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VMware CEO Gelsinger On Disrupting The Security Industry, Pushing Subscriptions And Cracking The Code On The AWS Partnership

Matt Brown, David Harris

Gelsinger Takes Center Stage

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger is taking a broad and aggressive stance on the future of the IT security market, and working to position the virtualization kingpin as a leader among a shrinking group of security players.

In an interview Channel Co. Executive Chairman Robert Faletra and CRN News Editor Steve Burke at the 2018 Best of Breed Conference in Philadelphia, Gelsinger put the multitude of vendors in the crowded security market on notice. "I want to disrupt everything about the security industry," Gelsinger said. "Security [vendors] have failed our customers."

Gelsinger compared current security strategies that rely on throwing more and more security products at problems and potential problems to trying to stop bullets with a blanket.

"Your customers are looking for more, and just giving them another warm blanket, expecting that's going to stop bullets doesn't do it," Gelsinger said. "We've got to get more sophisticated capabilities.

Some enterprise customers use as many as 250 individual security products at any given time, Gelsinger said, but will whittle that number down significantly. When they do, Gelsinger aims to be one of the 15 or 20 that make the cut, he said.

Gelsinger also took on hot topics like VMware's burgeoning relationship with Amazon Web Services, its strategy around hybrid cloud and new subscription-based sales models, and said solution providers are in a position to make gains on the confusion that surrounds the fast-moving cloud market.

Subscription sales models are well on their way to becoming prevalent in the market, Gelsinger said, and mastery of that aspect of customers' purchasing strategy "is not optional."

What follows is an edited excerpt of Gelsinger's conversation at the 2018 Best of Breed Conference.

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