Yesterday I attended a VMware analyst briefing in good ol' Beantown, a.k.a. Boston, Massachusetts. Having had the opportunity to speak with the executives of well over 120 companies offering something in the realm of virtualization technology, I came to the event with a fairly neutral viewpoint. Although I was ready to listen to what the VMware executives had to say, I really hoped VMware would, in the course of the executive presentations I heard, would counter some of the challenges other suppliers had planted in my mind. Believe it or not, they actually were able to address nearly every issue!
I'm sad to say that the non-disclosure agreement I signed before coming to the event prevents me from talking about some of the more juicy things they presented. That being said, I left far more impressed with VMware's strategy than I was prior to waiting in traffic to go through the Boston harbor tunnel.
Diane Greene, CEO of VMware, presented a clear, simple overview of what the company was doing, where it was going and, somehow, successfully included nearly every industry buzzword or catchphrase used in the media today. It was an impressive performance. Ms. Green made those buzzwords perform an impressive marching routine. In the end, it was pretty clear that the company was doing its best to fullfill their promises to their customers that they would make things simpler, more reliable and easier to manage.
Raghu Raghuram, VMware's VP of Datacenter Products and Solutions, followed Ms. Green and offered a peek behind the curtain and explained how the company was planning to make the industrial sorcery work in a customer's datacenter. Jeff Jennings, VMware's VP of Desktop Products and Solutions, spun the same kind of magic on the desktop or client side of the world. Good job, guys.
I'd love to comment on the rest of the presentations, but I'd be in touble with VMware's analyst relations team and, in all likelihood, VMware's legal department. I will present what I can in upcoming posts.
I know that these events are meant to cloud analysts' minds and sway their opinions. I'm on my guard so that doesn't happen without some pretty powerful data to back up the marketing messages. I now have a much better, much more complete view of VMware's products and the company's strategy. I was also impressed with how comprehensive the company's approach is.