This year marked VMware’s 13th flagship internal R&D conference, better known as RADIO (R&D Innovation Offsite). Sponsored by Ray O’Farrell, EVP and VMware’s CTO, and organized by VMware’s Office of the CTO (OCTO), the annual event brought together more than 1,400 of VMware’s best and brightest technologists from around the globe for an academic-like conference focusing on three key pillars: innovation, learning and networking.
To expand the reach and further the momentum of this hallmark event, we kicked off our RADIO@ program this past summer. Essentially a RADIO roadshow, RADIO@ traverses the world and touches down at many of our Global R&D Sites. At each RADIO@ event, engineers from local sites congregate to foster the same spirit of its sister event, but at a local level.
More than 100 executives, principal engineers and senior staff engineers traveled far and wide to collaborate with each of our local teams hosting RADIO talks, listening to local customers and championing innovation while breaking through cultural barriers in the process. Let’s take a trip back through some of the major highlights from prominent RADIO@ events hosted this year.
For two full weeks, RADIO@ spanned from Pune to Bangalore spreading infectious energy and innovation across India. Bruce Davie, CTO, Asia Pacific & Japan, discussed “The Future of Networking in the Era of Digital Transformation.” Mobile, apps and the cloud are all driving the next wave of digital transformation, meaning reality has finally caught up to the hype surrounding this sector for so long. Even better, organizations can now harness these tools and be successful in this rapidly evolving landscape.
Bruce continued his grand roadshow through India by moderating a customer panel discussion with Umesh Mahajan (VP, NSBU R&D), Vishwas Chitale (CEO & CTO, Chitale Group) and Suresh Patare (Sr. Practice Manager, IT-CoE, KPIT). Each of these leaders shared their perspectives on how they use technology to make their respective businesses successful, and how VMware NSX in particular is being leveraged as part of their technology stack.
“What if…?” was the emerging theme from RADIO@China, which traveled from Beijing to Shanghai. More than 250 engineers participated in three jam-packed days of innovation, networking and ideation. Yanbing Li, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Storage and Availability and Niranjan Maka, VP, Global Sites delivered keynote discussions around innovation and technology.
Principal Engineers Olivier Cremel, Ben Pfaff and Justin Pettit hosted in-depth breakout sessions, interactive poster expos and BOF’s as well. The technical breakouts from VMware China R&D engineers revolved around cutting-edge core topics, including emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT). Each session sparked conversations and questions that elevated ideas to the next level. To piggyback on all of this innovation, a Borathon focusing on Crashing Algorithm Competition was convened to turn ideas into real solutions.
Ending on an inspiring note, tech gurus from our Palo Alto headquarters motivated innovators to continue fueling their innovative spirit, participate in two-way dialogue with their peers and actively engage around things they are passionate about to advance their careers.
When the RADIO@ roadshow touched down in Bulgaria, it was an unbeatable opportunity for all to experience thought-provoking talks from sharp minds like VMware Chief Open Source Officer Dirk Hohndel, VP & GM, Cloud-Native Apps Kit Colbert, Principal Engineers Ravi Soundararajan and Matt Amdur, VP Sustainability Strategy Nicola Acutt and Co-Founder of Masterclass Aaron Rasmussen. Most importantly, all of those who participated in RADIO@Bulgaria walked away with a firm understanding of VMware’s commitment to diversity and sustainability.
From Burlington to Cambridge, participants heard first-hand from rockstar guest speakers who provided unique insights into innovation within their problem domains. Ellen Rubin, CEO of ClearSkyData, talked about her journey from creating on-prem solutions to providing cloud solutions, offering her expert insight into where the market seemed to be most comfortable. Meanwhile, Nigel Jacob from the City of Boston Department of New Urban Mechanics talked about how his group uses innovative solutions to solve real urban problems, focusing on the people at the heart of them rather than the technology.
The day wrapped with a challenge from Kit Colbert to re-think innovation in our cloud platform. The presentation covered a wide range of topics, including innovation, OpenShift, the cloud-native landscape, containers, IoT and the future of virtualization.
Congratulations to all of our teams worldwide who hosted successful RADIO@ events this year. We hope these collaborative showcases will continue to spark wild, wild thoughts, bring new people and teams together and, ultimately, inform and improve the RADIO 2018 season.