How IT is Advancing Agency Missions: VMworld 2017 Government Highlights & Insights

Digital disruption is transforming all industries—not least of which includes the public sector. At this year’s VMworld 2017, local, state, and federal IT leaders emphasized the importance of safely and cost-effectively transitioning to digital-first IT infrastructure in order to increase operational efficiency, maximize return on IT spend, and strengthen cybersecurity posture—in addition to leveraging IT modernization to break down silos, enable shared services, and advance mission outcomes. Here are just a few highlights that came from our talks with hundreds of government customers at VMworld US.

Standing Room Only at Sunday’s Government Industry Workshop 

VMworld 2017 brought with it our very own Government Industry Workshop on Sunday, August 27th, with over 150 government customers joining us for an afternoon of content, customer insights, and conversation. The agenda naturally lent itself to the theme of IT modernization in government—both in terms of modernizing legacy systems and across agency culture and operations. For example, we’re consistently seeing our state customers centralize disparate IT departments and functions into a single, state-wide cloud-broker and shared services provider. We’re also seeing agencies across federal, state, and local embrace network virtualization to take advantage of micro-segmentation, reduce the risk of East-West traffic threats, and streamline network management. The modernization conversation is also now part of the security conversation as agencies continue to view cybersecurity posture as a validated outcome of IT modernization.

Other workshop highlights included:

  • Customer testimonials – such as a deep dive into the U.S. Marine Corps data center modernization journey and transformational insights from the General Services Administration (GSA) and City of North Las Vegas.
  • VMware Validated Designs – presented by VMware government partners, Deloitte, IBM, and AT&T, covering validated reference architectures and know-how across VMware products and VMware partner solutions.
  • Automation excitement – time and time again, customers emphasized the value of the VMware vRealize Suite of automation products (specifically vRealize Operations Management and vRealize Automation) and the effect automation has had on reducing costs, eliminating redundancy, streamlining operations, maintaining continuity of operations (COOP), and strengthening cybersecurity posture.

Four Days of Interactive Demos and Insights at the VMware Government Solutions Showcase 

Public sector customers were also represented at this year’s flagship VMware booth. In fact, we held our first-ever Industry Solutions Showcase dedicated to bringing together customers, demos, solutions, and subject matter experts across VMware’s core customer industries. In the Public Sector booth, customers test-drove purpose-built, interactive VMware demonstrations built on real-world government use cases. State, local, and federal customers were delighted to find space dedicated specifically to their unique IT environments, needs, and challenges—with FED and SLED solution engineers and architects on hand to answer even the most challenging of questions across civilian, defense, intelligence, local, state, and education customers.

Here’s a sample of what they saw:

  • A virtualized legacy law enforcement application running on the latest Dell ruggedized laptop, both managed in real-time by VMware AirWatch.
  • Field-based personnel using a Samsung Knox-enabled Galaxy S8 to access virtual desktops and applications remotely, followed by inserting the S8 into the Samsung DeX cradle back in the office to seamlessly connect the mobile device to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse for a rich desktop experience.
  • A city planner accessing a virtualized instance of ESRI ArcGIS Pro—a graphically intensive 3D application—on an iPad in the field thanks to VMware Horizon with NVIDIA GRID vGPU. Back in the office, the planner ran the application in the Horizon client via Workspace ONE and instantly began his session where he left off in the field.

These demos—based on real customer use cases—are just the tip of the iceberg. Look out for more hands-on experiences across our SDDC, networking, and cloud management solutions in the coming months.

Speaking of cloud, you may have seen VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger’s Day One Keynote at VMworld, introducing VMware Cloud Services and VMware Cloud on AWS. All of our customers are wading through the hybrid cloud transformation taking place across industries; yet, we absolutely recognize that our public sector customers have different cloud, security, and compliance requirements than the commercial sector. The public sector solutions teams at VMware are as dedicated to our government customers’ missions, and we would be remiss to neglect the unique and complex needs of our government customers across cloud infrastructure and solutions when building and evolving our products. With that said, we will continue to develop both private and hybrid cloud solutions for our government customers.

Next up is VMworld Barcelona, and one thing is certain. Our government customers across the globe are hard at work advancing their missions by transforming IT. Whether agencies are virtualizing storage and networks to build a software-defined data center; embracing the cloud as a change agent for DevOps and agility; securely deploying the digital workspace across devices, users, and locations; micro-segmenting the network and applications to protect East-West traffic; or securing mobile devices and apps using identity-based, multi-factor authentication and granular compliance controls—all VMware government customers are evolving their IT environments. And as a result, they’re better serving the mission, improving quality of services, and maximizing investments.

If we can help your agency modernize IT to advance your mission, please let us know.


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