By Kirsten Cox, Vice President Marketing, EMEA, VMware
Creating outstanding experiences for customers and employees, whose expectations have changed, is the new transformation battleground. This was a prominent theme emerging from VMworld Europe this year, as was the news that industry reshaping technologies – like cloud, mobile and security – are very much making this a reality rather than a distant vision.
Most organisations now recognise that the following questions have taken centre stage: why change? How do I do this? How do I create those outstanding customer experiences? How will a multi-cloud strategy support this? How can I really empower my employees? And how do mobile technologies create exciting and productive experience for them? Each are questions that the business and IT teams are asking themselves as they prepare for this profound era of transformation – across all market segments – and thankfully, each can be answered by VMware and its extensive base of 33,000 partners across EMEA.
Our industry-envied ecosystem of partners is the essential ingredient in delivering these cutting edge technologies and techniques that offer real business value to organisations seeking how to change. The ‘how’ is addressed through delivering against what we see as four strategic IT customer priorities in order to put IT on the front-foot of transformation: to stand out from their market competition by creating outstanding user experiences and engagement.
We see these priorities as modernising the data centre to support business innovation and growth; enabling businesses to integrate public clouds, providing cloud freedom and choice while ensuring the best possible cloud use. Empowering digital workspaces, to enable employees to be productive wherever they are and making sure the right individual has access to the right information; and critically, transforming security so that data, apps, devices, data centres and clouds are compliant and secure.
At VMworld Europe this year we provided even more firepower to help businesses, government departments and service providers benefit from cloud, mobile, security and network function virtualisation (NFV) technologies, for example:
• Significant advancements to the VMware cloud management platform were made to help customers deploy, operate and better manage their IT infrastructure across a multi-cloud landscape.
• The VMware Mobile Security Alliance was expanded to provide a more secure digital workspace than ever before.
• An expanded set of cloud provider offerings were introduced in order to help partners build, manage and grow their business.
• A new, integrated Dell EMC and VMware NFV solution was unveiled, helping service providers to become more nimble and accelerate production deployments.
It is validation for our partners and customers to know of the momentum these technologies are gathering in the market. VMware has 10,000 Virtual SAN customers, up from 8,000 last quarter, which is the fastest growth since ESX, and our Cloud Provider Programme has grown 30%. All of the advanced technologies, including NSX and EUC, are growing at double or triple digit rates, in many cases faster than the forecasted CAGR from the analysts.
IDC has forecast that 77% of businesses plan to leverage a multi-cloud strategy within the next two years. Gartner predict that the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) market is expected to reach $8.5B by 2020. This is just a snapshot of the huge market opportunity that customers and partners alike have today.
Partnering with perfection
At VMware we recognise that it is our partners who play a central role in helping to make all of this a reality, by creating deeper partnerships with cloud providers, including our extensive Cloud Provider Program partners as well as partnerships with IBM and AWS. They are the ones building and maintaining relationships with end user organisations, speaking to them day in and day out on the challenges they’re having and providing an array of different solutions and capabilities to ensure they are able to meet their priorities and business outcomes.
We are also working with our partners to help organisations deliver real societal impact. Take cloud services provider Node Africa for example, which successfully helped InteliPro, a data science consultancy based in Kenya, build a bespoke solution for the East Africa Farmer’s Federation. With the help of Node Africa, InteliPro has been able to successfully build cloud-based analysis tools that grant farmers easy access to financial services and credit they would not normally qualify for.
As Pat Gelsinger stated in his keynote, technology is breaking out of the tech sector and completely transforming entire industries. Yet despite the advancements we have made, there is still a universe of possibilities ahead, for us, for our partners and industry and government. Industry-reshaping technologies are helping organisations to become extraordinary, redefining how they interact with users to compete, and connecting each of us with information in ways not previously possible. It is the collective might of us joining with our partners that will fuel their transformation: firstly by delivering the ‘how’ and secondly by allowing them to then realise what is possible.