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CEO Outlook 2019: 5 Tech Titans Predict How The New Year Will Shape Up

How will the industry’s top executives ring in the new year? Here’s what Michael Dell, Pat Gelsinger, Antonio Neri, Chuck Robbins and Dion Weisler have to say about innovation, investments and the keys to success for their channel partners.

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VMware CEO Gelsinger: Solving The Challenges Of A Multi-Cloud World

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger expects 2019 to be the year of the “self-driving data center.”

For Gelsinger, that means a future “where [artificial intelligence] and machine learning will be deeply infused into private and public clouds” is upon us. “As organizations plan their strategies for modern multi-cloud and cloud-native applications, VMware’s full portfolio of solutions helps customers drive digital transformations from core data center, to cloud, to devices and the edge,” Gelsinger said. “Of course, we will continue to invest in those areas, but at the same time we will invest to open up huge opportunities for partners to expand and grow their practices into these high-growth areas, helping them super-charge their revenue.”

Going into 2019, a priority for VMware is to work with its customers to address the primary challenge they’re facing in what Gelsinger calls “the multi-cloud era”—running workloads that span sprawling environments. “We’ve been saying over the past year that customers want to remove the complexity in their digital infrastructure, so that they can securely run, deliver and manage any app, to any device, on any cloud,” Gelsinger said.

Because customers are using different tools, teams and architectures, “without a consistent infrastructure and operational environments, innovation can be stifled,” he said.

As VMware innovates to simplify operations across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based software giant maintains a strong focus on security. In fact, Gelsinger in October at The Channel Company’s Best of Breed conference said he wants “to disrupt everything about the security industry.”

“With every new or emerging threat, most customers react by buying more security products,” Gelsinger said. “But a security strategy that involves purchasing dozens or hundreds of products simply creates a patchwork security infrastructure, where cracks can offer more opportunities for attack.”

That’s why VMware is building security functionality directly into products like NSX and AppDefense, a virtualization layer technology that monitors application behavior, he said.

David Klee, founder and chief architect at Heraf ux Technologies, a VMware partner based in Scarborough, Maine, credits the virtualization powerhouse for expanding its portfolio to deliver multi-cloud offerings. With products like VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware “is setting themselves up to basically become the foundation for a solid platform for business down the road as companies are willing to start adopting those different hybrid components,” he said.

Enterprises have made large investments in on-premises technology, he said, but hybrid cloud makes sense for many.

“The hybrid play is the most powerful play out there because it lets you use your own investment where it makes the most sense or leverage the right component in the cloud where it makes the most sense,” Klee said.

—Joseph Tsidulko

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