When you have the perfect job, it’s not easy to walk away. I had spent the past seven years as an analyst for Burton Group and then at Gartner. In my role as an analyst, I was able to work with hundreds of end user organizations and help them with their virtualization, private cloud, and desktop transformation strategies and architectures. I was also able to take feedback from the field and work with a variety of vendors to help them shape their future innovations and product roadmaps. At Gartner, I only had to pick one side – that of the end user, and I relished playing the advocate role.
I always thought that it would take the absolute perfect opportunity for me to leave Gartner, and I strongly believe VMware has provided it. In my role as CTO, Americas I will be continuing to do many of the things I loved at Gartner. I’ll be even more active in social media and community engagement, and I’ll be working closely with VMware customers across the Americas on their current and future cloud, mobile and virtualization strategies. Unlike my role at Gartner, I’ll now have a direct conduit into VMware’s talented product teams to ensure that community needs are being met and often exceeded.
Sure, I could have taken on a similar role at other vendors, so why VMware? There are several reasons.
Yes – VMware pioneered x86 virtualization and VMware’s success and market dominance in the virtualization space are without question. Some have wondered if VMware’s best days are in the past, but I don’t think that’s even remotely the case. Turn back the clock 15 years and when VMware was building its flagship platform, many thought it was a gimmick with limited use cases. Most of the industry didn’t foresee that VMware would fundamentally reshape the enterprise data center like it has. If you look at the work that VMware has done with the software-defined data center (SDDC), it’s easy to see that industry skepticism is back. VMware ESX quickly became a no-brainer business decision because the server consolidation benefits it provided (not to mention the flexibility afforded by vMotion and DR simplicity). With SDDC, we’re beyond servers – we’re now talking data centers. At full maturity, the SDDC will do for data center consolidation what ESX did for server consolidation, and once again the ROI benefits will be obvious. One could argue that the cloud era will also accelerate data center consolidation, and that’s true. However, when you consider the vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) and the massive vCloud service provider network, VMware is well-positioned to offer the most complete and customer-friendly hybrid cloud offering in the market.
The modern workforce demands access to applications and data on a variety of devices, running disparate operating systems and applications. Almost overnight, IT professionals have seen a management domain consisting mostly of PC lifecycle management expand exponentially. It’s not enough to manage resources in a Windows-centric world, and it’s not realistic to bury your head in the sand and let users do whatever they want with sensitive company data on the device of their choosing. While at Gartner, I spent considerable time researching unified workspace concepts. That’s the ability to centrally broker applications and data to users on a variety of devices, while also providing the data protection, single sign-on, collaboration, and centralized application provisioning and de-provisioning that IT governance requires. Users get freedom of choice and increased productivity and work life balance, and IT gets just the right amount of control that’s required. The way we manage end user applications and data is shifting, and to VMware’s credit, it has understood this evolution for several years. Innovations that began with the Horizon Suite are considerably strengthened with the AirWatch acquisition; VMware has the essential ingredients to deliver a truly unified workspace environment.
VMware has the industry leading server virtualization platform, the most widely deployed cloud management platform (CMP), is a clear leader in desktop virtualization, and is executing on the right strategy in mobility, hybrid cloud, and management. Realization of VMware’s software-defined data center vision isn’t a question of if, but when. VMware is poised for another round of significant growth, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.
In my role of CTO, Americas, I plan to meet with as many of you as possible. I want to be your advocate and strategic partner. In a world of growing technological complexities and rich automation, the last thing you need is a vendor selling you something. You need a partner that wants to be there with you and share in your successes. I and my talented colleagues at VMware want to be that strategic partner. I hope you’ll join us on our journey.