Following a year of acquisitions, VMware integrates across the technology stack to support customer transformations

TBR perspective

Gone are the days of the legacy virtualization giant that only serviced customers in their data centers. Among the key takeaways from VMworld 2020 was that VMware is rapidly evolving to meet clients wherever they wish to consume their data, whether that is across multiple clouds, in the core data center or at the edge. The slew of new or updated cloud, edge, desktop and security offerings announced at VMworld are the result of the company’s ongoing acquisition spree as well as strategic partnerships with some of the industry’s most powerful players. However, VMware cementing its “Any App, Any Cloud, Any Device” mantra was only half of the VMworld story, as the company also unveiled innovations that are completely new for the company, including full-stack automation, enterprise AI and support for graphics processing unit (GPU) technology. Specifically, VMware’s groundbreaking partnership expansion with NVIDIA and proposed acquisition of SaltStack suggest the infrastructure specialist is trying to help clients look up the technology stack, where enterprise value is ultimately created. This proposition largely aligns with VMware’s recent business model shift — in which Subscription & SaaS revenue is starting to outweigh traditional license revenues from both a volume and growth perspective — to capture enterprise mindshare. Recurring business has been led by acquisitions, and given the company’s success targeting niche players and integrating them across all layers of the technology stack, future acquisitions in areas like containers, security, automation and cloud management cannot be ruled out. As Gelsinger likes to say, “vSphere is the new VCF” and “Kubernetes is the new Java.” VMware’s ability to unify and sell an underlying cloud-ready platform with additional modern application development products and services will be key to the vendor’s positioning as a partner working alongside customers’ transformations.

As COVID-19 continues to take its toll, VMware (NYSE: VMW) hosted its annual VMworld event virtually. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger kicked off the event with a keynote session discussing the broad role technology plays in everyday life, a theme that particularly resonates in the middle of a pandemic. The three-day event offered breakout sessions, product demos and customer success stories at each level of VMware’s digital transformation-enabling strategy.

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