Day 1 began with the general session, where VMware Executives presented to the partner community and reinforced the importance of the partner as the unsung heroes helping to drive the VMware business and most importantly driving value for their customers.
VMware's Brandon Sweeney, Senior Vice President , WW Commercial and Channel Sales took the stage to a packed room and began the day talking about the journey VMware has taken over the past 20 years. Founded in 1998 VMware has continued to innovate and be a disruptor in the industry. Introducing vMotion in 2001 to NSX and Airwatch, the leading mobility platform to-date, to vSAN being introduced in 2003 and now the VMware and AWS partnership which is leading the transformation for customers to a hybrid cloud infrastructure.
Brandon spoke about the tremendous growth of the product lines such as NSX up 50%, EUC up 30%, and vSAN up 130%. These products are the fastest growing portions of VMware's business making up for more than 65% of their business.
He spoke about how VMware has again transformed their business and this transformation involves deeper partner ecosystem. VMware is changing the way they do business within the partner community, with things like the Center for Advanced Learning.
Robin Gunn, Vice President of Global Education Sales and Delivery took the stage to discuss how VMware is investing in its partners through technical enablement which is where the Empower event came from, giving partners their own technical event.
The Center for Advanced Learning will allow partners to have access to the same training that VMware gives to its own employees. This also includes things like Live Fire events which are hands-on training for products like VMC, NSX, and SDDC. I have taken several of these and can state that these are of high quality. There are several of them at the Empower event.
Robin spoke about a new Learning Zone which is a social platform being launched where participants can earn points that can be used toward things like exam vouchers and passes to VMworld.
Matt Stepanski, Vice President of WW Professional Services, joined the stage after Robin to talk about how VMware is transforming their business to really focus with partners on "Solutions and Outcomes" to business challenges. Customers are transforming and VMware is transforming to better align with the business needs of its customers through better partnership within the building blocks to Partner-Led Service Delivery.
Matt spoke about one example in particular, the PS credit program, where VMware will transfer PS credits to its partner to deliver solutions such as EUC, NSX, and VMC. PS credits are part of the ELA sold to a customer with the expectation that those get transferred to a Partner to do the work.
VMware continued the general session, bringing Chris Wolf, Vice President & CTO on stage to talk with partners about the products driving transformation within the business.
Chris started by talking about Cloud-to-Edge principles for things like Native API access, Docker, Openstack, Service APIs, and embracing opensource, and Kubernetes.
VMware wants to deliver consistency across all these platforms in a safe and secure way to deliver the best value to the developer community while maintaining operational consistency and control for IT.
Workspace One is an example of this, delivering over 1.5 million applications, whether it be Windows, Virtual Apps, SaaS, Legacy, or Mobile applications across a unified platform while allowing for IT to maintain Identity, Security, and Compliance.
Connecting people to content, applications and each other through a combination of AirWatch, the market leader in mobility, and Horizon.
VMware Cloud is another example of how VMware is helping customers deliver consistency to Run, Manage, Connect, and Secure Any App on Any Cloud to Any Device. With VMware Cloud Services delivering the cloud management, allowing for Visibility, Operations, Automation, and Security to the cloud environments while allowing for choice in the cloud infrastructure with partnerships with AWS, IBM Cloud, OVH, Microsoft Azure and Google.
Chris spoke about the VMware Cloud Services offerings which cover things like Wavefront a metrics monitoring and analytics platform, NSX Cloud, Network Insight, Workspace One, Cost Insight, and Appdefense, and how these tools are helping customers transform their hybrid-cloud to gain better visibility into the costs associated with cloud, securing the infrastructure with NSX, and gaining better insight into how to best deliver a hybrid-cloud infrastructure with products like Network Insight and Wavefront.
Chris spoke to the complexities of making applications "Cloud Ready", and how costly that can be. With VMC on AWS customer's gain native a native platform running linked mode vCetners with further integration with native AWS services without the complexities and costs associated with re-architecting applications.
VMware is on a very aggressive roadmap to delivery more abilities faster and faster.
He then spoke about one of the latest acquisitions of VeloCloud and how this is solving a problem for customers around SD-WAN. This is a cloud-delivered SD-WAN which enables enterprises to securely support application growth, network agility, and simplified branch and end-point implementations while delivering high-performance, reliable access to cloud services, private data centers and SaaS-based enterprise applications.
Chris also spoke about containers and how they are helping to transform how customers build and service applications through Opensource Kubernetes, and Pivotal Container Services. He describes NSX as the fabric bringing full automation to these environments automating the network for Cloud-Native applications.
Chris ran through a demo of containers on VMware as you can see from the above video.
Chris ended with talking about Partner-Led Solutions and what VMware's vision is for this. He spoke about edge computing, where the digital and physical worlds collide, and how IoT is driving this along with the importance of data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality. He spoke about the drivers being time, data, network, privacy, and of course control in this new age of technology where products like VeloCloud and SD-WAN play an integral role bringing a consolidated solution for IoT which includes the management of IoT infrastructure itself, automation, and operational technologies.
Overall this was an excellent general session for the first Empower event, which is meant to empower VMware's partners to deliver the best solutions in the market to their customers.