SHALL WE PLAY A GAME? In one of my favorite movies, the 1983 epic “War Games,” high school computer geek (a term ahead of his time) David Lightman (played by 21-year-old Matthew Broderick) wants to play an unreleased computer game — and impress a pretty girl (Ally Sheedy). So, he starts hacking…which wasn’t a coined phrase in the early 80s. Little does he know the “computer company” he’s infiltrated is actually a military installation running a missile-command supercomputer called the WOPR (War Operation Plan Response), and the game — Global Thermonuclear War — is real.
This classic story about a computer game made us feel empowered, threatened and violated all at the same time. The point of the story still holds true today: Computers train us and validate our Credibility. Whether we possess “chilies” from Spiceworks or “badges” from our HR department for completing certain learning tasks, software continues to measure our success, knowledge and credibility. Let’s face it: we are a task-recognition badge-junkie society. And why not, it’s a fun way to learn…and get a few prizes.
So join us at VMware as we take you on your Cloud Credibility journey. CloudCred is the hub for all things cloud-related. The game is your gateway to building your cloud expertise, broadening your professional network and earning rewards and certifications based on your CloudCred score.
And, if you or your team is feeling competitive, follow The SMB Authority team for a little targeted competition.
Earlier this month at the Bank Info-Security Group (BIG) Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, I joined over a hundred IT leaders of mid-market and small size banks and credit unions to discuss answers to complex questions about the role of IT in their industry: How can IT help reduce development time for new financial products? How can IT help attract new customers and retain existing ones? How can IT help ensure data security and reliability, especially with the consumerization of IT (like bringing your own device to work (BYOD, etc.)? And, most importantly, how can IT help reduce costs as margins continue to shrink and new regulations are cutting into revenue?
The event gave all of us an opportunity to let our guard down and speak candidly about the IT issues mid-market and small business financial institutions are facing, and help attendees go back to the office with some actionable plans.
The Dominant Topic- Virtualization, and Taking It Further
One technology that more and more banking/finance IT leaders are turning to is virtualization, which was very evident at this BIG conference. This allows you to leverage existing hardware, keep IT operations and staffing costs under control, and bring new applications, products and services to customers faster, making your financial institution more competitive. Attendees at BIG had come with the following perspectives: Either “we haven’t virtualized yet,” or “we are on our way to becoming 100% virtualized.” When I polled the audience during our presentation, the people that were VMware users expressed a need to do more with virtualization and VMware offerings. Attendees with the least amount of virtualization in their IT infrastructure was around 30% with a plan to get to 80% by the end of the year. Those that were not virtualized at all frankly used the group interaction and quickly came to realize they needed to get on board. Continue reading →
For VMware’s upcoming Twitter #vSMBChat, we will be exploring best practices in virtual infrastructure management. Topics will range from what are common issues and how can they be avoided to what management tools exist and which are the best to use. Joining us to moderate will be Alan Renouf (@alanrenouf) and special guest, Jonathan Frappier (@jfrappier).
Taking your infrastructure virtual can cut costs as well as address capacity issues your company may be facing, but it can also be daunting. Virtualization is such a profound change to how systems operate that it not only creates new management requirements, but it also breaks many legacy management solutions.
We would like to invite service providers, partners or anyone interested in IT and virtual infrastructure management to join us for our #vSMBchat on Wednesday, March 27th at 10 am PT on Twitter.
More about Alan and Jonathan: Alan is a Senior Technical Marketing Architect at VMware focused on the automation and integration of VMware products. Alan is a frequent blogger at http://blogs.vmware.com/vipowershell and has a personal blog at http://virtu-al.net. Jonathan joins us with 12+ years in various IT roles at small to medium sized companies with up to 250 servers. He is a VCP5-DV and has been working with VMware in production environments since version 3.5. You can read his professional blog by clicking here.
Last Thursday we welcomed the New Year with a very special #vSMBChat on SMB IT Predictions for 2013. Paul Strong, CTO, Global Field, at VMware, and Dana Gardner, President and Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, joined together to provide feedback on Big Data, private, public and hybrid clouds, virtualization, mobility and other SMB IT trends for the upcoming year. Here is a look at the conversation:
1. We’ve all heard of the Big Data trend. Is it only for big companies? How can SMB’s make use of Big Data?
Both Paul and Dana agreed that Big Data is not just for big companies. All companies generate data and can use it to their advantage, as there are many cloud services available for dissecting Big Data at a lower price.
Wen Yu also offered an interesting use case for Big Data—use it for operational management.
2. The debate continues in 2013 public vs. private vs. hybrid clouds. Which direction should SMB’s take? Continue reading →
Happy New Year to the VMware SMB Community! To celebrate, we will be hosting a #vSMBChat on Twitter about SMB IT predictions for 2013. Steve Herrod, VMware’s CTO, shared his 2013 IT predictions on Big Data, the hybrid cloud, the mobile work force and more in his blog. We are interested in looking at these trends from an SMB-perspective, to see how they would apply to companies operating on a smaller scale.
The chat will be moderated by Paul Strong, CTO, Global Field, at VMware. Paul is responsible for connecting VMware R&D with VMware’s field organization, its partners and its customers, helping to Continue reading →
The 5 most-viewed VMware SMB posts published in 2012 cover VMware SMB-specific announcements, tips for IT pros, and SMB trends. Thanks to our SMB Bloggers Bench authors for their expertise and contributions this year. Let us know what topics you would like to see covered on the VMware SMB Blog in 2013.
- Post by Chris Westphal, VMware, SMB Products & Solutions Marketing Manager
So you’ve found the latest [INSERT PRODUCT TYPE] that has the most [INSERT FEATURE] per [INSERT METRIC] and you can’t wait to get your hands all over it. You’ve combed through the specs, read the reviews and have gotten feedback from your fellow Spiceheads. You’ve even priced it out and, if you had the budget, you’d pull the trigger in a second. The only problem is that nobody at your company gets it. Nobody seems to be as jazzed about this new technology as you. Sound familiar?
Why and who?
Sometimes IT pros can get so excited about new technology that they forget to look beyond what it does and consider why their company needs it in the first place. Thinking about “why” is the first step to getting your project funded so you can actually put that cool technology into practice and start reaping the benefits. Continue reading →
Recently, Gartner Inc. published the 2012 Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure, positioning VMware in the Leaders Quadrant.*
Today, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) represent one of the fastest-growing segments of our customer base, with the majority of SMBs worldwide choosing VMware as their virtualization provider. In the last three years, we have dramatically increased the number of customers we serve in the SMB segment by introducing solutions and services aimed specifically at the needs of our SMB customers.
And we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers… Less than a year ago, we announced the general availability of VMware vSphere 5 which delivered more than 200 new features and enhancements that help simplify the lives of our customers while delivering quick and tangible value to their organizations. Server virtualization with VMware vSphere provides real world advantages including, reduced costs, increased operational efficiencies, simplified and automated IT management, and enhanced disaster recovery options. These are all the building blocks that help SMBs transform their IT infrastructure and become ‘Cloud Ready’.
These advancements provide tangible business benefits to firms like Myron F. Steves and Company. A Houston-based insurance wholesaler, the IT team at Myron Steves has deployed virtualization and cloud solutions from VMware to help ensure that the company’s 200 employees can respond to customers should disaster strikes.
VMware has been named a winner in the 2012 ChannelPro-SMB Readers’ Choice Awards in the category of Best Virtualization Vendor, as well as a runner-up in the categories of Vendor Partner Program: Best Sales Support, Vendor Partner Program: Best Technical Support, and Vendor Partner Program: Best Training Programs.
Readers of ChannelPro-SMB were invited to participate in the channel's first SMB-focused Readers' Choice Awards by casting their votes for the most SMB- and partner-friendly products, technologies, services, programs, and professional organizations in the channel today, via the publication's website. For each category, readers were asked to select the option that best satisfies the unique business requirements, work styles, and budgets of their small and midsize business clients, as well asthose that best serve their own partner organizations.
I’m Russ Stockdale – Vice President and General Manager of Small and Midsize Business (SMB) at VMware. In my role I’m responsible for VMware’s SMB solutions, product marketing and go-to-market efforts across the product lines that cater to our SMB customers.
I work with the product teams across VMware to develop product strategy, positioning and the right solutions for SMBs while working closely with our sales and partner teams to make sure that we’re delivering the right product experience and services to our customers.
I came to this role through my position at Mozy where I first joined as chief marketing officer and held the position of VP of Product and Program Management as well as, most recently General Manager of the business, a role I still hold today. Mozy gave me the opportunity not only to work with a number of SMB customers but to run an SMB business and see first hand the challenges that SMBs are faced with on a daily basis. I think this has given me a unique perspective in my current role delivering solutions for SMBs.