Geant 3rd Generation

geant2-logo.gif   Geant/TF-PR Meeting, Dublin, 25-27 February 2009.The afternoon of 25 and morning of 26 were devoted to presentations and discussions by Dante around the forthconing third generation of GeantClearly this time around there is going to be more attention to working with and through partners, perhaps in recognition to perceived failings in earlier generations. John Chevers is to take on the role of Partner Relations, which is essentially a communications role dealing with the issues arising from such a multiplicity and diversity of NREN partners. John sees two key message priorities – the features and benefits of Geant as added value for NREN’s, and the idea of Geant as a portfolio of service. He also identified some challenges for his role: 

  • building partner the relations function relating to interaction with NRENs, delivery of services, issue resolution, support and info
  • Challenges about internal communications, communications through NRENs, and helping NRENs with the Geant service communication

The discussion that followed highlighted the friction between promoting Geant itself as opposed to promoting national networks and the uses made of them and the international links. Clearly Geant needs to prove its value and impact to the EC but individual NRENs are more concerned about reinforcing their own service at a national level, and promotion at a pan European level is seen as unhelpful. Laura Durnford from Terena will be taking on a new liaison role with an overview of the Geant services portfolio. The tasks here are still unclear but the committment again echoes the sense of needing to provide greater involvemnt and connection with the national partners. It is possible the ther TF-PR group might be seen as a useful sounding board and contributor to the wider Geant communications work. What seemed clear was that communications about the new Geant need to carefully consider how they can support the individual NREN’s position and not simply ”trample’ them under foot with the more grandiose pan European. Seems to me that Geant will have its work cut out to both satisfy the expectation of NREN’s and at the same time generate the value for money and impact evidence that the Commission will require