There's a lot of noise in the cloud computing market, and the chatter is growing shriller by the day. VMware, in an effort to cut through the confusion, is playing up the choice and agility engendered by its approach to the cloud.
The heavy-handedness of IT vendors' cloud computing messages suggests a need for customers to adapt their needs to what vendors are providing, and the notion of customer choice seems to have been lost in the fray, according to Rick Jackson, VMware's chief marketing officer.
"They're all saying start over, but that doesn’t make any sense and doesn’t address what CIOs care about most," Jackson said in a keynote Thursday at VMware Partner Exchange in Orlando, Fla. "How can we have a cloud model that ignores the data center? "
VMware's cloud model requires that customers only make incremental technology changes in order to achieve the agility and other benefits the cloud has to offer, Jackson said. "Our role is to enable customers to extend the cloud and bridge to a choice of vendors, so that cloud computing, which will by definition be hybrid, will be a business decision and not a technology discussion," he said.
VMware's umbrella marketing theme for 2011 is, 'Your Cloud', and the company's messaging lines up around the three layers of cloud infrastructure, cloud application platform and end user computing. The theme is VMware's response to the messaging coming from the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and Oracle, Jackson said.
On the cloud infrastructure side, VMware's marketing will focus on business critical applications, management and the virtues of enterprise hybrid cloud. Its cloud applications platform message will center on application modernization, data virtualization and platform as a service, specifically giving customers the choice of deploying apps in public cloud, through partners or in the data center.
End user computing messaging will focus on desktop modernization, reducing total cost of ownership, securing apps and data and managing users as opposed to devices with Project Horizon, Jackson said.
VMware will run campaigns based on each of the three layers and is also planning to launch an SMB-targeted campaign in September. After running three marketing campaigns last year, VMware plans to run a total of five this year, Jackson said.