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VMware Has ‘Potential’ To Create New Cisco, HPE Offerings Post-Dell: Partners

With Dell Technologies’ spin-off of VMware set for Monday, channel partners say the “barrier” is being lifted for VMware to form new and improved technology partnerships with the likes of Cisco, HPE and AWS.

Dell Technologies is set to spin off its majority stake in VMware on Monday with the potential for the virtualization and multi-cloud software superstar to form new or greatly expand its technology partnerships with the likes of Dell competitors such as Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and public cloud market leaders.

“The spin-off is going to have some effect at some point between Dell and VMware,” said Robert Keblusek, CTO of Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sentinel Technologies, a fast-growing national VMware and Dell Technologies partner. “I like the potential for sure, because I like what Dell and VMware we’re doing together on Vx:Rail, as an example, and in the hyperconverged space. Maybe VMware will be more appealing for others to do similar things with vSan and native-VMware technologies, or even VMware clouds on the hyperscale clouds.”

Partners said the “barrier” will eventually be lifted between VMware and some of Dell’s major storage, networking, server, cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure competitors.

“It’s possible in the future for a company like Cisco or HPE to start to create more VMware-centric offerings. I mean, they already have some now, but the spin-off might lift a barrier, in that, VMware really would be less of a direct competitor to those organizations which might make partnering and innovation a little bit easier together,” said Sentinel’s CTO Keblusek, ranked No. 110 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500 list.

[Related: VMware’s Spin-Off From Dell Is Nearing: 8 Huge Things To Know]

“So there’s a lot of potential there, but it really is going to depend on what they what they do, what they announce, who they put in place and what their philosophy is. So there’s a lot of things that would have to come together, but I’m pretty optimistic on partnering with VMware going forward,” he said.

In an interview with CRN, VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram said not being directly connected to Dell will enable his company to become the “Switzerland” of the multi-cloud world.

“If you think about multi-cloud, what we really are saying is that we want to be the Switzerland of the industry,” said Raghuram. “So if you want to be the Switzerland of the industry, then you want to be a stand-alone independent company, and that’s where we are headed.”

Raghuram said the spin-off will allow vendors that “previously were competitors of Dell to now look at VMware with new life and say, ‘Hey, we can do strategic things with VMware.’”

One top executive from a solution provider who is global partner of Dell, Cisco, VMware, Microsoft and Amazon, expects VMware will double down on creating new joint solutions and offerings with other vendors, specifically with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“They want to be the multi-cloud leader. So they’re already in the data center and they know their customers are moving many workloads, applications to the cloud. AWS is where they can make the SaaS [Software-as-a-Service] inroads they want, especially with large enterprises,” said the executive who declined to be named. “And that’s what we’re seeing in the field already. … There’s tremendous growth and customer acquisition opportunities ahead for VMware as a company if they team up more with AWS.”

Just today, VMware unveiled a new work-from-home offering that ties VMware’s SASE security with Amazon’s Eero Wi-Fi systems targeting remote workers.

VMware is collaborating with Eero, an Amazon company, on work-from-home capabilities that will boost remote network connectivity while extending critical security services to devices that are connected to an at-home corporate network. Although not yet generally available, the offering pairs Eero’s 6 series mesh Wi-Fi systems with VMware’s SASE work-from-home offering.

Earlier this month at VMWorld 2021, AWS and VMware launched VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts, which will be a direct data center competing product against Dell Technologies.

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts is a jointly engineered on-premises as-a-service solution powered by VMware Cloud Foundation that runs VMware’s software-defined data center software—including vSphere, vSAN, NSX and vCenter management—on dedicated Amazon bare-metal instances provisioned in AWS Outposts.

“So now you can have AWS running in your own data center on a managed and maintained and patched basis for you—all with VMware as well. It’s just a great offering,” said AWS CEO Adam Selipsky during a session at VMWorld this month. “It’s the next horizon in what we’re delivering to customers together. I couldn’t be more delighted to be doing it.”

However, partners say VMware won’t be making any new joint HPE or Cisco offerings in the near future.

Dell and VMware have committed to a five-year commercial agreement to keeping its highly successful technology and sales synergies intact.

“We’ve created a unique and differentiated commercial agreement that essentially formalizes all the things we’ve been doing,” Michael Dell, Dell Technologies CEO and founder, recently told CRN. “So you know about Vx:Rail, all the stuff we’ve been doing with SD-WAN, software-defined networks, and all the joint product developments around supporting VMware Cloud Foundation and the multi-cloud platforms—all that continues uninterrupted. The companies will continue to partner in a super strong way.”

Additionally, Michael Dell will continue to be the chairman of VMware post-spinoff.

“I think VMware is going to have to tread a little carefully for the next few quarters, maybe even a year or so [post-spin-off],” said the executive from the global solution provider. “But the speed at which this industry is moving now, it could be sooner rather than later, because you can’t wait around for anything or anyone anymore.”

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell is set to sell off its 81 percent stake in VMware to Dell Technologies shareholders next week on Nov. 1.

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