VMware’s term for our annual series of customer events is “momentum season”, and as the APJ CTO that means that I’ve hardly stopped moving since VMworld kicked off the season in August. I’m writing this as I head to my fourth vFORUM, this one in Singapore. As widely noted on social media, one of my tasks at these events has been to run virtual reality demos with Pat Gelsinger, Sanjay Poonen, Rajiv Ramaswami and Duncan Hewett. This has been a big hit with audiences, partly because it lets the executives show off their inner geek, but also because it very dramatically showcases the power of VMware Cloud on AWS in an accessible way. Hats off to Alan Renouf and the team that helped him put it together. We’ve also made the code available, emblematic of our increasing engagement in the open source community.
By the end of the month, we will have reached approximately 40,000 people via 17 vFORUMs. I will have delivered five different presentations and met dozens of customers. Feedback from our customers has been fantastic. What stands out most to me is how different the conversation is now compared to two years ago. Since announcing both our cross-cloud strategy and our partnership with AWS last year, and then delivering on both those announcements with product availability this year, it’s clear that we are addressing critical pain points for our customers. Furthermore, the last two years have been a time when our customers have come to realize that public clouds are no panacea, but that they need the capabilities that VMware has developed to manage their adoption of both public and private clouds. Customers who previously saw us as “just a hypervisor vendor” are seeing the value of our full portfolio.
Our comprehensive solutions for mobility and security are also resonating with customers. AppDefense is the first product to deliver on the Goldilocks vision developed in NSBU three years ago. It’s a significant step in our drive to enable inherently secure infrastructure and leverages our unique position in the virtualised data centre to transform security.
In several vFORUMS, regional AWS general managers shared the stage with us and showed their enthusiasm for the joint offering. They are seeing their customers eagerly waiting for the service to launch in APJ – which is planned for the second half of 2018.
The newly launched Pivotal Container Service (PKS) has also been generating a lot of interest in established enterprise customers, who are dealing with the complexity of operationalizing DevOps environments. We had Pivotal on stage with us across most vFORUM locations, helping us tell our developer-centric story to customers.
In short, it’s been a hectic but rewarding couple of months. I’m energised by the way our solutions are resonating with customers and I look forward to getting some of our new products into customers’ hands as we head into 2018.