We will continue to invest in India: VMware chief

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 26, 2016

Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware Inc

The merger of VMware with Dell is helping the $6.5-billion software firm get rid of its tag of being a virtualisation software company and enter into fast-growing areas such as IoT and cloud. In a conversation with BusinessLine, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger talks about what this merger means for VMware and how India will play a big role in the company’s future. Excerpts:

How important is India for VMware’s growth?

You have to look at VMware for India in three dimensions. One is it is my second biggest site. I have talent here, I have teams and essentially every aspect of the company here. There are very few things we do that don’t have an involvement of my India site.

Second, India is also the home for many of our partners. We do a lot of local engineering with partners such as Infosys. It is easier for an Infosys team to work with the VMware engineering team in Bengaluru. That’s how we are fostering relationships here locally because we are both here. Third is the market opportunity. We are honoured by many large customers here making strategic commitments with us.

In the past, we had not met our market opportunities in India. But we are now happy to see the growth rates in the market are very strong.

How are you getting back these opportunities?

We’ve made changes to the leadership team here, We are also building key customers focused on different sectors, including the government, telecom and financial sectors. We’ve also grown our partner community here as we do almost all our business through the partners.

VMware is still seen as a virtualisation company, while you’ve been trying to focus on other areas such as automation and cloud. Will VMware continue to be a virtualisation software firm?

Given how critically vital the virtualisation component is, it is not like we will not be a virtualisation company. That’s a growing business and we are still virtualising networks and storage. But we are clearly positioning ourselves as more than just a virtualisation company. That is being able to take any cloud, any device, and where in the past we gave customers hardware freedom, in the future we are giving them cloud and device freedom — to have all the security and management as well as the flexibility they require for their business.

What opportunity do you see in the Internet of Things for VMware?

Today, there are about 8 billion human connected devices and about 4 billion machine connected devices. At the end of the decade, there’ll be about 9 billion human-connected devices and over 15 billion machine-connected devices. One is growing 10-20 percent per year and the other is growing 30-40 percent per year.

We are seeing that we are at inflexion point with IoT and every one of those devices needs to be connected, secured, managed — all the things that we do. All of the things that we do will be further expanded by the potential of IoT.

What new opportunities does Dell’s acquisition of EMC and VMware mean for VMware?

If you think about Dell-EMC, just the channel reach they bring to us plus the new solutions that we can provide is enormous. SMB is Dell’s hardline — being able to reach that mid-market customer. We definitely see their reach in markets like India, where they are strong, to give us opportunity to tap them to sell more for us. Also, we see more of solutioning work together.

Both Dell and VMware have a strong employee base in India. Do you expect that overtaking US headcount?

I know that Michael is a fan of India as well. He’s been positive and has travelled to India often. We have about 25,000 employees in India (Dell and VMware combined). He’s very optimistic about the potential of the Indian market.

VMware has been growing substantially faster here than our worldwide employee count and I see no reason for that not to continue for years to come.

The market’s good, our investments are strong here. We see good results from our team and we see our business growing. We are very optimistic in India at large.

Do you see cloud overtaking traditional computers?

About 75 per cent of workloads today are traditional IT and the rest is split between private cloud and public cloud. As we go forward, we’ll hit the 50-50 point of cloud vs traditional IT in 2021. But that’s still split between private and public cloud.

We expect public cloud alone to hit 50 per cent of workload by 2030. This is a long journey. As we are on that journey, customers need a hybrid environment. They are also embracing public clouds. So, they need a singular IT policy for the company as they are adopting multiple clouds. VMware enables that cross-cloud environment.

We are giving them cloud freedom. In the past we gave them hardware freedom.

Published on October 26, 2016
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