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Life After Dell: VMware Exec Heaps Praise On HPE, Lenovo, Teases Tie-Ups With NEC, Fujitsu, Hitatchi

O’Ryan Johnson

‘As we emerge from that [Dell] relationship, it’s opened up a huge playing field for us. The HPE relationship has absolutely blossomed. … Being part of GreenLake, which is into the several billions of dollars worth of revenue for HPE at the moment, being part of that motion has been fantastic,’ says Ricky Cooper, VMware’s head of the Worldwide Partner and Commercial Organization.

VMware’s head of the Worldwide Partner and Commercial Organization, Ricky Cooper, is touting the “warm embrace” of IT equipment vendors—and some Dell Technologies rivals—as the company looks to a 2023 filled with partnership announcements.

“We’ve received a warm embrace from the other large global partners,” he told CRN. “It’s been a double win for us this year. Not only maintaining and growing with Dell, whilst at the same time taking ground with some of the OEM partners.”

[RELATED: European Regulators: Broadcom-VMware Combo ‘Would Lead To Higher Prices, Lower Quality’]

Dell owned VMware from 2016 until November 2021. While Cooper said VMware could still work with other OEMs, being under Dell sometimes kept those vendors at arm’s length.

No more, he said.

“Whereas in the past they may have shied away a little bit because our ownership model was with a big OEM competitor of theirs, as we emerge from that relationship it’s opened up a huge playing field for us,” Cooper said.

Cooper said he has been around the world talking with OEMs about doing business with VMware, speaking with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lenovo, NEC, Fujitsu and Hitatchi. The company unveiled a critical partnership with HPE in November, which HPE President and CEO Antonio Neri called “the next step in expanding the partner system of HPE GreenLake.”

That partnership makes VMware Cloud available across HPE GreenLake’s portfolio. Whether the customer deploys on-premises, in colocation facilities or at the edge, they purchase only the amount of infrastructure they require through a pay-as-you-go cloud consumption model.

“VMware, of course, we were a part of that, but I felt that we were really missing the link and that was to be an active part in that, to co-design,” Cooper said. “What I was talking about earlier, some of the great learnings that we have from that Dell relationship, the strategic solutions, what we’re doing with Workspace ONE, what we’re doing with multi-cloud with Dell, and then taking that to some of the other providers into these new areas such as GreenLake.”

VMware still has business connections to Dell, Cooper said. Because some of its most lucrative products are deeply integrated, the two companies operate under a five-year commercial framework agreement that outlines their partnership.

“We’ve still got a number of employees over on the Dell side who are VMware-focused, and we have a number of Dell-focused employees within VMware,” he said. “Those teams have worked tirelessly to ensure that success has been continued.”

VMware is in the midst of being acquired by San Jose, Calif.-based chip maker Broadcom for $61 billion. The deal has yet to get past any of the competition hurdles it faces in the U.S., the European Union and the U.K., where regulators are in the first stages of looking at the deal.

O’Ryan Johnson

O’Ryan Johnson is a veteran news reporter. He covers the data center beat for CRN and hopes to hear from channel partners about how he can improve his coverage and write the stories they want to read. He can be reached at

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