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Focus on evolving business models in 2018, VMware execs tell partners

Artificial IntelligenceChannel StrategyCloudInfrastructureSecurity & PrivacySoftware

2018 is quickly approaching and companies are preparing for what seems like the inevitable digital transformation of their businesses.

In the second part of our two-part Q&A, CDN spoke with VMware’s vice president of the Americas partner organization, Frank Rauch, and its Canadian channel chief, Tara Fine, about where the company is headed in 2018 and what VMWare partners should expect in the new year.

You can read part one here.

(The following Q&A transcript has been lightly edited for clarity and flow)

CDN Now: Digital transformation seemed to be the buzzphrase of the year, so how important will that be to VMware’s strategy going forward in 2018?

Frank Rauch

FR: It’s in our company’s charter to be able to lead people through the digital transformation process. What that means for us is modernizing and managing our customers’ data centres, the digital workspace, and transforming security. We think most businesses will implement or stick with a hybrid strategy, and the cloud will be a big part of that.

Security will also be important when it comes to digital transformation, so we’re working with our partners to make sure we’re not supplying just spot solutions, but solutions that can cover everything from endpoints like Internet of Things (IoT) devices to data centres, so that our customers feel comfortable migrating to the cloud.

CDN Now: Are there any emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence or IoT, for example, that you’ve flagged as something you’d like to build off of or utilize going forward?

FR: I think we’re going to stay the course. We’re very excited about new things like the container environment and IoT, and we’re starting to make a play in the AI sphere right now. I think you’ll see us in all of the above, but we want to make sure we are mature in the businesses we’ve already started, however.

CDN Now: What should organizations and partners be thinking about as 2018 approaches?

Tara Fine

TF: Well, we’re all in this together. As Frank mentioned earlier, hybrid cloud strategies are popular and we’re hearing a lot about it from our partners. We’re seeing a ton of market opportunity there in terms of moving customers into the VMWare software portfolio, so I would tell them to focus on leveraging those products and technologies.

FR: I think at the CEO level, partners should be focusing on evolving their business models and redirecting resources. Most of them have been selling hardware products in data centres for a while, but virtualization is really the route the market is going, which is a bit of a transition. We’re committed to working with them financially to help them evolve their successful longstanding businesses to drive a more creative growth.

CDN Now: What are you as an executive preparing for in 2018?

FR: I’m just hoping to have another great year and getting ready for more growth. We’re investing in people to help our partners develop practices, we’re investing in more efficient delivery models to deploy faster, we’re investing in business intelligence to help partners identify targets and offer the right type of product or service, and we’re investing in marketing to tell our own narrative. We’re optimistic about the momentum we have and we think it will be sustainable.