By Adam Eckerle
What an amazing week! VMworld is now officially behind us, and we wish everyone safe travels back to wherever you call home. As the dust is settling, let’s reflect on some of the key takeaways from this year’s event.
First, we should all have a clear understanding of the VMware vision – One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device. With VMware’s Unified Hybrid Cloud strategy the focus is clearly on bringing private and public clouds together in a single, seamless entity that is the future of how applications are delivered. This vision is extended by the Cloud-Native Apps toolset including VMware vSphere Integrated Containers and VMware Photon Platform. We also saw the official release of EVO SDDC (formerly EVO:RACK), which will accelerate our customers’ ability to deliver a true hybrid cloud based on the VMware Software Defined Data Center model.
The other narrative being established is that VMware is not just about virtual machines. VMware is providing thought leadership and innovation to the industry as these next-generation technologies mature and go to market. Customers want options and VMware is keen to provide those options while also using its lineage and support to create palatable products for enterprise-class customers. But VMware has not forgotten about the other end of the spectrum as it introduced the Virtual SAN (VSAN) 6.1 release. Among the many new features comes support for two-node clusters for SMB and ROBO applications.
As VMworld has entered into its 12th year, one might say that some of its luster is gone. But if you look at the anticipation, attendance and continually vibrant ecosystem of partners, competitors and customers, it is clear that VMworld remains one of the marquee events in our industry. Next year the event will be held in Las Vegas to the delight of many attendees who have enjoyed San Francisco the past few years but are looking for a change of scenery for 2016.
Also, we can take a look at TAM-specific events that took place throughout the week to see excitement levels and engagements were at an all-time high. TAM Day was the largest yet, and customers continually tell us that TAM Day is the single most valuable day of the VMworld event. But TAM Customer Central was not to be dismissed; product managers and engineers were trying to get added to the agenda even after the event had started. This illustrates the incredible importance of TAM customer interactions, not only to customers, but also to VMware. Customer feedback is invaluable and TAM customers really are partners who shape the products!
Our first NSX TAM booth at TAM Customer Central was well received despite the fact that it was not directly or heavily promoted. Nevertheless, we did conduct in-depth NSX discussions with six customers who were quite valuable. We had planned for 30-minute discussions; however, most went on for at least an hour due to customer interest and engagement. The process enabled us to collect NSX Readiness Assessment input and then have an immediate discussion with the customer about the findings. The team was able to have very focused conversations around NSX and network virtualization challenges, and highlight the expertise the NSX TAM service can deliver. The customer was also provided a copy of the analysis delivered to their email while the analysis was underway.
Finally, there were quite a few TAMs who presented sessions and also provided blogs, analysis, and plain old great customer service during the event. Many TAMs stayed right with their customers – abusing their pedometers while still maintaining a high level of energy! It’s easy to see that TAMs love their job and customers, and are outstanding thought leaders and strategic resources.
In summary, VMworld was a stage where the traditional vSphere announcements were overshadowed by Cloud-Native Apps and the One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device mantra. The market has been changing, and VMware is showing that it is working hard to adapt itself while staying true to its core and customers. We’ll see some additional announcements in about a month’s time as VMworld heads to Barcelona in October. But for now we all get to take a breath and reflect on the value that these recent announcements can add to our own organization.
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.