Interview with Rafael Solares, Country Manager VMware Mexico
Q: What added value does VMware offer to clients?
A: VMware was born from the concept of virtualization, in which you improve the use of hardware assets, such as servers, by building virtual machines. Virtualization started with x86 servers over 20 years ago. Much of our efforts in those days led to the creation of what we know today as the cloud.
Our mission is to help companies digitalize everything, using virtualization as the starting point. Our approach is centered around five pillars. The first is multi-cloud environments, which are not just private or public but hybrid. We aim to create a cloud environment that can operate transparently and without friction. The second element is that customer must be at the center of each company´s strategy and based on that, the modernization of applications takes on a lot of relevance. This allows agility and scalability. Thirdly, we focus on creating digital work environments. This applies to both applications and desktops. Fourth, we modernize networks. Infrastructure modernization has often evolved as fast as that of data centers. Lastly, we offer security, which is intrinsic to each of the previously mentioned pillars. I say this because we do not place security software on top of the solutions, it is built-in. This means that the security for the data center is the same as that of the devices. They are not separate systems.
We are always looking to innovate by helping organizations become digital businesses that deliver better experiences to their customers and empower employees to do their best work. We started with virtualization of servers, then storage, networks, complete data centers and now workspaces. We also have tools for the development of applications in the cloud, mainly in containers. This is a way to develop apps with shorter and more agile processes. We are integrating these containers with our app modernization technology. This gives clients the benefit of having one administrative console for all systems.
Q: What is your relationship with cloud providers?
A: For us, assets have to be able to be shared with any public cloud and this integration of clouds needs to be easy and transparent. We are not a provider of a public cloud; we are a provider of solutions that make use of the cloud. However, we have alliances with the main cloud providers, including Microsoft Azure, AWS, IBM, Google and local players. These alliances allow their offers to be based on VMware solutions. Because of VMware, public and private clouds are able to use the same language, making them user friendly and transparent.
Q: How did the pandemic impact your services?
A: Around the globe, VMware has over 30,000 employees. Before the pandemic, we already worked from home at some point during the week. Amid the pandemic, we did not have any disruption in productivity. The tools we use are the same tools we offer to clients. Products like Workspace One and Horizon help clients to be as productive as they would be at the office or anywhere else. These products have helped many clients over the last months, with important cases in Mexico. We had thousands of customer employees who in a matter of weeks where able to shift to home office. Many were already in the cloud, which makes it easy to implement solutions very quickly. Many companies that had plans on the table were forced to accelerate them due to the pandemic. This has meant that 2020 was a very good year for VMware. Our revenues were higher than in 2019, which is not something you can say for many other companies.
Q: Does VMware provide products directly or through service providers?
A: Both. Our model is 100 percent indirect. There is always a commercial partner, which can be traditional resellers, integrators or service providers. Today, service providers are an important route. A lot of our tech is provided through as a service, either through our own consumer models or a model managed by the service provider. This gives thousands of clients access to our solutions through a regular payment, including SMEs.
In the past, a great deal of consumption was done through perpetual license. Afterward, companies only paid for maintenance and upgrades. Now, the industry is moving to subscription. In some cases, you can pay per use, in others it is a subscription based on a monthly or yearly payment. This includes everything from use to support and upgrades. New subscription models are making consumption easier because they are better adapted to company investment strategies. Many have a conflict between CAPEX and OPEX, which comes down to acquiring assets against operating them. The subscription models move this expense from the investment area to the operational area.
Q: What has been the penetration of cloud services in Mexico?
A: Practically all industries are evaluating how to integrate cloud into their IT architecture. Some are more aggressive than others. Most are looking for a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud model. Many are not migrating 100 percent to the cloud. There are also a few companies that go for one cloud provider. We feel comfortable with these wishes because VMware allows this kind of adoption.
Q: What is the impact of cloud adoption on innovation in Mexican industries?
A: It provides agility and a capacity to scale very quickly. Companies no longer face a challenge from the technology side. Everyone, whether you are a large enterprise or a small startup, has access to the latest technology at a lower cost each time. A democratized model has allowed Mexican companies to compete with companies across the Americas, in Europe and in Asia. The real challenge is the business model. How do you create a technology-based model that makes you the most competitive?
Q: In which sectors are you the strongest in Mexico?
A: Historically, those sectors that invest the most in technology are our biggest clients. I would say finance, telecom and retail are the three main verticals. However, many sectors are going through a fast transformation. The government has interesting plans for transformation. The same can be said for areas with less investment, like manufacturing and logistics. With the ongoing acceleration, we have seen interesting projects with logistics companies lately.
Q: How is VMware working to strengthen 5G infrastructure?
A: We have alliances with phone network carriers around the world. Their 5G platform uses VMware solutions. VMware has a vertical for telecom. Many of the things these companies used to do with very expensive and large equipment have now been virtualized. They can run the same functions in virtual machines using traditional x86 servers. That is exactly what our software does. A few months ago, we signed an important deal with Dish.
Virtualization is just a part of 5G as it will result in advantages in cost and speed. I think the part that is delaying its adoption is the infrastructure of radiofrequency stations. They are the real challenge. The centralized aspect is fast compared to the challenge of installing enough antennas to provide 5G coverage. Nonetheless, our CEO, Pat Gelsinger, recently stated that in the future, 5G is going to replace Wi-Fi. That is the size of the revolution that will be coming in a few years, moving to a much more efficient network.
VMware is a publicly traded software company from California. It provides app modernization, cloud, networking & security and digital workspace software.
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Fuente: VMware LATAM