Home > Blogs > VMware TAM Blog > Category Archives: Events

Category Archives: Events

VMworld 2016 for TAMs: What to Know Before You Go

Joining us at VMworld this week in Las Vegas? We’re excited to see you! Here on the ground as we set up, time seems to be moving extra slowly. The party’s about to start and the guests are on their way—but for now, we have to wait. (Talk to us Thursday as we wonder where all the time went!)

For our TAM customers, we’ve made sure there’s no limit to the opportunities to learn more about the latest in IT. Whether it’s your first, second, or tenth VMworld, you’re in for a whirlwind week. There’s a lot going on the next few days—plan wisely.

A TAM Customer with a Plan

Here’s a rundown of key VMworld moments:

  • VMworld: Sunday, August 28–Thursday, September 1 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center, Las Vegas
  • TAM Customer Day: Sunday, August 28
  • TAM Lounge: Monday, August 29–Thursday, September 1
  • TAM Customer Central: Monday, August 29–Thursday, September 1

Now, you may have already registered for VMworld. But have you checked in with your TAM? We’ve got countless breakout sessions, deep dives, and panels planned, and your TAM can help orient you toward those events most relevant to your business.

This year, we’re continuing the VMworld tradition of TAM Customer Day. We’ll talk through your issues, work collaboratively to find resolutions, and introduce you to experts on VMware best practices. This year’s TAM Customer Day falls on Sunday, August 28, the day before VMworld starts.

Something for Everyone

This year, we’re bringing in VMware thought leaders for Office Hours at TAM Customer Central (TCC) Headquarters. Stop by, chat, and ask questions—we’re all ears. There really is something for everyone:

In the TAM Lounge and TCC:

  • Monday
    • Troubleshooting Storage Performance in vSphere: Walk through the vSphere storage stack, configuration suggestions, and diagnostic advice.
    • CLEAR Insights: Get a sneak preview of the CLEAR report, detailing the progress and challenges of mature TAM customers.
    • Overview of Virtual Technical Advisor Service: Join us for a journey through the VTA Service with real-world examples.
    • TCC Office Hours: Chat with Nisha Rai, VMware Tools Product Manager.
  • Tuesday
    • Real-World Maturity Analytics Trends and Discussion: This session highlights key findings and broad analyses from the TAM CLEAR report.
    • Premier Support Services: Learn the differences between Mission Critical and Business Critical offerings in Premier Support, VMware’s top technical assistance solution.
    • Introduction to TAM Services: New to the VMware TAM ecosystem? Drop in for the low-down on all things technical.
    • TCC Office Hours: Chat with Yiting Jin, vSphere Senior Product Manager.
  • Wednesday
    • A Customer’s Perspective on Driving IT Transformation: Take a look at real-world IT transformation challenges—from the customer perspective.
    • TAM Family Program Analytics: Want to learn how TAM Family customers use our team’s analytics? See how TAMs help set up their customers for success.
    • Production is Down—So Are My Tools: Explore a production outage use-case to see VMware solutions in action.
    • TCC Office Hours: Chat with Amanda Blevins, Director of Technology, Office of the CTO.
  • Thursday
    • Overview of Virtual Technical Advisor Service: See Monday’s description.

… That’s Not All, Folks

Get social! Throughout the event you can find us on Twitter and Facebook. Follow along for updates from the TAM Lounge, or join the conversation with #VMwareTAM.

And of course, remember to keep some extra space open in your luggage. How else will you cart home all your fantastic VMware swag? We’ve got two daily prizes up for grabs—one slick VMworld aviator jacket and a voucher good for any VCP exam. You could be one of our lucky, random winners.

That’s all for now. We look forward to seeing faces both familiar and new at VMworld. Until Sunday!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Cheryl_EaganBy Cheryl Eagan

Late August into early September—my favorite time of the year. Why? Because it’s time for VMworld, which means it’s also time for TAM Customer Day and TAM Customer Central.

I know people laugh when I call this my favorite time of year, but it’s true. TAM events at VMworld are some of the most rewarding things I work on, and have been ever since I joined VMware over nine years ago.

The reason I find it so rewarding is that it’s a great opportunity our TAM customers cannot get anywhere else. They gain so much value in such a short time. They get to have in-depth conversations with VMware business leaders, interact with their peers, and network with people within their industry or who have similar challenges and use cases in their business. It’s a time when our customers feel like they are really being heard.

The other reason why I love this time of year so much is that I get to see the value and the joy that it provides my fellow TAMs. They work so hard all year to advocate for our TAM customers, this is the time it all comes together.  VMworld is our most important annual event and it gives us the chance to meet face to face with our customers. We get to talk about issues, and line up meetings and discussions for our customers with the people who can listen and help. This one week drives much of what we do all year long.

What’s planned for this year?

VMworld begins Sunday, August 28 and runs through Thursday, September 1. The event is at vmworld-2016the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Conference Center in Las Vegas. If you haven’t already planned to attend VMworld, you should register now. TAM Customer Day will be held August 28. The day starts with an invitation-only VIP breakfast for our full-time TAM customers.  Every year we feature industry expert speakers on a variety of topics addressing our customers’ top priorities.

The General Session will start in the main conference hall and will include a welcome by VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell. Next, there will be five breakout sessions centered on discussing key customer challenges. There is a lunch and award session, during which we award customers who have done creative, unique things with our solutions and provided incredible value to their companies.

We then have “Ask the Experts” breakout sessions. In these sessions, over 100 VMware subject matter experts make themselves available to answer the specific concerns of our customers.

The final session of the day is a CTO panel, during which customers can participate in Q&A. After this, there will be a session close and reception.

What has changed since last year?

After last year’s event, we received feedback that our customers wanted more technical-level sessions, as well as smaller groups for more focused attention. In response to that, we’ve focused breakout sessions around some of our key customer challenges such as management automation, the vSphere platform, and mobility. These sessions are hosted by product teams, business unit leaders, and technical marketers. We’ve increased the time set aside for these sessions so our customers can make the most of them.

We’ve also expanded our “Ask the Experts” sessions because these sessions have been the most popular amongst our customers. There will be over 100 tables at this event and more time set aside for participation in these sessions, as well. During “Ask the Experts”, customers can focus on very specific technical aspects of VMware products and tools.

The CTO panel is a new addition to TAM Customer Day and is also in response to our customers’ desire to include more technical content in the event. At the end of the panel, customers will be able to ask questions of our CTOs and thought leaders. They’ll get a peek into what they can look forward to from VMware, and provide input to the people who actually drive VMware’s vision and strategy.

Beyond TAM Customer Day, what other TAM activities are happening at VMworld?

TAM Customer Day became so large that we decided to extend this exclusive experience throughout the entire week of VMworld. Five years ago, we started TAM Customer Central, which quickly became popular. In our first year, we had a couple hundred attendees. Last year, there were 1,700 customer visits.

TAM Customer Central runs Monday through Thursday, and provides a great experience to TAM customers. During these sessions, you participate in intimate, highly interactive discussions that pertain specifically to your business. If you are unable to attend TAM Customer Day, work with your TAM to make use of Customer Central. Your TAM can help you plan the week to be sure you engage in activities that are the most critical and most important to you and your business.

What should I do now to get ready for VMworld and TAM Customer Central?

First, if you haven’t already, you should register. Next, work with your TAM to plan your time at VMworld. This is your chance to discuss your challenges, ask questions, and gain insight into VMware strategy and future solutions. These opportunities are simply not available anywhere else but VMworld. During our exclusive TAM events, you get to provide input, discuss your specific needs, and speak in person with people who can take your input and influence future VMware products.

The VMworld Schedule Builder opens July 19, and only TAM customers will be able to register for the deep dive sessions available through TAM Customer Central. If you need more information or want to confirm your registration, talk to your TAM Keep in mind these sessions fill quickly.

I hope to see you at VMworld, and I especially hope to see you at our various TAM events during the week. Like me, maybe you, too, will come to think of this as the most wonderful time of year.

Cheryl Eagan is a Principal Technical Account Manager for VMware based in Georgia.

Early Bird Registration closes June 6th – Register Now!




By Victoria Phillips

Please join us for TAM Customer Day 2016 on Sunday, August 28th, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in Las Vegas!  Early Bird Registration closes on June 6th so register now!

TAM Customer Day will give you the opportunity to interact with VMware professionals regarding your highest business and technical priorities. During these focused and informative sessions, you will:

  • Interact with presenters and technical expertsvmworld-2016
  • Learn about VMware best practices, future plans, and evolving strategies
  • Connect and network with peers

Register today for this great opportunity! You must be registered for VMworld in order to register for TAM Customer Day.  Please verify your TAM’s email address during your VMworld registration; this will identify you as a TAM customer for future information.  Additionally, select the TAM Customer Day Pass” option in order to attend TAM Customer Day.  If you have any questions, please be sure to ask your TAM.

Victoria Phillips is a Senior Marketing Manager for the VMware Professional Services team. 

TAM Customer Day US Registration is Now Open




By Victoria Phillips

Last year’s TAM Customer Day event was an enormous success with an amazing turnout. We have some exciting changes for 2016 and hope you can join us! TAM Customer Day will be held on Sunday, August 28, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Las Vegas.

These invitation-only, customer-only sessions will focus on current customer challenges and business issues. TAM Customer Day is a great opportunity to:

  • Interact with VMware experts and leaders.
  • Network with peers and industry professionals.
  • Learn about VMware best practices, future planning, and strategies.

Register Today!

You must be registered for VMworld in order to register for TAM Customer Day. Please verify
your TAM’s customer email address
after your VMworld registration; this will identify you as a TAM customer for future information. Select the TAM Customer Day Pass in order to attend TAM Customer Day. If you have any questions, please ask your TAM.

Victoria Phillips is a Senior Marketing Manager for the VMware Professional Services team. 

VMworld Barcelona Session TAM1657 – What’s Next for vRealize Automation



By Adam Eckerle

This morning we were able to announce vRealize Automation 7.0 during the opening keynote of VMworld Europe. It is an exciting release and is packed full of new features. TAM customers received an exclusive deep dive into this new release from Naomi Sullivan, Group Product Line Manager, and Becky Smith, Senior Product Line Manager.

You can find more information about these new features and functionality on the official vRealize Automation blog. The highlights include:

  • Simplified configuration process
  • Unified service blueprint and design canvas
  • NSX integration
  • Blueprints as code
  • Improved extensibility

Becky and Naomi started out the session by taking customers through the upgrade paths while being open and transparent about when to upgrade vs. re-deploy and migrate. There were quite a few questions from customers regarding the upgrade process which led to a fruitful discussion for both attendees and the VMware product team. Becky and Naomi also showed a demo of the simplified deployment which really shows how quickly customers can deploy vRealize Automation (vRA). It really is simple!

We also saw demonstrations of the new unified blueprint canvas and deployed a multi-tier app complete with NSX micro-segmentation to show off the new capabilities. Next we took a look at the new VMware Identity Manager (vIDM) integration and customers really responded well to the capabilities shown. Becky and Naomi polled the audience several times to get a feel for how customers were deploying our products and many of the attendees indicated that they had both vRA and NSX in production which led to really great questions from the customers.

The session wrapped up by spending some time discussing and demonstrating what is possible with the improved extensibility features. If it wasn’t already clear by now, it absolutely showed the focus of improving usability in this 7.0 release. The customers shared some really great use cases after the demonstrations.

This was a really great session which was completely full with about a dozen more standing in the back. As is typically with TAM Customer Central breakout sessions, it was more of a discussion with customers and PMs than it was a presentation. The excitement around vRealize Automation was very clear and customers can’t wait to start planning their upgrades!


Adam is currently a TAM for VMware who works with a small number of large Enterprise & Government customers as a consultant within the VMware Professional Services Organization (PSO). Adam provides technical guidance and advocacy to his customers and provides customers access to exclusive content, access to road maps & product managers, as well as being the single point of contact for everything VMware-related. He currently holds VCAP-DCA, VCAP-DCD, VCAP-DTD, EMCISA, and several Cisco Data Center Specialist certifications. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn.

VMworld US 2015 Wrap-Up


By Adam Eckerle

What an amazing week! VMworld is now officially behind us, and we wish everyone safe travels back to wherever you call home. As the dust is settling, let’s reflect on some of the key takeaways from this year’s event.

First, we should all have a clear understanding of the VMware vision – One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device. With VMware’s Unified Hybrid Cloud strategy the focus is clearly on bringing private and public clouds together in a single, seamless entity that is the future of how applications are delivered. This vision is extended by the Cloud-Native Apps toolset including VMware vSphere Integrated Containers and VMware Photon Platform. We also saw the official release of EVO SDDC (formerly EVO:RACK), which will accelerate our customers’ ability to deliver a true hybrid cloud based on the VMware Software Defined Data Center model.

The other narrative being established is that VMware is not just about virtual machines. VMware is providing thought leadership and innovation to the industry as these next-generation technologies mature and go to market. Customers want options and VMware is keen to provide those options while also using its lineage and support to create palatable products for enterprise-class customers. But VMware has not forgotten about the other end of the spectrum as it introduced the Virtual SAN (VSAN) 6.1 release. Among the many new features comes support for two-node clusters for SMB and ROBO applications.

As VMworld has entered into its 12th year, one might say that some of its luster is gone. But if you look at the anticipation, attendance and continually vibrant ecosystem of partners, competitors and customers, it is clear that VMworld remains one of the marquee events in our industry. Next year the event will be held in Las Vegas to the delight of many attendees who have enjoyed San Francisco the past few years but are looking for a change of scenery for 2016.

Also, we can take a look at TAM-specific events that took place throughout the week to see excitement levels and engagements were at an all-time high. TAM Day was the largest yet, and customers continually tell us that TAM Day is the single most valuable day of the VMworld event. But TAM Customer Central was not to be dismissed; product managers and engineers were trying to get added to the agenda even after the event had started. This illustrates the incredible importance of TAM customer interactions, not only to customers, but also to VMware. Customer feedback is invaluable and TAM customers really are partners who shape the products!

Our first NSX TAM booth at TAM Customer Central was well received despite the fact that it was not directly or heavily promoted. Nevertheless, we did conduct in-depth NSX discussions with six customers who were quite valuable. We had planned for 30-minute discussions; however, most went on for at least an hour due to customer interest and engagement. The process enabled us to collect NSX Readiness Assessment input and then have an immediate discussion with the customer about the findings. The team was able to have very focused conversations around NSX and network virtualization challenges, and highlight the expertise the NSX TAM service can deliver. The customer was also provided a copy of the analysis delivered to their email while the analysis was underway.

Finally, there were quite a few TAMs who presented sessions and also provided blogs, analysis, and plain old great customer service during the event. Many TAMs stayed right with their customers – abusing their pedometers while still maintaining a high level of energy! It’s easy to see that TAMs love their job and customers, and are outstanding thought leaders and strategic resources.

In summary, VMworld was a stage where the traditional vSphere announcements were overshadowed by Cloud-Native Apps and the One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device mantra. The market has been changing, and VMware is showing that it is working hard to adapt itself while staying true to its core and customers. We’ll see some additional announcements in about a month’s time as VMworld heads to Barcelona in October. But for now we all get to take a breath and reflect on the value that these recent announcements can add to our own organization.


Adam is currently a TAM for VMware who works with a small number of large Enterprise & Government customers as a consultant within the VMware Professional Services Organization (PSO). Adam provides technical guidance and advocacy to his customers and provides customers access to exclusive content, access to road maps & product managers, as well as being the single point of contact for everything VMware-related. He currently holds VCAP-DCA, VCAP-DCD, VCAP-DTD, EMCISA, and several Cisco Data Center Specialist certifications. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn.

VMworld 2015: Day 3 –TAM Customer Central Sessions

It’s tough to believe that VMworld US 2015 has nearly come to a close. Tonight, we’ll celebrate our experience with our customers at AT&T Park during the Customer Appreciation Event. Throughout the conference, we’ve had some great sessions and Wednesday was no exception. Today we heard from experts regarding the newly announced EVO SDDC solution, as well as discussed current and future options for vCenter High Availability.

EVO SDDC Best Practices

Presented by Anil Kapur, EVO SDDC Product Management and Jason Lochhead, EVO SDDC CTO, this session focused on the processes and automated best practice configurations that are built into EVO SDDC. Anil presented to a small, but very engaged group, and collected feedback from the audience throughout the presentation that will be used to prioritize the next round of automated services.

Anil highlighted the major challenges for customers implementing SDDC as the up-front setup, the bring-up and lifecycle management. The problem is that configuring a workload domain is non-trivial and complex, and that’s where EVO automation comes in. EVO SDDC is designed to work with EVO Racks, and automates the more common and time-consuming configuration activities. During the session, he showed a demo illustrating the process for creating an IaaS workload domain. The current built-in best practices handles IaaS, Big Data and VDI workload domain configurations.

Utilizing the EVO SDDC Manager UI, Anil was able to quickly define the availability, performance and security requirements from a list of dropdown parameters. These parameters, in turn, select, acquire and deploy the correct resources to meet the defined requirements automatically. Policies are then set automatically from the standard choices. For example, availability can be configured from simple requirements like Low redundancy, Normal redundancy and two levels of High redundancy. Behind the scenes, the automation allocates, configures and enables the appropriate resources to meet these availability requirements.

Anil also went through scenarios showing examples for a typical EVO Rack configuration and how to scale out the workload domains.

It appears the first workload domain automated best practices were right on the mark, as a poll of the attendees revealed that IaaS and SQL configurations were identified as the first and second most time intensive tasks, respectively.

Anil asked for suggestions from the audience about what other tasks they would consider their next challenges on SDDC. The number one response was Internet App Logic workloads, and overwhelmingly, the audience agreed that the ability to standardize and maintain consistent workload builds was the most important to them.

Keep EVO SDDC on your radar! More best practices for automation to standardize and save time are on the way!

vCenter High Availability

Madhup Gulati, VMware Product Manager for vCenter, discussed the current toolset and options for providing High Availability to vCenter in vSphere 6. There were quite a few interesting exchanges between Madhup and the audience regarding who was comfortable with the current options and who wanted better tools and capabilities. This initial discussion also showed that very few customers are using Oracle as the external database for vCenter, and also that quite a few customers are at least testing the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). In general, however, customers agreed that they wanted more capabilities to protect their vCenters.

Throughout the session we also discussed High Availability, specifically for the Platform Services Controller (PSC). The PSC is a critical component because it contains the Single Sign On (SSO) feature. Therefore, if there is a PSC failure, user and solution authentication will not be possible creating substantial usability issues within vSphere. Madhup reviewed PSC replication capabilities and the high availability topologies included supported load balancers. Finally, he provided a roadmap of what will be coming in future releases, which were very well received.

This session was very interactive and provided many insights into customers’ requirements and challenges as the criticality of vCenter and the Platform Services Controller has steadily increased. The audience learned how to better protect these components in vSphere 6 as well as the exciting new features coming in future releases.

Be sure to follow @VMwareTAM for all of the latest news, tips, and event information!