VMware is riding the crest of a wave and claims it is the fastest growing software company in history, recording global revenue of $US5.21 billion for the last financial year alone.
The company has built its success on the back of server virtualisation and was the first to virtualise the x86 architecture. The other critical ingredient to its rapid growth, since it arrived in Australia in 2004, is the channel.
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Now the company is attempting to virtualise the network with the Software-Defined-Datacentre (SDDC) which it hopes will build revenue to upwards of $US10 billion in the next 10 years.
But again channel partners will be critical in bringing this to reality.
VMware vice-president and managing director A/NZ, Duncan Bennett, told ARN there was no way the company could have done what it had in the last 10 years without the channel.
"Together we were able to scale the business at a massive rate and we couldn't have done it any other way," he said.
"Today [VMware Partner Exchange] was about making sure our channel understands this next wave, the second act of the play: storage and network virtualisation are just as much a channel play as the first 10 years.
Bennet said we would soon see Software-Defined-Networking right across the datacentre.
"Success going forward will be predicated on the success going back. No play finishes after just one act," he said.
"The opportunities for all of us are quite massive and in many ways dwarf the opportunities of the last 10 years.
"The network virtualisation opportunity is like the server virtualisation opportunity was seven years ago.
"The opportunity for NSX is just as large as the opportunity for ESX."
VMware sees three strategic opportunities which include the Software-Defined-Datacentre, hybrid Cloud and end user computing (EUC).
The company's EUC play has also been bolstered with the January purchase of AirWatch for $1.54 billion.
Bennett said one of VMware advantages was the ability to help organisations go to market quickly.
"They want to be able to provision just as quickly on the network," he said. "We don't make hardware, we are providing and abstraction layer to assist in virtualisation.
"There's a lot of discussion in the SDN market here in Australia, we are more focused on working with our customers and making our first customers successful."
Bennett said the successful service providers are not necessarily the fastest or the cheapest.
"The value comes from how well you understand you understand the customer," he said.
VMware senior vice-president, global customer relations, Dan Smoot, said specialised hardware was being eaten by specialised software.
"We are moving away from the software vendor mentality to an infrastructure mentality," he said.
"We need to make network virtualisation not just a discussion, but the discussion."
Making SDDC mainstream
Smoot said the 'must-wins' for 2014 were to make SDDC mainstream, win the network architecture battle, become the leader in mobile enterprise management and to establish vCHS as the preferred hybrid Cloud platform.
"In the market place 85 per cent of our revenue comes from our partners," he said.
"We are committed to the channel. If we are going to get to a 10 billion company this is the room [PEX keynote] that allows us to scale.
"That second act is how do we deliver IT as a service?"
VMware believes there is a $US50 billion market opportunity in SDDC, EUC and hybrid Cloud.
VMware director, channel A/NZ, John Donovan, said the message had gone beyond IT transformation to business transformation, with the virtualisation of infrastructure.
"It's a much more complex message," he said. "We have had to build more relationships with a much larger ecosystem.
"The challenge we have now is to build value into that relationship and we have been working on our value proposition."
Donovan said the re-engineering of the partner program pushed the value to the top end.
"The higher the level of commitment from the partner, the more we will reward them." he said
"The rewards are all focused on partners with competency.
"We still see room for partners where the requirements around certification are not great.
"But where certification is not great, the rewards won't be as great.
"We are really going out of our way to build competencies in the ecosystem."
Donovan said not everybody would be agile enough to take advantage of the opportunities at hand.
"For us to be able to grow revenues from $5 billion, to $10 billion, to $15 billion means we will have to accelerate. Whatever the model looks like, we will have partners at the centre of it."