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VMware Overhauls Customer Experience Org, Rehires Sumit Dhawan

VMware has launched a new 4,000-plus ‘next-level’ Customer Experience Team to create a more integrated and agile customer-facing organization.

VMware is elevating its customer experience to the “next level” by creating a new 4,000-plus organization that combines VMware’s global services, customer success, professional services and technical support teams together.

“We spent many months talking to our customers, studying best practices in the software industry, and driving to internal consensus, so that we could create a new unified Customer Experience Team that we believe will help take VMware to the next level of customer satisfaction and success,” said VMware in a statement to CRN.

To lead the new customer experience charge, VMware has rehired Sumit Dhawan as its new senior vice president and chief customer experience officer, replacing VMware’s former global chief customer officer Scott Bajitos.

Dhawan previously led VMware’s multi-billion-dollar end user computing business as general manager from 2013 to 2018 but left to become CEO of web application performance and security services startup Instart. Dhawan had a stellar career at Citrix Systems in various executive roles for nearly 15 years including general manager of Citrix’s enterprise mobility business.

[Related: VMware Licensing VP: CPU Pricing Change Has ‘Zero Impact’]

Dhawan, who will report directly to VMware Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Poonen, will now lead the revamped customer experience team that will consist of more than 4,000 employees including VMware’s professional services, global services, technical support, premier support, technical account management and customer success teams.

Worth Davis, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Houston-based Computex Technology Solutions, said the new customer organization shows VMware is striving to elevate the customer-facing side of the business.

“It’s a positive to see that everyone will now be in one rowboat, rowing in the same direction, under the same leadership,” said Davis. “It’s a good thing. Traditionally, VMware mostly has a sales and engineering experience. Their product works great, but if you had problems, they fixed it. Then they came around looking for renewals. That is VMware’s traditional customer experience.”

Davis said channel partners are leading the customer experience and customer-facing services for VMware today. “Adding a lot of customer-facing engineers will be a good thing for the channel,” he said. “VMware is in every single one of our major accounts. VMware is very critical for the ecosystem. So it’s going to be interesting to see how this [Customer Experience Team] will help. I’m looking forward to it because anything they can do for customers to maintain their lead in the market is good for partners.”

The new customer experience charge from the Palo Alto, Calif.-based virtualization superstar comes after the recent departure of several customer-facing executives including Bajitos, who oversaw the company’s global services team, and Mark Ritacoo, vice president of operations and customer intelligence. VMware also laid off several hundred employees last month as part of its annual workforce rebalancing that included some customer-facing and services positions.

VMware, which is also set to launch a new Partner Program in a few weeks, said the new customer organization will help spur revenue growth and increase customer relationships in 2020.

“The goal is to create an integrated and agile team that can deliver a best-in-class customer experience at scale, across VMware’s solution areas,” said VMware to CRN. 

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