I blogged after my trip to the VMUG yesterday, and this morning was up early to read a couple of blogs that I frequent:
Burton Group's Chis Wolf's take on the Change in Leadership at VMWare
and Alessandro's coverage at Virtualization.info from the inside because an employee leaked a few emails and shared their thoughts.
It appears that based solely on what I have heard and read in the past 18 hours that VMWare is entering the Class III rapids and they may see Class IV before too long.
I will echo Chris Wolf's sentiments that VMWare need to take some crucial steps quickly, and I will explain my take on why. His points:
- Lower the prices of the entire VMware product line
- Accelerate development on a soup-to-nuts solution for the SMB space
- Accelerate development on VMware's virtual desktop solution
- Focus the company's messaging around the application and the total solution
1. VMWare needs to drop their price immediately. Totally agree. When companies compete on price against you there is a reason - typically lack of product maturity - so you take this key competitive point away from the competition. Then you compete on product maturity and functionality. If price is no longer a valid argument to a CIO asking the question - Why Change? - then they need to find another way to compete.
2. The SMB space is tricky, having been in it for 1/3 of my career. They want all of the functionaliy of an enterprise solution with the ability to CONFIGURE not CUSTOMIZE a solution. This is a key point. Think HTML templates vs Notepad. The SMB wants to be able to roll out something useful and meaningful quickly using their mouse as opposed to consultants. They want best practices rolled into the product vs the almight toolkit that can do anything if only they had the expertise, time, and money to do it. My suggestion - build a base or core offering that is simple to deploy and captures the most obvious benefits of virtualization, and then offer widgets and/or bolt ons for the rest of the functionality. If ANY company goes into an SMB to sell a car when the company only needs tires will get their hat handed to them and a firm handshake on their way out. Been there. Done That. Have the T-Shirt.
3. Accelerate the VDI solution. Agreed, with a MAJOR but - do something other than Windows. I have been incubating a VDI solution that uses Ubuntu and while it won't be for everyone, if you could save $1100 per endpoint converted off of Windows, stop paying the Microsoft tax, improve security and risk at the endpoint, shave 60% of support costs off the books, and own and control the Desktop OS, brand it and make it your own - wouldn't you? I will gladly license this to anyone who is interested, and I just signed an NDA with a Fortune 3 to explore it.
4. Focus the Messaging. One of my closest friends CEO/author Michael Cannon at the Silver Bullet Group points out how important messaging is. Michael may want to chime in here, but insure the messaging speaks clearly to the audience for which it is intended. In other words a CIO and a VP of Marketing and a VP of Sales will respond differently to different mesaages. Duh. The key is to make sure you know who you're selling to and why you and your products matter to the audience you are in front of.
So long story short - VMWare has its work cut out for itself. From the outside competitors and the passionate anti-Microsoft internal mindset. It's time to grab a paddle dust off that Kevlar underwear and jump into the rapids...
mark @ virtualizationstuff. com