By Laetitia Farrugia, Program Manager, Office of the CTO at VMware and Sarah Shvil, Senior Manager, Innovation Programs PMO, Office of the CTO at VMware
Last week in May, VMware held its 13th flagship internal R&D conference called RADIO (R&D Innovation Offsite). This annual event, sponsored by Ray O’Farrell, EVP and VMware’s CTO, and organized by VMware’s Office of the CTO (OCTO), brought together over 1,400 of VMware’s best and brightest technologists from our global sites for an academic-like conference focused on innovation, learning, and networking. Over the course of three days, VMware engineers pitch their innovative ideas, learn from their peers about the technical efforts happening across R&D, and engage in two-way dialogue forming new relationships.
Unlike any other corporate offsite, RADIO is put on by VMware’s R&D for VMware’s R&D, covering our technical community’s perspectives and efforts around emerging technology trends and products.
This year’s conference theme was “What if…?”— sparking conversations that explored possibilities and breaking down barriers. From VMware employees’ presentations to invited speakers, RADIO challenged the status quo and created the space to think about the impact our work has on our industry, our global communities, and the opportunities that lay ahead.
At RADIO’s core is VMware’s prime technical content. Submitted by VMware engineers of all levels and selected by our Committee (over 100 passionate research-driven volunteers), the technical program presents attendees the opportunity to attend Research Talks on innovative ideas, Breakout sessions on VMware strategies and technologies, Birds of a Feather sessions on hot internal topics, and an Expo covering technical projects and programs.
Some of the themes featured throughout the agenda included:
- Emerging technologies and trends – Blockchain, IoT, and Serverless
- Current Innovations – SaaS, Open Source, and Cross-Cloud
- Engineering Excellence – Collaboration, Product Security, and Running a Cloud Service
Focusing on VMware technology and innovation is only one facet of the conference. We know that to make the learnings from RADIO reach their full potential it’s crucial that the event brings light on trends and innovations outside of VMware. With that in mind, we invited world-class speakers to present at RADIO – industry luminaries, academic professors, and VMware customers. We were privileged to be inspired by Stephen Wolfram and Mary Lou Jepsen, who discussed the innovative projects and the positive impact both are making on the world. We also heard from Matei Zaharia, Assistant Professor at Stanford and recipient of the VMware’s Systems Research Award, and Steve Fowler from American Airlines.
Although the RADIO conference is over, we don’t want the momentum and ideas to stay in San Francisco! While our product leaders and innovation teams review the ideas presented at RADIO for internal investment, we kick off our RADIO@ program in June, which is essentially a RADIO roadshow hosted at many of our Global R&D Sites, including Atlanta, Austin, Bangalore, Beijing, Sofia, and more. At each RADIO@ event, engineers from the local sites come together for the same goals as in San Francisco: to share their ideas, innovate, learn, and network – but at a local level.
Congratulations to everyone involved in a successful RADIO 2017! We’re looking forward to an awesome RADIO@ season ahead and excited to see the passion for innovation is truly at the heart of VMware!