VMware Express Tour - bringing desktop virtualization to you

Will VMware's express tour 2010 persuade decision makers to buy desktop virtualization?
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

It appears that VMware is taking its messages (and its products) and stuffing them in a truck to tour select cities in the U.S. They're calling the tour "VMware Express Virtualization Tour 2010." These tours are rather expensive to run. Will this tour have the impact that VMware wants?

What VMware has to say about VMware Express

The VMware® Express mobile briefing center is capable of showing VMware products in action. On its tour around North America in 2010, the VMware Express will bring not only demos of VMware products to users and partners but also provide a detailed look at cloud computing for the desktop and server both today and tomorrow.

Inside the VMware Express, visitors will first experience the capabilities and flexibility of the VMware View™ desktop virtualization solution. The following demos highlight key VMware View capabilities addressing IT challenges, end-user requirements and key business objectives.

  • Best User Experience - Highlighting the power of the PCoIP display protocol to deliver a rich user experience, perfectly adapted to the network connection and end-point device.
  • Follow-Me Desktop - Enabling immediate access to desktops, applications and data while ensuring a consistent user experience across sessions and endpoint devices.
  • Access Across Boundaries - Providing access to desktops, applications and data anytime, anywhere regardless of network availability.
  • Windows 7 Migration - Reducing the costs and complexity associated with desktop and application migration.

Next, users will be shown the details behind server solutions from VMware as the Express also showcases the world's most complete virtualization platform known as VMware vSphere™. VMware vSphere transforms datacenters into dramatically simplified cloud infrastructure. This transformation enables the next generation of flexible, reliable IT services to be delivered both within public clouds, as well as from public clouds. Combining industry leading virtualization technology and experience from VMware, VMware vSphere delivers uncompromising control, with greater efficiency, while preserving customer choice. In addition, the VMware Express shows VMware vCenter™ Server, a scalable and extensible platform that forms the foundation for virtualization management, and the family of vCenter products such as , AppSpeed, , and many more focused on providing advanced operational controls.

Snapshot analysis

Desktop virtualization and its components; access virtualization, application virtualization, virtual machine software and operating system virtualization and partitioning technology; has not experienced the same uptake as has server virtualization. This may be attributed to the fact that an organization's servers are usually found in a small number of places so "touching" them is easier and less costly. Desktop virtualization can mean an organization must send someone out to all of their remote locations. This, of course, can be time consuming and rather costly. This tour is clearly designed to heighten IT decision makers' interest and knowledge about the benefits of this approach.

Having lived through several of Digital Equipment Corporations tours, including tours focused on networking, database technology, personal computing and on UNIX, I know how costly and staff intensive these marketing events can be. The key question is will this approach to information transfer produce enough market awareness, partner awareness and customer sales to be worth the bother.

It's important to note that tours of this nature serve several purposes and so measuring them must be a multidimensional exercise. Here are some of the dimensions that must be considered.

  • Will enough potential customers be persuaded to attend the event?
  • Will any of them be persuaded to take the next step and ask for a personal demonstration and a proposal?
  • Will any of those who asked for a proposal actually buy something?
  • Partner training is often part of such a tour. Will representatives of VMware's partners and channels become more effective through a single, quick training session?
  • Will VMware actually see increased revenues, increased market penetration and the like?
  • Will those increases (if any) pay for the costs incurred to create presentation materials, demonstrations, signage and, of course, buying and deploying one or more trucks? Will those increases pay for the staff, the computers, etc. is another set of considerations.

I've personally attended past VMware shows. They usually are slick and invite attendees to learn more about the company's products and services. I would bet that this one will follow in the footsteps of earlier efforts.

Unfortunately, this tour isn't coming close enough to my office for me to attend.

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