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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Culture in Action and What’s Next for VMware Palo Alto Headquarters

With over 100 offices located throughout the world, VMware is truly a global community made of passionate employees who thrive on collaborating together to bring industry-changing IT innovations to life. Get a flavor for how our employees work together to bring VMware Palo Alto’s culture to life. And learn about where our Palo Alto site stands today as it drives what’s next. This is part two of a two part series highlighting our Palo Alto, California headquarters.

 

Areas of Opportunity

As VMware’s world headquarters, the Palo Alto site houses over 3,700 employees in teams across Engineering, Finance, IT, Legal, Channel, Marketing, Sales, Tech Pubs, Professional Services, Human Resources, Global Support Services (GSS) and Product Management/Marketing. This allows for an abundance of meaningful work involving both in-person and virtual teams of global contributors. On a product side, continued work on Software-defined Data Center (SDDC), Hybrid Cloud and End User Computing (EUC) continues to move forward at full force with global collaboration as a constant.

Culture in action at the Palo Alto site 

Being environmentally and socially responsible is important at VMware and especially in Palo Alto. Our Palo Alto campus is infused with energy efficient and sustainable materials that are Cal Green and LEED certified. From eco-friendly landscaping and design, waste diversion, composting and an e-waste disposal for employees, we are taking big steps every day to do our part and respect our planet.

Workplace perks are important as well. We promote a dynamic environment where people can grow, enjoy the employee community and feel the comforts of home while working to solve our customers’ most pressing IT problems. Our people enjoy healthy snacks and subsidized meals in our Promontory, Creekside and Hilltop cafes, take exercise breaks at our state of the art gym, professionally develop through Tech Talks and other internal development resources and attend employee events such as Friday Bash, Product Release events and the Chinese New Year and Diwali Celebrations.

Friday Bashes have been a part of VMware culture as long as anyone can remember. They started as a way for people to gather at the end of the workweek to relax, collaborate on projects and get to know each other. This still stands true today, however as the company has grown we have been able to add in fun themes, food and music into the mix with the help of Global Employee Programs, Real Estate & Workplace, Bon Appetit and the various organizations and individuals who give back to make VMware an exciting place to work. More recently we have hosted Friday Bashes around Earth Day, St. Patrick’s Day and the turtles in our Promontory pond. To learn more about how the turtles came to be at our Promontory pond check out Jeff Goodall’s blog post here.

Our people also value giving back. Through the VMware Foundation, VMware people have an opportunity to contribute to and make a difference in the communities where we live and work. Earlier this year, we celebrated our inner geek and giving back on Pi Day (March 14). In Palo Alto, we hosted a fair where employees could learn more from 30 local nonprofits about how they can use their skills for service learning. Employees not only attended, but also staffed some of the booths, representing the nonprofits that they are passionate about. Check out Anish’s story about the day and his service with the India Literacy Project.

So…What’s Next?

As we look to the future, our people will continue to define what’s next in SDDC, EUC and Hybrid Cloud. VMware also continues to invest in its people and workplace and look forward to connecting with future innovators that are passionate, driven and inspired by the opportunity to learn and contribute something back to the broader community.

 

*Content Contributors: Judy Phung, Mimi Finkel Schulz, Jessamine Chin and Jeff Goodall

 

 

 

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VMware Palo Alto Headquarters, a Glimpse of the Beginning

With over 100 offices located throughout the world, VMware is truly a global community made of passionate employees who thrive on collaborating together to bring industry-changing IT innovations to life. Get a flavor for VMware’s humble beginnings based on a radical technological notion – a seemingly impossible endeavor that became a reality – virtualization. This is part one of a two part series highlighting our Palo Alto, California headquarters.

 

About Palo Alto

It all began in 1998. Five individuals, Diane Greene, Mendel Rosenblum, Scott Devine, Edward Wang and Edouard Bugnion founded VMware based on a radical technological notion – virtualization. VMware’s first home was a 500 square foot (think studio apartment) office located above a cheese deli in a local shopping center. The company grew from five to sixteen employees and moved into a slightly larger space in Palo Alto, California. In 1999, VMware moved to a small building within the Stanford Research Park at 3145 Porter Drive. By September 2002, the company expanded into the other buildings at this location.

Check out the video below to get a snapshot of how VMware started out and our culture in action today!

Growth & Development

With Stanford Management Company’s support, the exterior and interior spaces were transformed. Natural light and bright colors filled the lobby and halls, sending a message that this was a place for innovation and openness. People comfortably shared offices, encouraging conversation and cross-collaboration.

VMware continued to grow and expand creating an imprint on Silicon Valley. Today, the Palo Alto campus encompasses over 100 acres in the Stanford Research Park making VMware the largest company in the Park and in Palo Alto, as well. Few companies in Silicon Valley can boast this type of presence and none is as concentrated as VMware’s campus.

VMware continues to invest in its people and workplace with the campus expansion project. Once completed, the Palo Alto campus will consist of the Promontory, Creekside and Hilltop neighborhoods (mini-campuses), allowing VMware to double in capacity.

Check out the part two of the Palo Alto office spotlight here.

 

*Content contributors: Linda Marie Santiago, Judy Phung

 

 

 

 

 

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Rosie and the Famed Turtle Pond at VMware Palo Alto

At VMware, we promote a dynamic environment where people can grow, enjoy the employee community and feel the comforts of home while working to enable companies through software virtualization. Culture and fun are just as important as our vision. We connected with Jeff Goodall, Workplace Supervisor at VMware Palo Alto to get his behind the scenes take on how the official (unofficially) VMware turtle pond at our Palo Alto headquarters came to be. Let’s just say it all started with a quick trip for lunch and a little red-eared slider turtle named Rosie…

In the early days of the site build at Promontory, the famed pond didn’t start with turtles. Originally we had hoped to put koi fish in the VMware Palo Alto Promontory pond, but we couldn’t get the test fish to live. We tried filtering the water, treating it, but nothing worked unless we let the pond cloud with algae; which wasn’t an option. We wanted to have clear water so our employees could view the river rocks on the bottom of the pond. If we let the algae grow, we would only be able to see the lips of the koi fish when they came to the pond surface to eat. So the pond sat empty for quite sometime.

Then employees moved into the buildings, which got our new site up and running! Even with all the excitement, the pond still remained empty. I wanted something in the pond; something besides plants, something that we could all enjoy.

One day in the summer of 2007, I went to an early lunch at Rosati’s in Portola Valley. I had a craving for a burger and fries and “Zots” was the place I wanted to go. I cruised up to Portola Valley’s famous burger joint, parked in the lot and walked in. The weather was perfect.

The owner behind the counter kept going on about something she didn’t know what do to with, something she didn’t know how to take care of…

She came over to me and asked, “Do you know anybody that wants a turtle?”

“A turtle?”

“Yes – I have a turtle in a tank here and I don’ know what to do with it.”

I said, “Well I might be interested, just a minute.”

I went outside and called my then boss. “Hey Mr. H, are there any chemicals or toxins in the pond right now; anything that might be dangerous to wildlife?”

His response, “What are you up to, Goodall?”

“Nothing, nothing at all…anything dangerous to life in the pond?” I replied.

“No, nothing dangerous, unless you have gills. The pond is treated with a natural chemical to keep the water clear, why?”

“No reason, thanks – see you in a bit *click*.”

I hung-up and walked back inside. I told the restaurant owner, “I’ll take it!’ I was now the new owner of a red-eared slider turtle.

I went back to work with this small turtle in a cooler riding next to me in my jeep, heading back to its new home and got back to campus just in time for a stack of help tickets to work on. What started out as a manageable morning turned into a chaotic afternoon. I took the turtle with me as I drove around campus in one of our golf carts, answering help tickets. For four hours straight, this terrapin and I cruised around our site installing keyboard trays, covering windows to block out sunlight, solving plumbing issues, delivering file cabinet keys, etc. From noon until 4:00 p.m. the turtle sat in a cooler, in a golf cart, riding from building to building with me; it was crazy.

At 4:05 p.m., I named the turtle Rosie after my fortuitous happening at Rosati’s and discovering that “it” was female! It was splashdown time. I grabbed the turtle, held her behind my back, and snuck her through Prom D (one of our buildings onsite). We walked through the building and out the adjacent door. The turtle was flailing uncontrollably. I walked up to the edge of the pond, looked around to see if anyone was looking, and set her into the water.

She sunk like a rock. I thought I had killed her!

“Move, move,” was all I thought for what seemed like an eternity. Then, slowly I saw a head poke out, then a leg and then she swam off. Whew!

For the next couple of days, I fed her leftover lettuce, sliced carrots, whatever I had leftover from lunch in the Prom C café. She was eating!

One day, an email went out on the fun-list (an internal email list for general fun news). It asked everyone if they knew we had a turtle in the pond. I thought, “Here we go. This will go one of two ways.”

The first reply by another employee to this email was, “Yes, I saw that – how very cool, but it needs a friend!”

The rest is, as they say, history. We now have seven turtles living in the pond. And, it all started with “Rosie”.

 

 

-Jeff Goodall, Workplace Supervisor, VMware

 

 

 

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Growing at VMware – Mary Pereira shares what learning and growing means to her and more!

VMware employees are energized by the prospect of solving complex problems in an environment, and with a team, that helps them realize their full potential. And this is only possible through a culture of people that embrace learning as a part of the innovation process. Take a look at Mary’s story on how she actively grows at VMware.

 

Name:  Mary Pereira

Job title:  Group Manager, Marketing Services, Global Marketing Operations

Years at VMware: 5

Office location:  Palo Alto, California

 

 

What is life at VMware like for you?

I enjoy my life, role and responsibilities at VMware. It can be hectic at times, managing the many deadlines and asks of our team. However, my team and those we support and work with make it a great environment and enjoyable at VMware – we work well together, even in the most challenging of times. We know we’re all on the same team, with the same goal! I also have to say that I have an amazing team! 

Continuous learning is what helps us innovate. How do you practice this at VMware?  

I have taken several training sessions and classes offered through VMware Edge, an internal portal that enables self-directed development for any VMware employee at any location anytime. Several of these sessions have really resonated with me, enhancing my knowledge in my field, and helping me to integrate new suggestions to the workplace and my every day skills. I have found it very beneficial for me personally. The most recent session I participated in was Crucial Conversations. I’ve taken many different types of communication and presentation classes in my career and thought Crucial Conversations would be another training course with the same information on effective communication, etc. I was wrong! It was very helpful for me and I started using the learnings that evening at home and the very next day in the workplace.

Share the biggest lesson or takeaway from your Crucial Conversations course. Is it what you expected? 

My biggest learning from the Crucial Conversations course was identifying the facts versus the story, and sticking to the facts while verbally communicating. I think in everyday life, people, including myself, have a tendency to perceive a conversation or interaction outside of the facts presented. It was very helpful for me, and I have used that new knowledge both in the workplace and in my personal life since the course!

What does growth and development mean to you?  

It means learning – learning new ways to do things, new ways to think; and ultimately using the new learnings in the real world. It also means knowing, for me personally, the areas I need to work on; even if it may be a hard thing to accept and realize; and taking the steps to improve.

Do you have a thought-leader or person you admire in your field or industry? Who and why?  

I admire strong women, whether in the high-tech industry or in a different field or industry. Women who put their knowledge, their desire to make a difference, their passion – into action – to make a positive difference somehow. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to grow and develop themselves in the community? 

The advice I’ve taken myself and give often to my friends and family is to not let fear keep you from trying to something new; or something you’ve always wanted to do!

What inspires you to grow in 2013 and beyond? 

The positive role model women I’ve described above; and the opportunity to try new things in both my personal and profession life.

 

 

 

 

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The Passion of VMware People Enables Us to be Architects of What’s Next

How are you a part of what’s next? This is a way of working at VMware that shows in the innovations of our products and solutions. Our people both ask and act on it all in the name of enabling companies by radically simplifying IT through software virtualization. From advancements and innovations in End-User Computing to Hybrid Cloud to Software-Defined Data Center, VMware people contribute every day to this mission.

Being a part of VMware’s community and workplace is about being passionate and making a meaningful impact for VMware, the industry and for each other. See how the drive of our people  – instigators of innovation and transformers of technology – enables us to imagine, define and deliver what’s next together.

Check out the video below to watch the series unfold…

 

And don’t forget to share #whatsnext for you (with pictures, words or video) on the VMware Careers social channels.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

-The VMware Careers Team

 

 

 

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Anish Mehta on Pi Day and Growth Through Giving Back at VMware

VMware employees contribute their best work to imagine, define, and deliver the future of IT through transformative products and solutions that enable customer agility, efficiency, security, and fault tolerance in the Cloud era. And this is only possible through the dedicated, dynamic and inspiring people that make up our company. Take a look at Anish’s story on life at VMware, Pi Day and growth through giving back. 

 

Name: Anish Mehta

Job Title: Program Manager, Ecosystems Engineering 

Years at VMware: 1+ 

Office location: Palo Alto, California

Finish the hashtag statement #ilovevmware because… it’s a #greatplacetowork with #coolproducts and #awesomecoworkers! 

 

What is life at VMware like for you?

I just completed my first year at VMware in February and love working within and outside the Ecosystem Engineering team. VMware’s reputation has attracted a very talented bunch of people and it’s an enriching experience for me.

How would you describe your role at VMware?

I am a Program Manager within the Ecosystems Engineering team. I work on core product releases from an ecosystem perspective and help plan, deliver and track ecosystem readiness and communicate this information with internal and external customers.

Recently, VMware celebrated Pi Day. Can you share the significance of the day? 

In 2012, VMware expanded the Matching gifts program and expanded the limits to span $31.41 to $3,141.59. The spirit of “Pi” continued in 2013 with our first “Pi Day,” on March 14 (3/14) of course. During Pi Day, VMware Palo Alto hosted roughly 30 non-profits who had the opportunity to share a variety of giving back opportunities for employees on campus.

Check out the video below to get a sense of the excitement from Pi Day!

What was your role at Pi Day?

I coordinated India Literacy Project’s (ILP) participation in the Pi day activities. We had a busy booth as over 70 employees visited the booth and expressed interest in ILP. Fellow VMwareites, Shikhar Agarwal and Hari Sankaraman were a tremendous help in setting up and sharubg ILP’s story and opportunities with our employee community. Pi Day gave me the opportunity to connect with a wide gamut of employees, share ILP’s story as well as how people can volunteer with ILP or match donations through the VMware Foundation.

Can you share more about the India Literacy Project?

India Literacy Project, ILP, is a volunteer based non-profit organization dedicated to the cause of literacy in India. By empowering every individual we serve with functional literacy and an understanding of their basic rights and responsibilities, we strive to be a catalyst for 100% literacy in India.

VMware employees can give back to the India Literacy Project through the VMware Foundation for Milestone Awards, Matching Gifts (individual contributions) as well as Service learning (volunteering). We’re also really excited to continue to help the India Literacy Project with a capacity-building challenge through the VMware Foundation’s Group Gigs & Grants program.

What does Giving Back mean to you? 

Giving back implies supporting the local community and underprivileged groups worldwide. In the Bay Area we live comfortable lives and it’s easy to forget that there is world outside of our cushy bubble where basic necessities like food, clothing, shelter and access to education are a struggle. This helps puts my small contribution into perspective. In addition to India Literacy Project, I have contributed to HandsOn Bay Area, Habitat for Humanity, Organs R Us and AIF.

What advice would you give to someone looking to give back in the community?

There are lots of needs. Identify what strikes a chord in you or where you can be most effective and then discover ways to help. The VMware Foundation’s group on VMware Link is a great place for employees to get pointers. If you do not work at VMware you can find volunteer opportunities through VolunteerMatch or check out the pro bono marketplace with Taproot Foundation.

What are you inspired to do in 2013 and beyond?

I helped plan the ecosystem deliverables for our 2014 releases and hope to leverage that experience in the vPAR initiative. The Ecosystem Engineering team will continue to make it easier for our partners to do business with VMware. In addition we will further develop connections with internal and external upstream and downstream teams to accelerate VMware technology adoption through the partner ecosystem into our customer base.

For India Literacy Project, we would like to fundraise 25% more than what was raised in 2012 and help recruit several new volunteers to help us scale and kick our knowledge hub initiative into higher gear.

On the personal front, my wife and I just adopted a toddler from India, so I plan to devote all my free time to her.

 

 

 

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