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How VMware IT Improved Colleague Experience with a Global Networking Standard

by: VMware Director Shared Services Edward Lyons

In the mid twenty-teens, VMware was expanding at a rapid rate due to internal growth, as well as merger and acquisition (M&A) activities. As the company expanded, regionally focused IT support teams developed, along with multiple IT network standards. During that time, VMware IT Network Services consisted of three regionally focused teams supporting 70 offices and data centers across more than 30 countries.

The issue

The core issue with the regional model was the inconsistent network experience for Colleagues as they traveled to offices in different countries. This led to frustration and poor scoring on IT Colleague satisfaction surveys.

The challenge

From an IT support perspective, the core challenge was that regional teams were constrained by regional standards which, on occasion, used different vendors for particular services, such as Wi-Fi. Regional teams also worked standard office hours and any support outside of these hours was based on the availability of on-call support. There was also the issue of “shadow IT” network groups due to R&D, Sales, and other business units hosting services that were unknown to IT.

From a sourcing and finance perspective, engagement and relationships with these vendors was carried out at a country or regional level, without a global view and, as a result, could not achieve discounts greater than the standard.

The journey

The first step in addressing these issues was to publish a global networking standard that covered various topics, including:

  • WAN
  • Metro
  • LAN Core
  • LAN Access
  • WLAN Core
  • WLAN Access
  • Security/firewall
  • Data center
  • DDI—which includes domain name system (DNS), dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP), Internet protocol address management (IPAM) services
  • Network access control/authentication services.

To support the new network standard in parallel, VMware IT reorganized its global IT network resources. The new support model was based on global support teams using a follow-the-sun support model for the following services:

  • Global WAN operations
  • Global LAN operations
  • Global security and firewall
  • Global metro and data center
  • Global DDI services (DNS/DHCP/IPAM).

In support of the global networking standard and the services it covered, additional support groups were created working across all teams, including:

  • Global service delivery
  • Global network analytics (tools/monitoring).

The biggest challenge was the rollout of the new network standard to existing sites. Thus the “End 2 End” program began a years-long journey with an IT team of more than 80 corporatewide resources (network operations, colleague experience, IT, real estate and workplace, crisis management, AV, project management, and more) to implement the revised network guidelines.

End 2 End enables VMware IT to deliver a global standardization of networking services and also improves availability, performance, and security. Most importantly, it allows IT to deliver a delightful experience to our Colleagues, anywhere, anytime, on any device.

VMware on VMware blogs are written by IT subject matter experts sharing stories about our digital transformation using VMware products and services in a global production environment. Contact your sales rep or vmwonvmw@vmware.com to schedule a briefing on this topic. Visit the VMware on VMware microsite and follow us on Twitter.   

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