Rick Jackson at VMworld 2011: Bringing Confidence and Empowerment into Cloud IT


Today in theCube, Dave Vellante and John Furrier spoke with Rick Jackson, VMware’s Chief Marketing Officer, about the direction VMware is going with their products and the nature and theme of VMworld 2011 itself. In fact, many people had been wondering at the banners placed around the venue with a bold, chest-puffed figure with crossed-arms flanking the words: “Own it. It’s your cloud.”

This year, the conference attracted over 19 thousand attendees, over 250 vendors, with more than 350 learning sessions going on. In fact, the close brush with Hurricane Irene probably dampened the attendance just a little bit and if it weren’t for tropical tempest blowing across the East Coast the numbers might have reached 20 thousand. Still, even with the slightly lowered attendance it exceeded last years VMworld 2010, which drew 17 thousand.

It suspected that VMworld will soon outgrow Las Vegas.

The theme, “Own it. [It’s] your cloud,”Jacksonsays is all about empowerment and confidence. This is why the figure seen in the banners is puff-chested with arms folded across his chest. The IT everyman presents a sense of promoted self confidence and the know-how to deal with modern-day problems and that they can be dealt with using cloud solutions. And VMware intends to set the course.

Jacksonbrings to the fore that VMware sees the cloud as changing the industry from the inside out and how this transformation will have to strike at every level of the ecosystem. Virtualization—point-in-fact, desktop virtualization—isn’t just about transferring the desktop view from the PC onto a mobile device, Jackson explains, it’s about bringing a user experience by combining data and application. Most users don’t want the desktop all over again: they want to be able to access their data and applications in a seamless fashion that uses the interface at their disposal with as little adaptation as needed.

As a result, the next step in the industry must be about providing user experience and enabling not just end users but empowering IT divisions to offload applications and data from PCs themselves, into a virtual machine elsewhere, so that those same applications and data can be remixed on any surface that they’re presented to the user.

This means that IT departments have the power to choose presentation over functionality (since functionality should be virtualized anyway and irrespective to hardware.)

VMware brand messages: It’s about cloud services and how people consume them. It really does take the entire ecosystem to make this entire paradigm change real and actionable.

Virtualization is not just a market; it’s an economy. All aspects of IT are now being touched by this paradigm and there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity in this transformation about implementing and managing this technology. A lot of companies are looking for help on this transformation and that means that consulting and services have a strong role in the future.