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NGI community interactions

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VT Intelligence Collection

Questions for NGIs

Before we could answer the question of "What should be captured about the conversations that NGIs have with scientific communities?", the members of the VT should answer:

  1. How much would Your NGI (or team) like to know about the conversations that other NGIs have with user communities?
  2. What kind of questions would you like to answer using information published by other NGIs? (e.g. Who are the potential users for workflow systems? Are there teams working on using e-infrastructures for fire simulation? Who are working on some type of integration of HPC and EGI cluster resources? etc.)
  3. Does your NGI already have a system in place to report about interactions with user communities? (e.g. Wiki, blog, newsletter)
  4. Would your NGI share the same details about conversations with users that you expect from other NGIs?

Please add your answers here:

Germany: Torsten Antoni

  1. We would like to see, what the result of the conversations is. What kind of collaboration is established with the communities? We would like to know, when NGIs are talking to international communities, that are also in contact with NGI-DE.
  2. We would like to know, how communities pay for the services, directly or indirectly. We would like see what the scientific results of Grid usage are. Who is working on integration of HPC and Grid cluster resources? Information about conversations and results of the use of commercial licences in distributed environments.
  3. NGI-DE has an advisory board (NGI-DE-Beirat) with regular meetings with representatives of scientific communities.
  4. Yes.

Finland: Vera Hansper

  1. A summary at this point, mainly with information about how to involve the communities. It would be useful to also know how interested or involved their community is internationally.
  2. A little unclear on this question.
  3. We have information through CSC's web site.  I would need to ask our PR people for more information on this.  Some emerging communities will certainly have a wiki.
  4. Yes, of course.

France: Genevieve Romier

  1. We would like to know how others NGI identify possible new communities and their communication tools for that (formal or unformal). If they build a processus to welcome new users (questionnaries, evaluation of applications...) and if they measure the usage, satisfaction with surveys.
  2. We would like to know which scientific disciplines that are not currently organized in global VOs are organized in the other NGIs (to share contacts or experience),
  3. We do not have a specific system for that. On the one hand, we use the France Grilles (French NGI) team tools for internal communication. On the other hand, we distribute a newsletter (not specific to users commmunities). We currently work on a new France Grilles website and foresee to publish more practical informations for users and about user communities such as publications, software for example. We also organise a annual scientific meeting of our user communities (first edition last fall).
  4. Yes of course !

Hungary: Szabolcs Hernath, Robert Lovas, Agnes Szeberenyi

  1. Maybe a brief summary, how certain problems are handled..(but not sure about the target of this question)
  2. What sort of workflow frameworks are most common in your NGI amongst workflow communities (ASKALON, MOTEUR, WS-PGRADE, etc)?|What sorts of DCI middleware are used within your NGI? (ARC, gLite, Unicore, Globus, BOINC, etc.)|How can scientific communities access major computing, data and networking infrastructures and services?|What kind of portal technologies and best practices are the most widely used within your NGI? What is the dropout rate for user in the educating/becoming heavy users process?
  3. We only have GGUS ticketing in NGI_HU, where users can report their problems. NGI_HU members' news are aggregated at NGI_HU website (these news include those interactions). We support also non-NGI_HU users (Desktop Grid users, SHIWA, SCI-BUS users) for which we have regular newsletter (specific for each community).
  4. yes

Lithuania: Jelena Tamuliene

  1. Very strong :). It will be very useful to know how other NGIs involve the communities. Agree, that it would be useful to also know how interested or involved their community is internationally as well as how received support from the Government...
  2. Who are interesting in the international cooperation, i.e. to have possibility to discuss grid using problem in certain field. problem in
  3. We have user support system where users can report their problems and webpage with common items.
  4. Yes

The Netherlands: Tom Visser

Switzerland: Sergio Maffioletti

  1. We would like to understand what 'business model' is established at NGI level. What is offered to user communities in terms of services and whether (and how) these communities are asked to be involved in whatever form.
  2. How the costs of the NGI are exposed to the user communities. Whether these kind of arguments are clarified upfront when approaching new communities. How expectations from user groups are guaranteed to be met.
  3. We organize regular national events (Swiss Grid School, Swiss DCI day, Swing scientific advisory meeting); We have national project's mailing list and website where we record most of the information about the discussion with user groups. But it is also true that most of the time, interaction with users happens on apersonal base; for this, we do not have a mehnism for reporting systematically the feedback.
  4. When possible yes.

Poland: Mariusz Sterzel

  1. Summary of computing activities within different NGI concerning ESFRIs and or other communities.
  2. How many scientific groups and from which ESFRIs are actively performing computations, to which communities they belong, what kind of the software they use, which services they use already or plan to use or NGI thinks the given community will use.
  3. So far not, but we planned to put these informations on internal wiki
  4. Yes, when possible

Portugal: Goncalo Borges, Joao Pina

  1. We would like to access all information that NGIs would wish to turn public on this aspect. Our objective would be to learn strategies used by other NGIs to establish contacts with users communities, and what arguments were used to convince those user communites to come on board.
  2. The final objective is always to gain new users. Therefore, we would like to learn from other NGIs what did they did to obtain new users contacts, how did they approach them the first time, what arguments did they used to sell their product, how did guarantee sustainability (i.e, how did they guarantee that users do come back after the first approach), etc... It would also be nice to have some summary of what applications were introduced so that if we receive an equivalent request, we would not start from zero but have some guidance since someone already did a similar job.
  3. Together with Spain we promote some initiatives where we expect users to join, namely Ibergrid Conference. This year, we have also produced the first IBERGRID report, a book still in print which a resume of the user activities within Spain in Portugal. We have a Wiki (in PT) but is more oriented to provide help than to capture the essence of this discussion
  4. In the same way we would like to access information of other NGIs we do not have any problem in providing information. I guess the final objective is to form a network based on trust. This is already done for more technical task and should be done also in this new task of gaining ne wuser communities.

Slovakia: Jolana Sebestyenova, Peter Kurdel

Spain: Miguel Angel Nunez-Vega

  1. We would like to learn about the tools and strategy that other NGIs employ to contact with the users. It would also be interesting to know the cost model that each NGI applies when offering resources to the user communities.
  2. We would like to compare the users from similar communities to stablish a common baseline of strategies to address each user community. For example, what are the commonalities among the astrphysics users, etc...
  3. Together with Portugal we promote some initiatives where we expect users to join, namely Ibergrid Conference. This year, we have also produced the first IBERGRID 2011 report, a book still in print which a resume of the user activities within Spain in Portugal. We have a Wiki (in PT) but is more oriented to provide help than to capture the essence of this discussion
  4. We do not have any problem providing information to other NGIs regarding user communities in Spain

United Kingdom: Claire Devereux

  1. Summary of the level of interaction, e.g., informal relationship with a national technical contact vs SLA/MoU relationship with top level management of international project. Also services that are offered for exampple, monitoring infrastructure, expertise in porting user apps.
  2. To be able to link up where similar communities are being targetted, either at NGI level or at project level
  3. We have used a specific queue in our national helpdesk to track leads e.g., with new communities, following discussions at conferences. Not used much at present as we have a dedicated work package in NGS project to manage community engagement so its handled within this. Significant relationships will be publiced in newsletters/blogs/website/press releases such as when MoU between projects is signed.
  4. Yes, though obviously not to breach data protection/confidentiality issues

Questions emerged from NGIs' answers

(20/12/2011, abnswers available from: Finland, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, UK)

The following questions emerged from the above answers. These questions are under finalisation at the moment. After the questions finalised they will be circulated to NGI user support teams. The user support teams will answer these questions every time when they talk to scientific communities. The answers should be provided by the NGI teams into a repository system which is currently under setup.

(The numbering of questions does mean prioritisation) :

  1. Who is the user and which scientific discipline does the user (or his/her group) belong to? Does the person/group need solution for him/herself, OR for national collaboration OR for international collaboration?
    • Purpose of this question: To see which NGIs have links to which scientific areas.
  2. What is the user trying to achieve? How could EGI contribute to achieving this goal? What benefit would this bring to the user?
    • Purpose of this question: To understand what the user needs and to see the services that are needed from EGI for this.
  3. What services does the use case need from EGI? Are these EGI services already available, or should they be developed? Is there a need/possibility to involve other NGIs into the support process? (e.g. to develop and/or to provide the demanded services) If yes, then clarify the type of involvement.
    • Purpose of this question: To help NGIs quickly find support activities that they can join.
  4. What processes, methods or tools did you use to identify this user/group; to engage with this user/group; to follow-up support of this user/group.
    • Purpose of this question: To see successful practices for user identification and engagement.
  5. What is the financial model for the development and provisioning of the services that the user/group demands?
    • Purpose of this question: To see whether and how the engagement with this group contributes to the sustainability of the NGI.

Please send feedback on these questions to to until 13/January/2012.