“VMWare allows the datacenter to act like a public cloud,” says VMWare COO Sanjay Poonen. “It is a multicloud world. While AWS will be first and preferred for us, we want every customer that has VMWare in the private cloud but AWS, Azure, Google, IBM, and Alibaba, those are the top five hyperscalers, and all of them have embraced VMWare.”
Software Is Defining Everything
We had a great quarter. You have to put the bigger picture in perspective. We’re in the golden age of software where software is defining everything. Software companies, in general, are doing well. What we have done as a company is focus on making the datacenter software-driven and we think there is a bright future there. We showed some examples of that in hyperconverged (HCI) and in software-defined networking (SDN).
We also showed some incredible momentum with our partnerships in the hybrid-cloud. Amazon is obviously first and preferred there. We announced a partnership with Azure. There is also the digital workspace which is all of the devices. We think our future is bright and we just have to keep executing. Our view is always the long-run.
In This Software Future We Are Not Tethered To One Company
I think there is a little bit of a misperception that we should nip in the bud (regarding correlating Dell’s earnings with VMWare). First off, VMWare’s business with Dell in these areas like hyperconverged, we’ve now surpassed companies like Nutanix who are number one in hyper-converged infrastructure, and in the digital workspace where we are partnering with Dell Laptops, those are going very well. We want Dell and VMWare to do well together. In the datacenter we work with Dell, HPE, Cisco, Lenovo, etc. There is no one hardware player that is the majority of our business.
In cloud we work with AWS, Azure, Google, Alibaba, and IBM. You won’t find another company that has got as many hybrid-cloud partners. In the digital workspace, we work with Apple, Google, and Microsoft. In this software future, we are not tethered to one company. We are optimized to Dell, we are not tethered to them. You need a software-based solution for any of these areas, the datacenter, the cloud, or the digital workspace during tough times and in good times.
It Is a Multi-Cloud World
You should think about applications like mobile homes. They’re going to move from the datacenter to the cloud on this freeway called VMWare. The mobile home could go to one cloud and may come back. VMWare allows the datacenter to act like a public cloud. We make the hardware datacenter look like Amazon. Now if you are an Amazon customer, and they have 30-35 percent market share, number one in the market for cloud, they are our preferred cloud partner, we can help customers. We have many customers who are adopting VMWare cloud in AWS.
For those customers who said we are not an Amazon shop, for example, we quoted Walmart in our earnings announcement, they are using Azure. They have an option now because we announced a partnership with Azure. There are some customers that are going to have some other clouds. It is a multicloud world. While AWS will be first and preferred for us, we want every customer that has VMWare in the private cloud but AWS, Azure, Google, IBM, and Alibaba, those are the top five hyperscalers, and all of them have embraced VMWare.
IBM is a great partner of VMWare. We love their services business. IBM Cloud has 2,000+ customers. We are going to partner really well with Ginni Rometty and the team. We compete with a small part of Red Hat’s business in containers. Over 80 percent of Red Hat’s business is Linux, a good part of their business which is OpenShift and JBoss, is not doing so well. The future of containers is a small part of the business. We can walk and chew gum. We can partner with IBM and compete with that small part of Red Hat and that’s our focus. We want a big tent at VMWare. We want to partner with as many people as possible and compete with as few people as possible.
Make Your Story Sesame Street Simple
First off, if you want to serve your customers well start by serving your employees. One of my professors at the Harvard Business School, Len Schlesinger, wrote an article and book on service profit chain. What he talked about is if you want to create shareholder value focus not just on customer satisfaction but satisfied employees. Hug your start. Take care of the best and brightest who come in there.
The second one is something that all of us can do which is make your story Sesame Street simple. All too often, I see product managers and account executives blabbering on with PowerPoints. Let’s tell the story just like you are telling the story to your mother or to your kids. Ironically, when you make things simple you’re going back to the basic principals of Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, or Dale Carnegie, How To Win Friends and Influence People. It’s not that complicated. Have customer empathy.