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Tag Archives: TAM Day

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Cheryl_EaganBy Cheryl Eagan

Late August into early September—my favorite time of the year. Why? Because it’s time for VMworld, which means it’s also time for TAM Customer Day and TAM Customer Central.

I know people laugh when I call this my favorite time of year, but it’s true. TAM events at VMworld are some of the most rewarding things I work on, and have been ever since I joined VMware over nine years ago.

The reason I find it so rewarding is that it’s a great opportunity our TAM customers cannot get anywhere else. They gain so much value in such a short time. They get to have in-depth conversations with VMware business leaders, interact with their peers, and network with people within their industry or who have similar challenges and use cases in their business. It’s a time when our customers feel like they are really being heard.

The other reason why I love this time of year so much is that I get to see the value and the joy that it provides my fellow TAMs. They work so hard all year to advocate for our TAM customers, this is the time it all comes together.  VMworld is our most important annual event and it gives us the chance to meet face to face with our customers. We get to talk about issues, and line up meetings and discussions for our customers with the people who can listen and help. This one week drives much of what we do all year long.

What’s planned for this year?

VMworld begins Sunday, August 28 and runs through Thursday, September 1. The event is at vmworld-2016the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Conference Center in Las Vegas. If you haven’t already planned to attend VMworld, you should register now. TAM Customer Day will be held August 28. The day starts with an invitation-only VIP breakfast for our full-time TAM customers.  Every year we feature industry expert speakers on a variety of topics addressing our customers’ top priorities.

The General Session will start in the main conference hall and will include a welcome by VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell. Next, there will be five breakout sessions centered on discussing key customer challenges. There is a lunch and award session, during which we award customers who have done creative, unique things with our solutions and provided incredible value to their companies.

We then have “Ask the Experts” breakout sessions. In these sessions, over 100 VMware subject matter experts make themselves available to answer the specific concerns of our customers.

The final session of the day is a CTO panel, during which customers can participate in Q&A. After this, there will be a session close and reception.

What has changed since last year?

After last year’s event, we received feedback that our customers wanted more technical-level sessions, as well as smaller groups for more focused attention. In response to that, we’ve focused breakout sessions around some of our key customer challenges such as management automation, the vSphere platform, and mobility. These sessions are hosted by product teams, business unit leaders, and technical marketers. We’ve increased the time set aside for these sessions so our customers can make the most of them.

We’ve also expanded our “Ask the Experts” sessions because these sessions have been the most popular amongst our customers. There will be over 100 tables at this event and more time set aside for participation in these sessions, as well. During “Ask the Experts”, customers can focus on very specific technical aspects of VMware products and tools.

The CTO panel is a new addition to TAM Customer Day and is also in response to our customers’ desire to include more technical content in the event. At the end of the panel, customers will be able to ask questions of our CTOs and thought leaders. They’ll get a peek into what they can look forward to from VMware, and provide input to the people who actually drive VMware’s vision and strategy.

Beyond TAM Customer Day, what other TAM activities are happening at VMworld?

TAM Customer Day became so large that we decided to extend this exclusive experience throughout the entire week of VMworld. Five years ago, we started TAM Customer Central, which quickly became popular. In our first year, we had a couple hundred attendees. Last year, there were 1,700 customer visits.

TAM Customer Central runs Monday through Thursday, and provides a great experience to TAM customers. During these sessions, you participate in intimate, highly interactive discussions that pertain specifically to your business. If you are unable to attend TAM Customer Day, work with your TAM to make use of Customer Central. Your TAM can help you plan the week to be sure you engage in activities that are the most critical and most important to you and your business.

What should I do now to get ready for VMworld and TAM Customer Central?

First, if you haven’t already, you should register. Next, work with your TAM to plan your time at VMworld. This is your chance to discuss your challenges, ask questions, and gain insight into VMware strategy and future solutions. These opportunities are simply not available anywhere else but VMworld. During our exclusive TAM events, you get to provide input, discuss your specific needs, and speak in person with people who can take your input and influence future VMware products.

The VMworld Schedule Builder opens July 19, and only TAM customers will be able to register for the deep dive sessions available through TAM Customer Central. If you need more information or want to confirm your registration, talk to your TAM Keep in mind these sessions fill quickly.

I hope to see you at VMworld, and I especially hope to see you at our various TAM events during the week. Like me, maybe you, too, will come to think of this as the most wonderful time of year.

Cheryl Eagan is a Principal Technical Account Manager for VMware based in Georgia.

TAM Customer Day US Registration is Now Open




By Victoria Phillips

Last year’s TAM Customer Day event was an enormous success with an amazing turnout. We have some exciting changes for 2016 and hope you can join us! TAM Customer Day will be held on Sunday, August 28, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Las Vegas.

These invitation-only, customer-only sessions will focus on current customer challenges and business issues. TAM Customer Day is a great opportunity to:

  • Interact with VMware experts and leaders.
  • Network with peers and industry professionals.
  • Learn about VMware best practices, future planning, and strategies.

Register Today!

You must be registered for VMworld in order to register for TAM Customer Day. Please verify
your TAM’s customer email address
after your VMworld registration; this will identify you as a TAM customer for future information. Select the TAM Customer Day Pass in order to attend TAM Customer Day. If you have any questions, please ask your TAM.

Victoria Phillips is a Senior Marketing Manager for the VMware Professional Services team. 

VMworld Barcelona: Streamlining Data Center Operations (Real World Experiences)

With Colin Fernandes, Cloud Management Solution Evangelist

ae_avatarBy Adam Eckerle

TAM Day was full of great sessions and I was able to attend the second Business Track session presented by Colin Fernandes, Cloud Management Solution Evangelist on Monday afternoon. Colin’s session, “Streamlining Data Center Operations – Real World Experiences,” gave TAM Day attendees an overview of the business challenges for IT operations and showed how several customers overcame those challenges with the VMware family of products.

I really enjoyed the way Colin engaged with the audience straight away by walking amongst us instead of sticking to the stage. His thoughts were insightful and his use of real customer use cases did a wonderful job illustrating the messages he set out to deliver. The session was business-focused but Colin was able to weave in some technical bits that I believe catered to some of the architects in the room. But, more to the point, we not only heard Colin speak of today’s operational challenges, but also why those challenges exist in the first place.

Colin sprinkled in some great terms such as “Digital Darwinism” and “Technical Debt” that he used to describe some of his four key points:

  • Digital transformation
  • Operational challenges
  • Here & now – customer use cases
  • Roadmap

With each point came more context of the challenges our customers face along with the value of our solutions in real world settings. Colin spoke about Cost and Agility where he made a great point that Cost is much more complex than just the price tag. And in an unexpected turn, we were even discussing Big Data and how the amount of data that exists is overwhelming – yet our understanding of data can cause false assumptions and conclusions which can negatively impact our customers and their businesses.

The customer use cases and stories were definitely the highlight of the session for me, and I think most of our TAM customers would agree! The customers varied in size and stature from a medium-sized Hospital to a large Global Enterprise. While the challenges of these disparate customers had quite a few common threads, the ways in which each of them attacked and ultimately overcame them were quite different. We heard how Log Insight and vRealize Operations really worked to enable correlation and context for the enormous amount of data being collected from our customers’ infrastructures. This, in turn, enabled infrastructure decisions to be made quicker and with less risk while leading to more efficient operations.

Colin was also able to succinctly provide guidance on when it makes sense to go all-in with orchestration using tools such as vRealize Orchestrator and vRealize Automation – which I feel was spot on.

After reflecting on the session and my notes, one of the big takeaways from Colin is that there are many common infrastructure challenges, and just having the monitoring data alone doesn’t enable our customers to properly act on that data. Customers need context, or said in another way, they need intelligence to go along with that data. And finally, the parameters of our customers’ businesses – such as size, industry, and priorities – will dictate how to best act on that intelligence. This was definitely a great session and Colin did an amazing job keeping the audience engaged and making the session extremely informative.


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.

VMworld Barcelona: TAM Day Welcome and Executive Keynote

Craig StanleyBy Craig Stanley

The 10th annual EMEA TAM Day kicked off to a large and engaged audience of over 400 TAM customers. Toby Luscher, TAM Practice Manager, got the day started with an interesting analogy about how Generation Z views technology differently from the older generations. He commented on how the younger generations have an expectation, not of technology, but of apps. He gave an example of how his daughter changed banks three times – not because of service issues or incentives, as would have previous generations, but rather because of the bank’s apps. The world is increasingly moving toward a commoditized environment where true innovation is rooted in the customer or user experience.


Joe Baguley, Vice President & CTO EMEA, then took the stage with a topic called “A Cloud For All Seasons.” His presentation highlighted the current IT challenges of bridging between our rigid infrastructure and a more dynamic, digital one. He reiterated the increasing reality of “app-consumerism” and described the obstacles that hinder IT from being application-agile. Every IT project follows a cycle of implementing an application, collecting data from it, analyzing it, then evolving into the next generation of the application. He stated this cycle typically takes about 18 months – far too slow for app-hungry consumers. Where technology innovation of the 1970’s through the 2000’s was focused on building better infrastructure, today’s leading innovators focus on building better and faster processes.


The message for today’s IT leaders is to figure out how to move through the application development cycle faster and getting infrastructure out of the way. VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center leadership provides the foundation for any application to be delivered on any server, on any storage and on any network, thus helping IT respond to customer application demand.


Evolve Your Cloud With IT Business Management

Sajai Krishnan, VP, Product Marketing, presented an overview of IT Business Management (ITBM) highlighting the solutions of vRealize Business to a group of about 100 TAM customers. Sajai described the problems facing many IT organization in having the right information at the right time to be able to make the most effective decisions in IT business management.

He identified three common problems ITBM helps with:

  1. Decisions are made by “gut feel” – Without internal information systems and data, infrastructure and architecture decisions are made without any metrics or data.
  2. Problems with cost allocation models – Cost-only allocation methods create conflict since all systems consume varying levels of resources. By forcing lower-cost applications to subsidize more expensive environments, opportunities are created for disgruntled LOBs to seek a more equitable solution outside IT.
  3. Difficulty in explaining IT costs – Without metrics and data, the cost to support an application cannot be made transparent or clear enough to communicate the value being delivered.

Sajai illustrated how the ITBM processes can help customers who may be at a:

  1. Crawl stage – Just getting started with costs and metrics around vSphere
  2. Walk stage – Implementing cloud business management around hybrid clouds
  3. Run stage – Implementing IT Business Management, providing full financial management for the entire IT services stack (one cloud, any app, anywhere)

Private Cloud Costing is the ITBM solution that helps the customer at the “walk stage” by automating vSphere costs and utilization. The Cloud Business Management solution targets the “walk stage” by giving customers the ability to compare and contrast the operational costs of servers and application groups across private and common public cloud providers. It provides the customer with a dashboard illustrating where the greatest cost efficiencies may be located. Lastly, Enterprise IT Business Management closes the loop on the “run stage” by supporting data integration with corporate information systems (HR, payroll, GL, etc.) to better illustrate the value IT brings to the entire business.

The session closed with a couple of questions regarding scale, such as the ability to handle as many as 20 vCenters. Sajai commented that ITBM solutions could fully scale to larger environments such as these.

Empower the Mobile Ecosystem Through Strategy and Secure Enterprise Integration

This session was presented by Dor Zakai, EMEA Sales Engineering Manager to an audience of 60. The main focus of the session was around Air Watch, and this solution enhanced the mobility demands of customers, while maintaining the prime directives of IT are around security, management and enablement. Dor noted that the current mobile environment is complex and becoming more complex rapidly. To make matters worse, oftentimes multiple mobile initiatives are going on at the same time, many of which may not be heading toward the same outcomes.

Dor illustrated the new integration developments in iOS, Windows 10 and Android that allow Air Watch to effectively enable user device sourcing while maintaining security, control and governance. Some of the key services Air Watch delivers are:

  1. Mobile Device Management – The ability to support multiple devices, OS’s, etc.
  2. Mobile Applications Management – Providing one catalog for corporate apps and providing adaptive access with SSO (Single Sign On)
  3. Mobile Content Management – Provides enterprise-grade security, forces content expiration and controls downloads, sharing, etc.
  4. Mobile Email Management – Provides email integration with most existing mail systems or via an Air Watch inbox
  5. Mobile Browsing Management – Provides a secure browsing environment with or without VPN
  6. Unified Laptop Management – Air Watch handles more than just mobile devices

In closing, Dor explained how Air Watch can empower IT to respond to and deliver information ubiquity without sacrificing a secure environment, control over data leaving the firewall, and enabling users to be more productive.


Craig is on the Global Technology & Professional Services team and supports TAM service development. Craig developed the Customer Maturity Assessment, the NSX Readiness Assessment and several other methodologies used by TAMs. Craig has over 30 years of experience in IT, covering Development, Systems Support, Data Center Management, Strategic IT Planning, and Benchmarking. Prior to VMware, Craig was a Research Director and VP with Gartner, Inc. Craig managed and led the evolution of the server models and architected the storage management TCO and ROI models. Craig also authored several research notes on TCO, ROI and Best Practices. Craig holds a bachelors degree in Marketing from the University of South Alabama and an MBA in Management from The Citadel in Charleston, SC.

Day 1 – VMworld : TAM Day

Customers and Senior VMware Leaders Set the Stage for TAM DAY 2015

TAM Day is an invitation-only event held on the Sunday prior to the VMworld conference. This year Andy Nederveld, Director, Americas TAM Services and Bret Connor, Americas Vice President of Professional Services took the stage to welcome TAM customers, as well as kick off the 11th annual event, the largest to date with over 1,200 registrations. Below are some highlights from the day:

Dedicated TAM Customer Breakfast

The 3rd annual TAM Day VIP breakfast kicked off this year’s VMworld with an enthusiastic audience of 55 from 17 Dedicated TAM customer companies. Although we made an early start to what will be a fast-paced TAM Day, there were several lively discussions around TAM services and ongoing TAM activities.

The breakfast was hosted by Paul Strong, VMware’s CTO, Global Field Services. Paul’s emphasis was on the work his team is doing to connect VMware R&D with our customers, and more specifically, our TAM customers. The mission of his initiative is to drive better customer intimacy through building relationships between engineers and customers who use our products and services.

The keynote speaker, Suzan Pickett, Director Platform Engineering and Operations from Nike, Inc. covered her experiences with technology and organizational transformation at both her former company, Columbia Sportswear, Inc., and her current company, Nike. Her stories highlighted a technology philosophical dichotomy between Columbia which was 100% virtualized and strongly supportive of a virtualization first policy encompassing Windows, SQL and SAP with her new organization whose largest project was to move from a 15 year old outsourced environment to an insourced one.

She extolled the value of Columbia Sportswear’s SRM deployment in facilitating systems movement, high availability and disaster recovery and driving better overall reliability. They were also early adopters of vBlocks, VCE and hybrid clouds.

At Nike, her challenges are centered on supporting the transition from outsourced to insourced. These activities have helped Nike realize faster service delivery, reduced costs, improved agility and flexibility, improved availability and security, predictable purchasing and budgets, financial transparency and improved operational efficiency.

TAM Day Opening Executive Keynote

Ray O’Farrell, VMware CTO and Chief Development Officer

The TAM Day opening keynote was delivered by Ray O’Farrell, VMware’s Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer. Ray’s presentation highlighted a couple of important industry trends. The first trend, “Creating an Amazing Customer Experience” encompassed Big Data, Systems of Engagement and Mobile Applications. The second trend, “Delivering and Updating Product Continuously”, comprised of Everything As A Service, Agile Development and Open Systems. The challenge for IT organizations is how to deliver to these trends effectively, reliably, consistently and securely.

Through VMware’s philosophy of “One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device”, customers are able to realize an integrated process to deliver on these trends. According to O’Farrell, the current cloud has largely been driven by Lines of Business, which have ultimately resulted in “Silos of IT”. Private clouds have the advantages of providing a secure and compliant environment, but at the expense of applications agility. Public clouds drive faster application development, but can be lacking in security and compliance. The VMware Unified Cloud supported by vCloud Air and SDDC, can span the gap between Private and Public clouds, maximizing the benefits of each while mitigating the weaknesses.

Security is a common challenge across all IT organizations. O’Farrell described the security event lifecycle:

  1. Intrusion – unauthorized accesses and break-ins
  2. Propagation – the spread of the contagion throughout the infrastructure and storage
  3. Extraction – the process of sending purloined information to collectors on the outside
  4. Exfiltration – the process of covering up the intrusion and tracks

O’Farrell noted that 80% of security investment is spent to prevent and detect intrusion, while only 20% is invested in the other security stages, which he asserts may not be the correct mix. The damage caused by the few intrusions that are missed still cause extensive damage and loss. In many cases, new attacks are placing even more priority on exfiltration, as the stolen information retains a higher value the longer its loss is undetected.

He noted that older security models founded on a monolithic security stack needs to evolve into a zero trust model as technology moves from multi-tiered distributed architecture to converged services and converged infrastructure and NSX is a solution that provided the required security granularity while enabling application agility.

Cloud-Native Apps @ VMware

Kit Colbert, VP & CTO Cloud Native Apps

Kit Colbert, VP & CTO Cloud Native Apps, opened the session welcoming the group of customers, stating that the DevOps community was so strategically important to his role at VMware that he was happy to see the volume of people in attendance and the excitement around the cloud native application space.

Kit discussed “the why” of the products. What is driving Cloud Native Apps and DevOps within businesses across the globe? Kit highlighted a business case – where a company is driving brand value by using cloud native apps. A large manufacture of farm equipment has a long history of quality products. Today, the value of those products are changing. No longer is it “just a tractor”, but the value of the product is the data that the tractor can collect: farm yields, soil nutrient levels, environmental variables … all of that data is sent up to the cloud where it is tracked and analyzed. In addition to the hardware that produced, their use of big data, advanced analytics systems and cloud native apps – to help customer drive optimization is the software transformation that is driving product development.

Finally, Kit discussed in detail the VMware Cloud-Native Apps Stack, including some really exciting NDA product announcements that will be detailed tomorrow as VMworld 2015 opens to the general public. It was great sitting in Kit’s session, watching as customers excitedly scribbled down notes about the new product announcements. I am looking forward to seeing these product announcements as the week unfolds.

Carl Eschenbach’s TAM Day Closing Remarks

It’s been a long, but exciting, day and TAM customers have enjoyed some great events. As we wrap up an amazing TAM Day, our President and COO, Carl Eschenbach, took to the stage bringing the energy level back up. Carl focused his message on thanking our great TAM customers and describing the value of the TAM program from his perspective. He also spoke about several key ideas that he predicted TAM Customers would walk away with from TAM Day and VMworld 2015.

First, Carl highlighted the high satisfaction rates and increased successes our TAM Customers have had. He then talked about some of the improvements and ideas that VMware is working on in response to the feedback customers have provided through TAMs. Next, Carl gave a great explanation of the “Ready for Any” VMworld credo and shared his vision with our TAM Customers. Finally, he closed with the message of the vastness and openness of the VMware ecosystem that provides our customers with freedom and choice.

TAM Day has been another great success. If you are interested in hearing more stop by TAM Customer Central this week!


TAM Day Brisbane 2012 Wrap Up

Each year in Brisbane, Australia we host an event for our TAM customers to present to them the newest VMware solutions and thank them from the TAM program. This year we had another fantastic event in Brisbane with all of our customers represented. The participants were all kept well fed and hydrated with coffee, tea and cold drinks throughout the day as well as a fantastic lunch and chocolates and sweets to keep the sugar levels up.

When the event was over we asked our customers to rate the event and we had the highest rating we have received in the 4 years of running this event a 4.69 out of 5 rating which we are very proud of. We also gave a way a bunch of prizes including a seat on a VMware course, an iPad, a VMware T-Shirt and a movie gift voucher, all of which were enthusiastically received.

I look forward to the event again next year, thanks to all the presenters, our sponsors for the venue and of course our TAM customers, without you, well I wouldn’t have a job 🙂

Neil Isserow – TAM (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)

Event Pictures: https://www.icloud.com/journal/#4;CAEQARoQMWh_KLMbpOBuPyIquTfrnw;53AB1285-0C9F-4B30-8A3A-28E786CA8D22