaders and Community, communicate what you’re looking to accomplish, Collaborate the information you’d like to see in future meetings/webinars with the leaders and continue your Conversations to better enable the Advocacy of Vivit. This in turn will help our leaders assist our members in finding solutions, presentations, webinars, etc. with the community as a whole. It will also enable Vivit to share this information with HP so they can continuously improve the HP software that we all use.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of the Vivit leaders who voluntarily organize chapter meetings and special events for our Vivit members worldwide. These leaders make Vivit what it is today, and without them, Vivit would cease to exist. Thank you all, and I look forward to seeing many of you at the HP Discover conference.

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2014 Board Election Results

Posted By Richard Bishop, Thursday, May 8, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, May 6, 2014




Richard Bishop, Director, Nominations Chair, UK User Group Leader

I’d like to take a moment to thank those of you who took the time to vote in our recent election. As most of you know, Vivit has a Board of Directors that consists of nine directors who manage our staff of four and provide leadership and direction to our Local User Group and Special Interest Group leaders throughout the world. Each year, Vivit holds 
staggered elections to elect three of the nine board members.

I would like to reassure our members that Vivit makes every attempt possible to be a non-intrusive organization and keep the number of emails that we send to a minimum. We are conscious that in our attempts to drive up voter numbers, at this time of year we send a large number of emails to members regarding the elections. This year we managed to reduce some of these emails by not emailing those who are ineligible to vote (i.e. HP employees) and not sending "please vote” emails from our automated mailing system to people who had already voted. Local User Group and Special Interest Group leaders also sent their own emails that may have contributed to "email overload”. 

I’m pleased to say that this year, we have managed to conclude our election process more quickly and with more members voting than ever before. Despite this success, we are working to streamline the voting process for future years and reduce the number of unwanted election emails. We need to ensure that our desire for a streamlined voting process doesn’t reduce the board’s electoral accountability. We’d appreciate feedback from members on how we can do this and I’d be happy to hear from members who’d like to contribute to this discussion.

2014 Elected Board Members

Karen Semonson
Transformation Program Manager
CUNA Mutual Group
Madison, WI USA

Christian Gerdes
Senior Performance Engineer
Lights In Line AB
Stockholm, Sweden


Colin Fries
Test Automation Specialist
Avaya Government Solutions
St. Louis, MO USA

I’d like to thank the other board candidates who although they were not elected to the board this year, they were exceedingly strong candidates who volunteer their time as Local User Group or Special Interest Group leaders. We feel proud to have them as leaders within our organization and hope that they’ll consider standing for election in future years.

Additional Vivit Board Candidates

Bernard Szymczak
Lead IT Systems Engineer
Progressive Insurance
Mayfield Village, OH USA

Mihai Grigorescu
TCoE Tools Lead
Cape Town, South Africa

Eric Gee
Manager, Software Quality Engineering
MTS - An Omnicell Company
St. Petersburg, FL USA

Mike Peckar
Managing Consultant
Avent, Inc.
West Boylston, MA USA


I’d also like to take a moment to thank Jim Murphy who is departing the Vivit board this year. Jim decided against standing for re-election due to work commitments and he’ll be a loss to our team. We wish Jim well and hope that he’ll stay in touch.

Vivit Departing Board Members

Jim Murphy

Vernon Hills, Illinois
United States





Tags:  2014  Board of Directors  Election  Election Results  Richard Bishop 

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