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VMware COO Sanjay Poonen's Six Biggest Statements From CloudLIVE

‘Stay humble, stay hungry. I never want to lose the roots of that 18-year-old Sanjay who came to Boston Logan Airport and had 50 bucks in his pocket,’ says the chief operating officer of the Palo Alto, Calif., cloud computing and virtualization software and services company.

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VMware Is A ‘Switzerland-Type Of Company’

“We did some research on what customers are looking to get out of this move into the multi-cloud world, and the hope and the promise was these things like speed, agility, the flexibility and the ability to serve your customers better. But the reality is very different. Today, it's difficult to do this in a kind of hand-brokered way, a manual way, just managing a lot of your cost management through spreadsheets. Doing this with just a tool and with one cloud is not effective. So we looked at this problem, and we said, ‘Listen, we've got to solve this in a fundamentally new way.’”

“First of all, it's very important that we build relationships with all the big cloud providers. If you look back 20 years ago, the most important companies to VMware were the hardware companies -- Dell, HP, IBM and now Lenovo. But what is the cloud? It's just a new hardware economy. We were effective in getting all of the old hardware economy to work with VMware. We've got to make sure that we have all the new hardware economy...and we began to chip away at that. And that was, for us, a turning point. For those of you who have been tracking VMware, 2015, 2016 was actually a low point for this company, because we didn't have our cloud strategy. We had a turning point…where we said, we have got to embrace the public cloud and build this bridge into the public cloud.”

“We began that relationship with Amazon, and Amazon embraced VMware. I described sort of that Berlin Wall moment. VMware and Amazon were competitors for a long time. When we got on stage and said we're going to allow this to be a place where VMware workloads could move to Amazon, the world was shocked. We are today the only company that has all of the top six public clouds embracing VMware -- AWS, Azure, Google, Alibaba, IBM and Oracle. That's very important, because at the infrastructure level, you want to know that you're working with a company that has deep relationships with those public clouds. We obviously keep it very guarded, because we want to make sure that we're (not) sharing things across, but they respect the fact that we're a Switzerland-type of company.”

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