VMware's Eschenbach: Six Ways To Drive Transformation Into Cloud

Transforming to Private Clouds And Public Clouds

With many customers fully virtualized, now is the opportune time to take them the rest of the way toward a true cloud solution, and the channel is the best means to drive that shift, said Carl Eschenbach, president of customer operations at VMware Tuesday night during a keynote at the Global Technology Distribution Council Summit in Newport Beach, Calif.

"A lot of people say 'You're an extension of our sales force.' But you are our sales force," Eschenbach said of the channel. "Embrace disruption. With disruption comes opportunity. The cloud is so disruptive. People don't know what it actually means, which gives us the opportunity to be that strategic advisor."

Eschenbach outlines six ways the IT channel could drive business transformation solutions to take advantage of private clouds and public clouds. Here's a look at each:

1. Deploy Private Clouds

Eschenbach noted that its customers are now 50 percent virtualized, thanks to its existing channel partners, so VARs represent the best route to help those customers implement a private cloud than its existing set of partners

"They've already taken their customers 50 percent of the way towards cloud computing. So who then is in a better position to take them on the rest of the journey. Implementing private cloud still represents the largest opportunity for all of us in our industry today and right now the best position to do that is our partner community," Eschenbach said.

2. Deploy/Manage Public Clouds

Eschenbach cautioned that many people are now caiming to be able to start selling public cloud even though they're "working out of Starbucks" but he cautioned that those folks don't have the skill set to implement the technology to do that.

"[But] our existing set of partners do. We can help build public cloud and do that by leveraging the services that our partners have," Eschenbach said.

3. Partner with Service Providers to Resell Cloud Services

VMware, anddistributors can "bridge the gap" or act as aggregators or connectors between public service providers and the existing set of VARs to sell public services back into the private cloud, Eschenbach said. "It gets back to leveraging the competency we have today," he said.

4. Assist Hybrid Cloud Migration

VMware and distributors need to help VARs assist customers with the migration of applications to the public cloud, Eschenbach said.

"There is a massive opportunity over the next 10 years for what we call application modernization or application replatforming. It's taking applications that exist in data centers today and helping them move to public cloud, whether it's software as a service or just a public cloud provider," Eschenbach said. "Because we're deploying the applications in the infrastructure for our joint customers today, our VARs are also in the position to help with this."

5. Build and Resell Private Clouds

VMware sees its VAR community as innovative and not just wanting to continue to sell servers, storage, networking and PCs into its client base, Eschenbach said.

"They're saying 'We're going to stand up and offer our own cloud service.' They're either building it themselves or they're going to a service provider who's already build it and they're buying a rack," Eschenbach said.

He advised to start managing a customer's data because the closer you are to the data and the closer you are to the application, the more strategic you are to the customer.

"This s an opportunity to partner with those innovative resellers out there. I can think of one off the top of my head, SHI [International, in Piscataway, N.J.]. They're not just a reseller of cloud, they actually stood up their own cloud. Very innovative.," Eschenbach said.

6. Migrate/Transform/Build Applications on Top of Cloud

There's an opportunity for everyone to help ISVs and software companies build a new differentiated modernization strategy around cloud, Eschenbach said. "Today, a lot of software companies get their revenue from a licensing model for selling perpetual licenses. Now they have to think about selling software as a service and how can we collectively move that model without disrupting the massive revenue streams they have today," he said.

The result of all this is will cause significant adoption of cloud in the market by customers, Eschenbach said.

"Leveraging the starting position we have today, we've moved the industry in a rather short amount of time to an industry more than 50 percent virtualized. We are now better aligned with our customers because we have provided significant benefits. Leverage that to take them on the rest of the journey to a true cloud era of delivering IT services," Eschenbach said. "Embrace disruption. With disruption comes opportunity."