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Category Archives: Uncategorized

Use Your Shelf Space for Industry Awards…Not Unused Software

Why the VMware America’s TAM organization is rated higher than the Apple iPhone

By Martha Bellens-Martin

Martha BellensMartinAfter being in this business for more than 25 years, I have worked with hundreds of customers—most of them from a pre-sales perspective. That means I have spent a lot of time working with organizations to help them envision how a proposed solution will lower risk and address their pain points.

But one of my personal pain points was walking away after the sale and watching the software gather dust on a shelf. Sometimes it was because the customer lacked the internal capabilities to successfully implement the solution. Sometimes it was because they were not able to fully leverage all of the features that would allow them to realize the power of the whole solution. And sometimes it was because the goals of the business simply changed direction. Whatever the reason, it still bothered me to see those well-thought-out solutions turning into shelf ware.

Now that I have joined the VMware America’s TAM organization, I have the opportunity to make sure those software boxes never hit the shelves. That’s because the TAM organization is completely focused on making sure you realize all the benefits of the software you have purchased from VMware. If you have never worked with a TAM, it might be difficult to envision what the TAM will do for your organization. Of course everything your TAM does would be hard to capture in a single blog post, but the main objectives of your TAM can be summed up with the following points.

1. Ensure you are getting the most value from your solution

Pre-sales is focused on helping you identify a solution to your problems. After the sale, your TAM continues to work with you to make sure the licenses you purchased are delivering the value you envisioned before the sale. We start the process by helping you plan implementation and training as well as working with you to ensure the project aligns to your original goals. And over the course of our engagement, we help make sure the alignment stays in place.

2. Find new ways that your VMware solution can impact the whole business

While you may have purchased a VMware solution for one reason, your TAM can show you ways that your purchase can help the business in other ways. In fact, one of your TAM’s main objectives is to look at how VMware can benefit your business as a whole. TAMs often have a unique perspective on your business due to the fact that they are approaching it with fresh eyes, from a perspective that sees other businesses and other industries.

3. Turn you into an enthusiastic VMware ambassador

Ensuring you are satisfied and receiving the maximum value for your solution helps you, but it also helps us, too. We work hard to ensure your solution exceeds your expectations so you will be thrilled to recommend VMware and VMware TAMs to your network.

VMware TAMs work hard to accomplish all of this, and it pays off for our customers. The way we know it is working is by looking at our Net Promoter Scores (NPS). If you’re not familiar with the NPS benchmark, it is calculated using the answer to a single question: “How likely is it you would recommend a VMware America TAM to a friend or colleague?” (You can visit www.netpromoter.com/know for more details.)

We are very proud of the fact that our TAMs have received an NPS of 67.5 percent. To put that in perspective, one of the most popular and beloved tech gadgets in recent history—the Apple iPhone—has an NPS of 64 percent.*

Find out for yourself why our customers love us more than the Apple iPhone. Contact VMware to learn about how you can tap the expertise of your own VMware TAM.


Martha manages and leads a team of Technical Account Managers for VMware. Martha believes, “too often we see companies make a significant purchase of a solution yet stumble in the implementation or even the full realization of the power of the whole solution.” Martha Bellens-Martin has worked in the Software Solutions industry since 1990, primarily focused on demonstrating Software Solutions to help businesses run more efficiently, and effectively and to drive value to the bottom line. Her specialties include Effective Technical Presentations and Coaching of Technical Resources. Connect with her on

Adding More Benefits for Our Valued Customers: 2015 TAM Service Enhancements

By Steve Kemp

Our global TAM community works relentlessly to improve TAM Services, and we work relentlessly to improve TAM Service excellence and provide even more value to you, our VMware TAM customers. As 2015 draws to a close, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the value-added services and programs we’ve added this past year. The following is just a sampling of what we’ve put into play in 2015:

Expanded service offerings: Two new TAM services, NSX TAM and vRB TAM, focus on helping you succeed with new and advanced technologies, namely VMware network virtualization (NSX) and business intelligence (VMware vRealize Business Suite) offerings.

Direct access to specialized expertise: We have established a team of TAMs who are VMware product and technology experts in specific areas, and gave all of our TAMs a direct line to them. This structured, instant line of access makes all of our TAMs better at fielding requests and providing advice. Plus, it’s an ideal way for your TAMs to quickly get your feedback and requests to the right VMware product team.

On-demand access to high-value information: Three popular new communication tools give you instant access to high-value information about programs, education, break/fixes, and current alerts:

  • The TAM Source Newsletter is not your average newsletter. For starters, you don’t subscribe to it. Your TAM personally curates a custom newsletter just for you from a long list of articles, product announcements and other items, sending you only the subset that is most relevant to your needs. Be sure to ask your TAM about this cool new twist on the traditional newsletter.
  • The VMware TAM Blog was created in response to customer demand, and provides a steady stream of the latest news and information. You can bookmark it, sign up for the RSS feed, or follow us on Twitter (@vmwaretam).
  • We recently began hosting a series of TAM Customer Webcasts covering a variety of topics. Most of these webcasts are available on-demand after they are presented, so you can access them whenever it is convenient. From that same link, you can also view the upcoming live webinar events.

Expanded TAM offerings at VMworld: In case you missed it, the turnout at this year’s VMworld far exceeded expectations. And as usual, TAM Day was one of the most popular events. This year, in response to attendee feedback, we included an expanded, two-hour version of our Ask the Experts luncheon. TAM customers often tell us that this luncheon is the most impactful session they attend at VMworld because it gives them direct access to multiple experts in various product areas. Here, they can influence our product direction and/or get questions answered directly from the experts who are creating our solutions. We’re looking forward to building on these kinds of events to generate even more informative customer conversations at VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas (August 28 – September 1). We are planning to add more small-group sessions and one-on-one meetings with engineers, where you can hear about NDA programs, product roadmaps, and other insider developments. Hope to see you there!

We’re proud to have been a part of your success this year, and we look forward to creating even more value with new and enhanced programs and services in 2016. If you have suggestions for how we can improve our service offerings, please leave a comment or share them with your TAM.

Steve Kemp joined VMware in April 2006 and helped grow the TAM Program from 12 to over 300 TAMs globally.  As Director of the US West TAM Program, he leads VMware’s leading customer success program for most of private sector, leveraging 20 years of high-tech industry experience including software and hardware infrastructure, networking and storage.

Organizational Change OPT-4743-GD

Craig StanleyBy Craig Stanley

This group discussion session was hosted by Kevin Lees, Principal Architect, VMware, and Alberto Martinez, Consulting Architect, VMware to a full audience. The topic for this session was organizational change and generated some great audience questions that Kevin and Alberto were able to address.

Kevin started out with a framework for organizational change that encompassed three basic areas: people, process and technology application. The first question from the audience was perhaps the issue most central to IT when trying to deliver software-defined data center (SDDC) services: silos of people.

A reality of current software-defined IT is that with today’s advances, technology deployment and management is becoming increasingly easier. But while technology has successfully advanced to bridge its traditional silos (hardware, software and cables), organizational infrastructure and people have not. That was the first challenge posed by the audience; how do we break down the barriers and people silos in IT that severely limit the potential value of SDDC?

Another participant suggested that in their organization, they worked to weaken the barriers and make them more “porous,” rather than try to tear them down. Kevin added that silos are an unfortunate side-effect to the consulting concept of “plan, build, run,” which delivers results, but compartmentalizes staffing, skills and process.

Some of Kevin’s solution suggestions were to:

  1. Start with a greenfield SDDC implementation to avoid legacy organizational impact
  2. Build a cross-functional team consisting of an SDDC architect, engineer, analyst, developer, and administrator
  3. Identify SDDC “champions” from the other core services (like security, storage and networking) and make them part of the SDDC implementation and operations team

He noted that these last three roles are not usually dedicated SDDC resources as there is rarely additional budget available for this specialization. Instead, he recommends these champions not only be fully involved in the project, but have two changes made to their performance objectives:

Have their performance based in part on:

  1. The success of the SDDC infrastructure architecture team
  2. Becoming an evangelist for the SDDC infrastructure operations team within their “silos”

By tying performance and economic benefit to the SDDC project, a powerful incentive is created for participation outside the silo. It also enables the SDDC infrastructure to scale in the future.

A second challenge was offered to the presenters around how to handle the politics of organizational change. Alberto responded that the key is to get executive buy-in and sponsorship and keep them engaged in the process. Kevin added that internal marketing, education and awareness are needed to “sell” the solution and benefits to some parts of the organization.

A follow-on question was asked about middle-management “fiefdoms” that can block silo removal. Again, the general answer is executive sponsorship through convincing or coercion, although the latter is least desirable. In situations where the sponsor is unwilling, unable or constrained by cultural norms to address the fiefdom barriers, the team suggested failure is a likely unavoidable outcome with the best case being a less-than-optimal solution.

The final audience question was about how to handle SDDC initiatives in an outsourced environment. Kevin responded that it usually doesn’t work out. In most outsourcing arrangements, the outsourcer is compensated by the number of heads or activities performed, and are not incented to improve effectiveness. One might argue that the outsourced customer should not care but inefficient services impact the outsourcer’s margin, and that cost is passed along to the customer; furthermore, opportunities for customer agility are lost. A solution would be to ensure the customer’s contracts allow for benchmarking the outsourcer’s processes against industry-standard delivery. Negotiating more rigid service-level agreements would also help, but may trigger higher outsourcer fees. The customer would need to balance efficiencies against the cost of service.

Kevin and Alberto wrapped up with a comment that the greatest benefits of the SDDC-led organizational changes are to reduce Keeping The Lights On (KTLO) and wait-time activities, therefore, freeing up time and resources for more productive activities.

Craig is on the Global Technology & Professional Services team and supports TAM service development. Craig developed the Customer Maturity Assessment, the NSX Readiness Assessment and several other methodologies used by TAMs. Craig has over 30 years of experience in IT, covering Development, Systems Support, Data Center Management, Strategic IT Planning, and Benchmarking. Prior to VMware, Craig was a Research Director and VP with Gartner, Inc. Craig managed and led the evolution of the server models and architected the storage management TCO and ROI models. Craig also authored several research notes on TCO, ROI and Best Practices. Craig holds a bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of South Alabama and an MBA in Management from The Citadel in Charleston, SC.

VMworld Barcelona: Streamlining Data Center Operations (Real World Experiences)

With Colin Fernandes, Cloud Management Solution Evangelist

ae_avatarBy Adam Eckerle

TAM Day was full of great sessions and I was able to attend the second Business Track session presented by Colin Fernandes, Cloud Management Solution Evangelist on Monday afternoon. Colin’s session, “Streamlining Data Center Operations – Real World Experiences,” gave TAM Day attendees an overview of the business challenges for IT operations and showed how several customers overcame those challenges with the VMware family of products.

I really enjoyed the way Colin engaged with the audience straight away by walking amongst us instead of sticking to the stage. His thoughts were insightful and his use of real customer use cases did a wonderful job illustrating the messages he set out to deliver. The session was business-focused but Colin was able to weave in some technical bits that I believe catered to some of the architects in the room. But, more to the point, we not only heard Colin speak of today’s operational challenges, but also why those challenges exist in the first place.

Colin sprinkled in some great terms such as “Digital Darwinism” and “Technical Debt” that he used to describe some of his four key points:

  • Digital transformation
  • Operational challenges
  • Here & now – customer use cases
  • Roadmap

With each point came more context of the challenges our customers face along with the value of our solutions in real world settings. Colin spoke about Cost and Agility where he made a great point that Cost is much more complex than just the price tag. And in an unexpected turn, we were even discussing Big Data and how the amount of data that exists is overwhelming – yet our understanding of data can cause false assumptions and conclusions which can negatively impact our customers and their businesses.

The customer use cases and stories were definitely the highlight of the session for me, and I think most of our TAM customers would agree! The customers varied in size and stature from a medium-sized Hospital to a large Global Enterprise. While the challenges of these disparate customers had quite a few common threads, the ways in which each of them attacked and ultimately overcame them were quite different. We heard how Log Insight and vRealize Operations really worked to enable correlation and context for the enormous amount of data being collected from our customers’ infrastructures. This, in turn, enabled infrastructure decisions to be made quicker and with less risk while leading to more efficient operations.

Colin was also able to succinctly provide guidance on when it makes sense to go all-in with orchestration using tools such as vRealize Orchestrator and vRealize Automation – which I feel was spot on.

After reflecting on the session and my notes, one of the big takeaways from Colin is that there are many common infrastructure challenges, and just having the monitoring data alone doesn’t enable our customers to properly act on that data. Customers need context, or said in another way, they need intelligence to go along with that data. And finally, the parameters of our customers’ businesses – such as size, industry, and priorities – will dictate how to best act on that intelligence. This was definitely a great session and Colin did an amazing job keeping the audience engaged and making the session extremely informative.


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 Barcelona: TAM Day Welcome and Executive Keynote

Craig StanleyBy Craig Stanley

The 10th annual EMEA TAM Day kicked off to a large and engaged audience of over 400 TAM customers. Toby Luscher, TAM Practice Manager, got the day started with an interesting analogy about how Generation Z views technology differently from the older generations. He commented on how the younger generations have an expectation, not of technology, but of apps. He gave an example of how his daughter changed banks three times – not because of service issues or incentives, as would have previous generations, but rather because of the bank’s apps. The world is increasingly moving toward a commoditized environment where true innovation is rooted in the customer or user experience.


Joe Baguley, Vice President & CTO EMEA, then took the stage with a topic called “A Cloud For All Seasons.” His presentation highlighted the current IT challenges of bridging between our rigid infrastructure and a more dynamic, digital one. He reiterated the increasing reality of “app-consumerism” and described the obstacles that hinder IT from being application-agile. Every IT project follows a cycle of implementing an application, collecting data from it, analyzing it, then evolving into the next generation of the application. He stated this cycle typically takes about 18 months – far too slow for app-hungry consumers. Where technology innovation of the 1970’s through the 2000’s was focused on building better infrastructure, today’s leading innovators focus on building better and faster processes.


The message for today’s IT leaders is to figure out how to move through the application development cycle faster and getting infrastructure out of the way. VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center leadership provides the foundation for any application to be delivered on any server, on any storage and on any network, thus helping IT respond to customer application demand.


Evolve Your Cloud With IT Business Management

Sajai Krishnan, VP, Product Marketing, presented an overview of IT Business Management (ITBM) highlighting the solutions of vRealize Business to a group of about 100 TAM customers. Sajai described the problems facing many IT organization in having the right information at the right time to be able to make the most effective decisions in IT business management.

He identified three common problems ITBM helps with:

  1. Decisions are made by “gut feel” – Without internal information systems and data, infrastructure and architecture decisions are made without any metrics or data.
  2. Problems with cost allocation models – Cost-only allocation methods create conflict since all systems consume varying levels of resources. By forcing lower-cost applications to subsidize more expensive environments, opportunities are created for disgruntled LOBs to seek a more equitable solution outside IT.
  3. Difficulty in explaining IT costs – Without metrics and data, the cost to support an application cannot be made transparent or clear enough to communicate the value being delivered.

Sajai illustrated how the ITBM processes can help customers who may be at a:

  1. Crawl stage – Just getting started with costs and metrics around vSphere
  2. Walk stage – Implementing cloud business management around hybrid clouds
  3. Run stage – Implementing IT Business Management, providing full financial management for the entire IT services stack (one cloud, any app, anywhere)

Private Cloud Costing is the ITBM solution that helps the customer at the “walk stage” by automating vSphere costs and utilization. The Cloud Business Management solution targets the “walk stage” by giving customers the ability to compare and contrast the operational costs of servers and application groups across private and common public cloud providers. It provides the customer with a dashboard illustrating where the greatest cost efficiencies may be located. Lastly, Enterprise IT Business Management closes the loop on the “run stage” by supporting data integration with corporate information systems (HR, payroll, GL, etc.) to better illustrate the value IT brings to the entire business.

The session closed with a couple of questions regarding scale, such as the ability to handle as many as 20 vCenters. Sajai commented that ITBM solutions could fully scale to larger environments such as these.

Empower the Mobile Ecosystem Through Strategy and Secure Enterprise Integration

This session was presented by Dor Zakai, EMEA Sales Engineering Manager to an audience of 60. The main focus of the session was around Air Watch, and this solution enhanced the mobility demands of customers, while maintaining the prime directives of IT are around security, management and enablement. Dor noted that the current mobile environment is complex and becoming more complex rapidly. To make matters worse, oftentimes multiple mobile initiatives are going on at the same time, many of which may not be heading toward the same outcomes.

Dor illustrated the new integration developments in iOS, Windows 10 and Android that allow Air Watch to effectively enable user device sourcing while maintaining security, control and governance. Some of the key services Air Watch delivers are:

  1. Mobile Device Management – The ability to support multiple devices, OS’s, etc.
  2. Mobile Applications Management – Providing one catalog for corporate apps and providing adaptive access with SSO (Single Sign On)
  3. Mobile Content Management – Provides enterprise-grade security, forces content expiration and controls downloads, sharing, etc.
  4. Mobile Email Management – Provides email integration with most existing mail systems or via an Air Watch inbox
  5. Mobile Browsing Management – Provides a secure browsing environment with or without VPN
  6. Unified Laptop Management – Air Watch handles more than just mobile devices

In closing, Dor explained how Air Watch can empower IT to respond to and deliver information ubiquity without sacrificing a secure environment, control over data leaving the firewall, and enabling users to be more productive.


Craig is on the Global Technology & Professional Services team and supports TAM service development. Craig developed the Customer Maturity Assessment, the NSX Readiness Assessment and several other methodologies used by TAMs. Craig has over 30 years of experience in IT, covering Development, Systems Support, Data Center Management, Strategic IT Planning, and Benchmarking. Prior to VMware, Craig was a Research Director and VP with Gartner, Inc. Craig managed and led the evolution of the server models and architected the storage management TCO and ROI models. Craig also authored several research notes on TCO, ROI and Best Practices. Craig holds a bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of South Alabama and an MBA in Management from The Citadel in Charleston, SC.