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Day 1 – VMworld : TAM Day

Customers and Senior VMware Leaders Set the Stage for TAM DAY 2015

TAM Day is an invitation-only event held on the Sunday prior to the VMworld conference. This year Andy Nederveld, Director, Americas TAM Services and Bret Connor, Americas Vice President of Professional Services took the stage to welcome TAM customers, as well as kick off the 11th annual event, the largest to date with over 1,200 registrations. Below are some highlights from the day:

Dedicated TAM Customer Breakfast

The 3rd annual TAM Day VIP breakfast kicked off this year’s VMworld with an enthusiastic audience of 55 from 17 Dedicated TAM customer companies. Although we made an early start to what will be a fast-paced TAM Day, there were several lively discussions around TAM services and ongoing TAM activities.

The breakfast was hosted by Paul Strong, VMware’s CTO, Global Field Services. Paul’s emphasis was on the work his team is doing to connect VMware R&D with our customers, and more specifically, our TAM customers. The mission of his initiative is to drive better customer intimacy through building relationships between engineers and customers who use our products and services.

The keynote speaker, Suzan Pickett, Director Platform Engineering and Operations from Nike, Inc. covered her experiences with technology and organizational transformation at both her former company, Columbia Sportswear, Inc., and her current company, Nike. Her stories highlighted a technology philosophical dichotomy between Columbia which was 100% virtualized and strongly supportive of a virtualization first policy encompassing Windows, SQL and SAP with her new organization whose largest project was to move from a 15 year old outsourced environment to an insourced one.

She extolled the value of Columbia Sportswear’s SRM deployment in facilitating systems movement, high availability and disaster recovery and driving better overall reliability. They were also early adopters of vBlocks, VCE and hybrid clouds.

At Nike, her challenges are centered on supporting the transition from outsourced to insourced. These activities have helped Nike realize faster service delivery, reduced costs, improved agility and flexibility, improved availability and security, predictable purchasing and budgets, financial transparency and improved operational efficiency.

TAM Day Opening Executive Keynote

Ray O’Farrell, VMware CTO and Chief Development Officer

The TAM Day opening keynote was delivered by Ray O’Farrell, VMware’s Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer. Ray’s presentation highlighted a couple of important industry trends. The first trend, “Creating an Amazing Customer Experience” encompassed Big Data, Systems of Engagement and Mobile Applications. The second trend, “Delivering and Updating Product Continuously”, comprised of Everything As A Service, Agile Development and Open Systems. The challenge for IT organizations is how to deliver to these trends effectively, reliably, consistently and securely.

Through VMware’s philosophy of “One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device”, customers are able to realize an integrated process to deliver on these trends. According to O’Farrell, the current cloud has largely been driven by Lines of Business, which have ultimately resulted in “Silos of IT”. Private clouds have the advantages of providing a secure and compliant environment, but at the expense of applications agility. Public clouds drive faster application development, but can be lacking in security and compliance. The VMware Unified Cloud supported by vCloud Air and SDDC, can span the gap between Private and Public clouds, maximizing the benefits of each while mitigating the weaknesses.

Security is a common challenge across all IT organizations. O’Farrell described the security event lifecycle:

  1. Intrusion – unauthorized accesses and break-ins
  2. Propagation – the spread of the contagion throughout the infrastructure and storage
  3. Extraction – the process of sending purloined information to collectors on the outside
  4. Exfiltration – the process of covering up the intrusion and tracks

O’Farrell noted that 80% of security investment is spent to prevent and detect intrusion, while only 20% is invested in the other security stages, which he asserts may not be the correct mix. The damage caused by the few intrusions that are missed still cause extensive damage and loss. In many cases, new attacks are placing even more priority on exfiltration, as the stolen information retains a higher value the longer its loss is undetected.

He noted that older security models founded on a monolithic security stack needs to evolve into a zero trust model as technology moves from multi-tiered distributed architecture to converged services and converged infrastructure and NSX is a solution that provided the required security granularity while enabling application agility.

Cloud-Native Apps @ VMware

Kit Colbert, VP & CTO Cloud Native Apps

Kit Colbert, VP & CTO Cloud Native Apps, opened the session welcoming the group of customers, stating that the DevOps community was so strategically important to his role at VMware that he was happy to see the volume of people in attendance and the excitement around the cloud native application space.

Kit discussed “the why” of the products. What is driving Cloud Native Apps and DevOps within businesses across the globe? Kit highlighted a business case – where a company is driving brand value by using cloud native apps. A large manufacture of farm equipment has a long history of quality products. Today, the value of those products are changing. No longer is it “just a tractor”, but the value of the product is the data that the tractor can collect: farm yields, soil nutrient levels, environmental variables … all of that data is sent up to the cloud where it is tracked and analyzed. In addition to the hardware that produced, their use of big data, advanced analytics systems and cloud native apps – to help customer drive optimization is the software transformation that is driving product development.

Finally, Kit discussed in detail the VMware Cloud-Native Apps Stack, including some really exciting NDA product announcements that will be detailed tomorrow as VMworld 2015 opens to the general public. It was great sitting in Kit’s session, watching as customers excitedly scribbled down notes about the new product announcements. I am looking forward to seeing these product announcements as the week unfolds.

Carl Eschenbach’s TAM Day Closing Remarks

It’s been a long, but exciting, day and TAM customers have enjoyed some great events. As we wrap up an amazing TAM Day, our President and COO, Carl Eschenbach, took to the stage bringing the energy level back up. Carl focused his message on thanking our great TAM customers and describing the value of the TAM program from his perspective. He also spoke about several key ideas that he predicted TAM Customers would walk away with from TAM Day and VMworld 2015.

First, Carl highlighted the high satisfaction rates and increased successes our TAM Customers have had. He then talked about some of the improvements and ideas that VMware is working on in response to the feedback customers have provided through TAMs. Next, Carl gave a great explanation of the “Ready for Any” VMworld credo and shared his vision with our TAM Customers. Finally, he closed with the message of the vastness and openness of the VMware ecosystem that provides our customers with freedom and choice.

TAM Day has been another great success. If you are interested in hearing more stop by TAM Customer Central this week!