Like snowflakes and people, every customer is unique. While I’d love to tell you that VMware has off-the-shelf tools and services that satisfy every single one of our customers’ requirements, that is, unfortunately, not the case. In certain environments — perhaps because of the nature of the business, its geographical location, the regulations it is governed by, or the other products in its ecosystem — there’s a gap. These gaps were the genesis of our Accelerated Co-innovation Engineering team, also known as ACE.
VMware’s secret to innovation is a diverse, creative team, with each member bringing a unique point of view and area of expertise. So, when we face tough customer problems, we assemble such a team, including the member whose point of view and expertise is indispensable: our customer.
ACE works with customers to understand their unique problems and builds custom, off-roadmap solutions on an accelerated timetable, eliminating the need for them to develop the missing piece in-house or to purchase a third-party tool that may not provide a perfect fit. We call it “co-innovation,” because the customer works alongside our team, helping to specify requirements, influencing the solution’s architecture, and providing feedback at every step along the way. I think of the customers as adjunct product managers!
Today’s market requires businesses to run faster than ever. And customer problems aren’t always conveniently timed to coordinate with our product roadmaps. ACE allows us to innovate on demand, creating and releasing fully supported product enhancements and advanced technologies on the customer’s timeline. The changes are integrated into the mainline product, where other customers can take advantage of them.
You can read more about ACE and some of our other innovation programs in this blog. To engage with the ACE team, reach out to your VMware account team, technical account manager, or customer-success manager.