In preparation for VMworld Europe taking place in Barcelona next week, we caught up with Sam Routledge, Solutions Director at VMware Premier partner Softcat, to see what he hopes to get out of the event, and his top tips for those attending this year.
First of all, thanks Sam for taking the time. We wanted to start by asking how the last 12 months since VMworld 2013 have been for Softcat?
It’s been a really cracking year for Softcat with lots of recruitment and growth – especially on the VMware side, which has grown even faster than the overall business and continues to be one of our focus vendors.
Have you noticed any changes in the market around how VMware is perceived?
In the last 12 months we have really seen a step change when speaking with customers. VMware was previously just seen as a virtualisation product – but this is changing. Customers are really seeing VMware as a strategic partner now, providing solutions which support their move to the hybrid cloud and the SDDC.
You’re heading to Barcelona for this year’s VMworld Europe, your sixth time I believe – what keeps you coming back?
VMworld is a big deal for Softcat; we always take along our key customers, with 30 attending with us this year. For me it’s all about the opportunity to learn and hear from the VMware leaders on what’s coming next, which means myself and my team can take that knowledge back to our customers to get ready for when the new products and services are launched.
What are you most looking forward to at VMworld Europe?
The keynotes are always massively important, it’s a chance to hear from the ‘big brains’ at VMware – I’ve had the chance to meet with Pat Gelsinger a few times, for me a true industry titan, and a chance to get a brain-dump from these guys is invaluable.
On the product side, NSX is really exciting for us and an area with huge potential. I’m going to be looking to see examples of real world deployment, gathering best practice from my colleagues and those exhibiting in the Solutions Exchange and take this back to our customers who want to be on the cutting edge and integrate this knowledge into the proof of concepts.
What are the added benefits at VMworld, as a partner?
The opportunity for executive engagement and roundtable opportunities are hugely valuable. Having been a part of the Partner Advisory Council for several years now, I have also had the chance to see feedback really make an impact on what we are able to offer our customers.
What are your top objectives for this year’s VMworld Europe?
Number one is spending time with our customers – finding out from them where they feel the market is going and making sure we have the structure and offering that matches.
Secondly, I always ensure to spend some quality time in the Solutions Exchange, picking up on any new vendors and interesting innovations coming through. Even if they are not relevant today to our business, it’s always great to see what others are doing and the new technology on offer.
Thanks again Sam for taking the time to share your perspective on VMworld we also caught up with Joe Baguley, Matt Piercy and Gavin Jackson – to get their thoughts on VMworld – take a look at the videos.
It’s still not too late to register for VMworld – head over to the site and sign up now!