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VMware CEO Says Broadcom Will Lean On Partner Ecosystem: ‘Expect A Lot More Empowerment’

O’Ryan Johnson

‘We are completely approachable. Anytime you need help with a customer, we are here for you,” VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram told partners.

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VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram told partners to “expect a lot more empowerment” under the umbrella of Broadcom CEO Hock Tan, should their $61 billion merger cross the finish line.

“He believes in a very controlled direct approach and a much larger indirect approach,” he said on stage at The Channel Company’s Best of Breed (BoB) conference in Atlanta on Tuesday. “So, he thinks that combination is the right combination. When it comes to indirect, he is very much in favor of having the partners do more. You should expect a lot more empowerment and support for the indirect community in the future.”

Since the May 26 announcement that chipmaker Broadcom had agreed to buy VMware, Raghuram said Tan has done a deep dive into the virtualization leader and emerged with a level of detail that has ‘amazed’ Raghuram.

[RELATED STORY: FTC ‘Second Request’ Investigation Of Broadcom-VMware Deal Launches: 5 Things To Know]

“He’s very direct and decisive. He’s very transparent. You can talk to him and say, ‘What do you think of X’ and the answer he’s going to give you about ‘X’ is what he is going to go and do. So it makes for very high bandwidth conversations and efficient set of activities.”

Raghuram said Tan “grew up” in business as a CFO and considers himself more of a financial business person, than a technology-driven business person.

“He understands the breadth of technology,” he said. “Broadcom has 22 businesses. He understands all of them really well. He’s been digging deep into VMware’s businesses as well. I’m amazed at how much time he has spent, the level of detail he has gotten into understanding all of our business, and having an open mind and probing, why this and why not that.”

The megadeal between Broadcom and VMware is currently on hold pending a “second request” review by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission which wants more time to investigate the merger before it is approved in the U.S. The European Commission, which has sparred with Broadcom in the past, has not yet undertaken a similar probe of the merger, though it was widely reported in June that it would.

Raghuram said in the interim, partners should know that VMware still considers itself an independent company with partners as critical stakeholders to its success. When asked what he would say to partners during this transition period, Raghuram said it’s important for partners to know the company sees no change to their relationship.

“First is we are completely approachable. Anytime you need help with a customer we are here for you. If you are seeing any friction with orders going through, it’s got nothing to do with Broadcom. It’s got more to do with the VMware process. We introduced some new programs in the second half and we had some teething issues with them. We operate as a completely independent company.”

For solution providers who need virtualized environments for their customers, he said VMware has a broader product portfolio and deeper capabilities than either Red Hat or Nutanix.

“It is not just enough to install a Kubernetes layer. You have to be able to control it and manage it. Tanzu Mission Control has no equal in the Red Hat portfolio,” he said. “Nutanix is a good supplier of HCI technology for sure. But where customers are going and where customers are going is multi-cloud. We’ve shown time and time again, for customers moving to the cloud, we can do it at half the cost and half the time of any other solution. Nutanix does not have those type of investments in their portfolio.”

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 ojohnson@thechannelcompany.com..

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