Flying into the Clouds: Q&A with Richard Munro, Chief Technologist and Technical Director for vCloud Air, EMEA

October 7, 2015
Flying into the Clouds:  Q&A with Richard Munro, Chief Technologist and Technical Director for vCloud Air, EMEA

Ahead of VMworld Europe, we sat down with Richard Munro, VMware’s Captain of the Cloud Pilots, to talk about the must-see sessions for those looking for a smooth journey towards the cloud…

Hi Richard, thanks for speaking with us. First of all, what should the Cloud Pilot persona look out for at VMworld?

Whether those in your organisation love or hate the cloud, the chances are they can’t avoid it! Cloud is here now and it’s here to stay. VMworld 2015 Europe offers a great chance to do everything from learn the basics through to discussing the most advanced strategies.

Here’s what we have in store for the Cloud Pilots who have been putting our solutions and services to work or are thinking about it…

First off, we’ll be showing a number of customer videos in the keynote on the Tuesday morning – giving Cloud Pilots a chance to hear how their peers are addressing challenges with Hybrid Cloud approaches. We also have over 30 track sessions, answering every cloud question you might have – from Object Storage, Disaster Recovery and Advanced Networking – along with more discussion-based sessions and Quick Talks with VMware experts.

Perhaps most exciting is the opportunity to get deep with the ‘Hands On’ Labs. This includes a chance to familiarise yourself with vCloud Air, something very close to my own heart. And, for the first time ever, VMworld 2015 Europe is hosting a Hackathon. Taking place on Wednesday between 10am and 4pm in the Hangspace there are loads of challenges to take on and great prizes to win – including a free ticket to next year’s VMworld event.

Finally, as an added bonus we’re offering £600 or €600 free vCloud Air service credits for all VMworld attendees. Simply visit the vCloud Air kiosk in the Hangspace or the VMware stand in the Solutions Exchange to sign-up and take advantage of this offer. (And bag yourself a free t-shirt in the process.)

What are the biggest challenges facing the Cloud Pilot persona?

Cloud Pilots are facing numerous challenges every day as they navigate their way through increasing IT complexity. Perhaps the most pressing is ensuring that IT remains a valuable asset in helping their business to remain constantly agile. By developing and deploying next generation mobile and web applications organisations can remain competitive – but it requires a robust and reliable cloud strategy.

Also on their minds is how the IT department can continue to grow and develop using the skills and experience they already have. Although many problems are the same – Disaster Recovery, cost reduction, operating system upgrades, consolidation and automation – they require a new way of thinking to ensure that they fit within the organisation’s modern IT estate.

What can the Cloud Pilot persona do to offer the most value to their business?

The successful Cloud Pilots will be the ones who can help their business better understand the reasons why the public cloud is so useful, overcoming the outdated perception that it’s simply for reducing costs but actually is much more about increased capabilities and shortened time to market.

Understanding what’s driving the march to the cloud puts our Cloud Pilots in a perfect position to provide support and guidance. It is also their job to familiarise themselves with the options available. This way they can become lead advisors to the business and the IT department, able to lay out the options for specific cloud deployments and the advantages or disadvantages of each one. 

What does the future hold for the Cloud Pilot persona?

It’s going to be vital to understand how your business can get the most value and return out of cloud technology.  In the digital economy, knowing how to capitalise on cloud and its potential will be the difference for many companies. Unsurprisingly, the fast will win out over the slow!  Cloud Pilots need to be well placed at the centre of how businesses, helping them leapfrog their competitors and providing the keys to success in IT and business.

It’s going to get more exciting and might be a bumpy ride – our Cloud Pilots will be leading lights in that journey!

Don’t forget to review your bespoke Cloud Pilot agenda and use Schedule Builder to add in your other chosen sessions and create your personal agenda for your time in Barcelona.

Stay tuned for more content as we get closer to VMworld; follow us on Twitter @VMware_UK for all the latest news.   

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