Interview: Sylvain Cazard, CEO of VMware France
By   |  December 04, 2015

Sylvain Cazard, CEO of VMware France, gives us an update on the status of the strategy of his company shortly after VMworld 2015’s announcements draw a wider perimeter.

HPC Review: Can you update us about your company’s strategy?
Sylvain Cazard: VMware is doing very well in a rather sluggish industry. We are pursuing the same strategy initiated three years ago by our CEO Pat Gelsinger, who has several objectives: first, help transform the datacenters and software-defined datacenters into digital software factories, which are intended to benefit both the infrastructure of companies and their cloud service providers. We also work to improve the future workplace through our Workspace application portal that is constantly evolving to reflect changes in business and mobility needs. As demonstrated by the announcements made at our last VMworld 2015, we have worked to expand our product portfolio by integrating the technologies needed to better prepare for the future needs of enterprises, including the means to assist them to better achieve their digital transformation.

Which of your products portfolio have been improved most significantly?
We have continued to invest in the same direction, both through internal development as well as the needed skills and activities to complement our offer. We also worked on the integration of new components and technologies to support our strategy and continue to anticipate the changing business requirements of our customers. This integration of our technological bricks has one objective: to help them increase their value. Mobility is a growing part of our business. Management of mobile fleet management and of distributed applications while maintaining a strong end to end security are strongly increasing imperatives.

How have your activities evolved?
We of course continue to work on developments at the heart of our business around virtualization. Our customers continue to show their confidence in our offers that highlight the value proposition. It is interesting that it now exceeds traditional virtualization framework that is heart of our business, to extend our other offers and services and take the form of support over time. We therefore speak only more hypervisor, but the integration of a set of software solutions in the service of their activity and their occupations.

Beyond the role of technology provider, our business has also evolved towards more support for enterprises. We rely on it for 200 partners in France, a figure doubled in a year. And an interesting fact: the number of SMEs that gradually tilt in one of our solutions is significant and growing. A strong trend with an interesting corollary around a growing number of cloud service providers adopt and integrate our technologies.

How do you see the evolution of your business offerings?
Our offer is strengthened particularly in terms of converged and hyperconverged platforms, which further strengthens the coherence of our strategy. Our corporate EVO Rail appliances offer is complemented by a range EVO SDDC (ex EVO Rack), which completes the functional scope with the layer software defined network including NSX. We are accompanied on these initiatives by our eight OEMs: Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi Data Systems, Inspur, Netapp, NetOne and SuperMicro. Keep in mind that in order to ensure simplified deployment, the EVO Rail appliances go through a rigorous and complex industrial process of certification and integration. In terms of the typology of any company adopting these two product lines EVO Rail is adopted by SMEs and IT departments of major accounts. Evo SDDC aims for its share of high availability tasks with high performance test and find its place in the larger datacenter.

What is your strategy regarding application containers?
As confirmed by our announcements at VMworld, is a major development for VMware, that we had already identified last year through our partnership with Docker. We continue our developments to provide a comprehensive platform of application containerization with the same guarantees of resilience and availability as the rest of the technical infrastructure that we put in place. Many Tech Previews allowed to lift a veil on the future of application containers at VMware, which is a priority for us. We combine the logic of the portal application a range of services to go towards more automation, as many criteria to allow companies to retain control of their information systems throughout the conversion of the latter, and aim a self-service infrastructure.

How do you see the evolution of business needs in the coming months?
We expect a double evolution. First among our customers that we support for the establishment of their IT transformation plan, adjusted according to their level of maturity. And acceleration of project mode deployments incorporating steps, components, services, and applications involved in the business and take advantage of a growing hybridization. With a decisive progress, based on our ability to accurately calculate the ROI and TCO of the modeled digital transformation projects throughout the cycle of their deployment. Note that Gartner and Accenture have been with us for large projects.

On the other hand, we expect further mergers or consolidation of data centers as they are adopting software defined technology to improve their infrastructure responsiveness to meet their customer’s needs. All these developments fit in our strategy and are on our roadmap.

What key elements do you see clear in the near future?
We see Internet of Things with great interest as to support the exponential increase of connected objects, we must continue to improve the resilience and adaptability of the infrastructure that will support the business around of these objects. Other topics that we see with increasing importance in the coming years are OpenStack, hyperconvergence, DevOps and application containerization and of course, software defined network and the related security topics.

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