San Francisco was buzzing as more than 23,000 people came together to participate at VMworld, VMware’s annual global conference. VMworld brings together VMware experts, customer speakers, industry colleagues and partners come together to share the latest innovations and thought leadership topics.
I had the honor to attend this year’s event as a representative for the retail industry, and I could not be prouder of VMware and the support and value we are driving to the retail community. Throughout the event the mantra One Cloud, Any App, Any Device – Ready for Any was reiterated, and my major takeaway from the conference along with that of many other individuals was “The VMware community is ready for anything the present and future holds.”
In the End-User Computing for Retail community, this means that we are ready to modernize store operations, enhance customer engagements, and help retailers train and communicate with employees anytime from anywhere and improve security and PCI compliance for the business. This was validated on Tuesday in an interactive session where we discussed a range of topics from automating store server deployment, application re-platforming and mobility in the stores. There were representatives from 16 different retailers including Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Kroger, Kohls, Southern States and Lids in attendance along with many more.
Top retail takeaways from VMworld include:
Modernize Store Operations
During the event, we heard from many retailers who were looking to update their current infrastructure or were in the process of a 5-7 year refresh. It is believed that a combination of Windows 10, the emergence of mobile devices, and the re-platforming of applications for mobile devices, will be a catalyst for End User Computing change in retail. During the day two keynote several significant announcements further supported retail infrastructure updates. Sanjay Poonen, EVP and General Manager for EUC, appeared on stage with Jim Alkove, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for the Windows Platform. This was the first time in the history of VMworld that a Microsoft executive has been on stage at the event. Jim and Sanjay discussed Windows 10 and the relationship between the two companies as a partnership intended to help simplify IT and spread Windows 10 deployment in the enterprise. Sanjay also announced Project A2, expected to be released near the end of the year. Project A2 is the combination of AirWatch device management service and the VMware App Volumes application delivery solution, that will provide support for deploying and managing both virtual as well as physical desktops. If you missed the day two keynote, watch all of the exciting announcements here.
Improve Security and PCI compliance
Also announced was the new release of NSX 6.2, VMware’s network virtualization software. The goal for the new release is to increase security, automation, and application continuity for the enterprise. In retail, we know just how important security can be. In the first half of 2014, over 150 million customer data records in the retail industry were stolen. That’s more than in any other industry. Given the huge number of high-profile data breaches, keeping customer information and transactions safe, secure, and PCI compliant is more imperative than ever before. The announcement of the new NSX 6.2 release could not have come at a more crucial time for the retail industry. To learn more about NSX 6.2, visit this post covering the release.
Train, communicate, and enhance customer engagements anytime from anywhere
Personalization is key when it comes to retail. In fact, 86 percent of consumers said personalization has an impact on their purchasing behavior. To enable personalization and employee education, VMware EUC supports collaboration and content management within the enterprise so employees can access the resources they need from any device at any time, without IT having to sacrifice security. By combining content management with knowledge management and enterprise social networking, VMware EUC will help IT push content and applications to employees aiding in personalized checkout experiences and real-time on-demand access to information both customer and employee facing.
Overall, VMworld was a great success, and I look forward to the enhancements and opportunities that lie ahead for the retail community as we move into 2016. It is a great time to be part of the VMware family. We are committed to support our retail relationships and driving solutions that address the needs and problems of our customers. If you are interested in learning more about VMworld, additional takeaways, or VMware, visit our VMware Community page.
To learn more about how retail customers are partnering with VMware:
- Columbia Sportswear: Customer Spotlight
- A Day in the Life of Samantha, Everyone’s Favorite Retail Sales Associate
- Southern States: Tips and Tricks for Building a Mobile Secure Workspace with VMware Horizon – Webinar
- Enterprise Mobility Management for Retail