VMware Partner Leadership Summit Looks to Future of IT
The second VMware Partner Leadership Summit is taking place this week at Rancho Palos Verdes, California. This annual, invite-only event brings together VMware partners, including solution providers, service providers, system integrators, distributors, technology partners, and OEM partners. By design, the event is smaller than VMworld events in Las Vegas and Barcelona, and affords a unique opportunity for C-suite executives to network and share best practices with peers in an intimate setting.
“The conversations and learnings are the best part of the Partner Leadership Summit, but it’s important to celebrate together, too,” says Ross Brown, senior vice president of worldwide partners and alliances at VMware. “It’s not all about transactions and revenue. We want to acknowledge the transformative value our partners are bringing to customer environments. We are invested in each other’s success.”
Major Changes in IT
Brown notes that the IT industry is in the middle of one of the biggest shifts in the last 50 years, and much of the discussion at the summit will focus on changes, challenges, and opportunities.
“Up until now, the CIO’s office also doubled as the project management office (PMO) and was responsible for taking the lead in major projects, such as installing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, but that’s going away,” says Brown. “Today’s companies want IT as a service, not a product, and that increasingly encompasses not only the technology but also how it’s delivered and run.”
From his discussions with partners, Brown expects attendee conversations to focus on both near- and long-term IT issues. In the near term, organisations are focused on digital transformation. This includes modernising data centers, implementing hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions, and deploying solutions such as VMware’s Workspace ONE™, which makes it easy for employees to work from anywhere, on any device.
Longer term, many companies are experimenting with emerging technologies related to the Internet of Things (IoT), cross-cloud functionality, and the larger trend of IT delivered as a service.
Finally, many enterprises are looking to move to a functional cross-cloud environment in the next year. Brown advises those organisations to start today on the prerequisite work of modernizing their data centers and upgrading to VMware vSphereⓇ 6.5, so they’re properly positioned to extend their on-premises infrastructure to a hybrid-cloud world.
We Learn From Customers
“I honestly believe that everyone in our industry shares a piece of the wisdom,” says Brown. “From our partners and customers, we learn about market trends, competing products, and even how our products work—sometimes in surprising ways.”
For example, Brown notes one VMware customer in the medical field that is cleverly using VMware AirWatchⓇ to deliver mobile as a service. If an employee loses a phone, the company can have a new one delivered overnight, and it arrives fully configured with all the employee’s apps installed.
Better Coordination and Predictability
Brown and his team are responsible for delivering more predictability, improved processes, and better collaboration with key channel partners. For companies moving to the cloud, Brown and his team help partners unspool complex pricing models to arrive at predictable costs. For larger companies, the focus is on driving digital transformation and business impact.
“We have some of the best technology on the planet, and we see our main role as building tools that solve customer problems,” says Brown. “In addition, it’s critical for VMware to continue to articulate a vision for where IT is going, not only to lay out a thesis for the market and our solutions but also to deliver on reliability, scalability, and predictability. When we do that, we create value for everyone.”