Speaking at theCube with SiliconAngle Founder John Furrier and Wikibon Co-Founder David Vellante, VMware Mark Egan talked about agility, bringing the customer experience into the corporation, and the changing focus of the CIO (full video below).
“We’ve been looking at how we can save money for the company, how we can be more cost-effective,” he said in an interview webcast on SiliconAngle.TV from VMworld 2011. “But we have to be more than that. We have to enable our businesses, enable them to make more revenue and provide better customer satisfaction.”
He said that IT has to become more agile. For instance, his IT department has delivered 39 Tier 1 projects in the last three years including a new sales system and a BI system that generated $3 million in revenue over three years.
In the area of mobility, he has rolled out VMware View to a third of the company’s employees and Horizon to half of the company so far to support business applications and data on their mobile devices. And the entire company is now on SocialCast, the internal social media system that VMware liked so much it bought the company.
Actually one of the biggest surprises Egan had this year was the immediate adoption of SocialCast across the company. “People are used to Facebook. With SocialCast you can ask a question and get answers from the entire company.”
The challenge with SocialCast, he said, is understanding just what you want to share across the company and what you perhaps do not want to share. Posting on the system is the equivalent of sending out an all-company e-mail, so it isn’t the place to post personal or confidential information.
He also used VMware’s vFabric to rewrite all of the company’s customer portals. Of course it saved the company licensing fees, but it also allow him to provide a richer experience to customers and lets him make changes to portals faster.
Overall, he said, IT is changing rapidly with virtualization and cloud computing. These major changes raise people and process issues. The hardest to deal with are the staffing issues. IT needs to recruit flexible, smart people who are comfortable with social media and with adapting to new technologies. People who work well at the physical hardware level may find it hard to adapt to working at the virtualization level. And basic processes, things like development processes, intel, and release to production, are also important to get right as IT speeds up adoption of new technologies and tier 1 applications. “You have to get your governance processes right,” he said.