There was a rock star atmosphere in the air as Sanjay Poonen, VMware’s Chief Operating Officer, took to this morning’s main stage. No doubt this was helped by the live funk band performing an uplifting rendition of George Michael’s hit Freedom! ’90, and Sanjay himself chanting the word ‘freedom’ at the crowd.
With an overwhelming buzz of energy about, it was clear that anything was possible.
Sanjay began the session by taking us through a short history of VMware. He spoke briefly about the achievements from the last 20 years – including server virtualization, software-defined storage, software-defined networking, and today’s Virtual Cloud Network.
He shared some impressive announcements, including how VMware has allowed numerous businesses to make huge operational and capital expenditure savings, and that VMware had been recognised as a leader in Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for WAN Edge Infrastructure (the latter met with widespread applause).
But it wasn’t all about VMware. Customers’ achievements were also highlighted. For this, Sanjay introduced representatives from various companies, including telecoms giant Vodafone, pest control business Rentokil, and online gaming company Playtika. They spoke enthusiastically about the success they’ve had using VMware’s hybrid cloud solutions to push for business agility, flexibility and growth.
The success of Workspace ONE was also looked at. Eileen Jessop, CIO at The Christie, a Manchester-based cancer centre, spoke about how the platform was improving the staff and outpatient experience. Andrew Plunkett, Vice President of Digital Workspace at Airbus, discussed how Workspace ONE was making their complex operating estate much simpler. While Fargia Lamrabet from Louvre Abu Dhabi touched on how it was improving the museum visitor experience.
VMware’s Chief Marketing Officer, Robin Matlock, then came on stage and gave us a wider lens on the theme of possibility. She mentioned that while VMware’s 20-year anniversary made it an ideal time to look back at past achievements, it was also the perfect opportunity to look ahead as well. How were we to shape technology to become a force for good in the next two decades?
To explore the question in detail, she introduced Martha Lane Fox on to the stage. As a philanthropist, businesswoman and public servant – Martha gave us a multifaceted view on the power of technology to shape and change the world. It was an inspiring and thought-provoking speech which touched on everything from diversity, personal and business resilience and the need to keep people’s faith and trust in technology alive.
“Whatever bit of the technology sector you’re in, it’s important to ask about the context of what you’re building,” Martha implored. “Will it deepen existing inequalities or shrink them?” In today’s politically tense world, such a statement struck a noticeable chord with audience members.
Once Martha and Sanjay were done Pioneering the Possible, the 12,000+ strong VMworld Europe crowd enjoyed specialist breakout sessions, expert-led panels and hands-on labs, as well as showcase keynotes. Some of our highlights included the Transforming Security in a Cloud & Mobile World session, a roving battalion of Star Wars characters, and Kubernetes (everyone’s talking Kubernetes this year).
And now… we move onto arguably the biggest event of the VMworld calendar: the infamous VMworld Fest with headliners The Kooks!
For more detail, you can watch all the action on today’s general session here. And don’t forget to catch up with everything VMworld Europe 2018 on our Twitter.