While attending last year’s VMworld in Barcelona, I took part in a QA session. Ever since I get questions from other partners in the Netherlands, I’ve promised several persons to write a summary and put it up as a blog, and now I finally did ;-)
I got interviewed during the keynote of Ian Evens (at the time Vice President End User Computing EMEA at VMware): he asked me several questions as part of his keynote. Being interviewed was a fun experience and I received a lot of positive reactions. The interview was recorded, but never released due to the fact it was a partner-day. Below are the six questions and the text is a transcript of the questions and the answers:
Q1. Why are you being positioned as the Dutch VMware Knowledge partner?
Answer "Good question well ITQ is a Dutch based company and do 60-70 % of our business in the Netherlands, the rest we do in Europe and the Middle East. But the key point here is knowledge partner… and that is wat WE stand for… and what we believe in. We wake up every morning because we have a passion to get better. The way we do this is by implementing the known and exploring the unknown. The known is known and that is the great thing about the known. But the unknown is trickier. That is why my entire team is here today, to discover new innovations, to educate ourselves in new areas, and to share our knowledge with this great community. We don’t sell hardware… and we don’t sell software… What we do and what we focus on at ITQ is offering knowledge to our customers. We believe that knowledge is without any doubt our most important asset of our company. "
Q2. Historically you have been focusing on SDDC technologies. 2 years ago, you decided to invest in building an EUC practice. What are the key reasons you made that decision?
Answer "We build the EUC practice because we saw that the SDDC and the EUC were melting into one. We saw that focussing only on Datacentres wasn’t going to be enough for the customers… But to be fair… this was a tough challenge for us. And we struggled with this… We knew we had to do something to provide the best service for our customers…. But how? Now… I believe there is always a moment in life when a decision becomes clear. And that moment came two years ago at a breakfast meeting with Carl Eschenbach in Amsterdam… I talked to him about the challenges I faced and he explained the vision behind Any Cloud Any app Any device, and ended the words: “Francisco you have to go BRAVELY”… That was the moment we decided to go with it. To explore the unknown once again…"
Q3. What services opportunities does EUC business open up to you?
Answer " I think this question is different… Because it is not the EUC that opens up new business… but it is the combination of SDDC and EUC that the customers are looking for. Between 2014 and now we have done dozens of projects that we combined these worlds. Not because we told our customers to do so, but because the customers wanted this… they are looking for a professional service partner that can combine the SDDC and EUC world."
Q4. You are currently implementing a project of 4500 users Workspace ONE. Helping customer implementing a digital workspace also requires them to make operational and organizational changes. What is your point of view, and is this an opportunity for partners?
Answer "The short answer is YES. There are many more opportunities than only implementing the technology. It is true we are currently working on a project for 4500 users… but this is one of several projects we are working on right now. And, for us, it all starts with the question WHY. By the way go and see the session of Brian Gammage, he is one of the guys that inspires me. He is the person that taught me all about the BAT strategy… not to go into too much detail about this.. .but the B stands for Business, and that is where you want to start. Start with the question WHY? Why does a customer want a new workspace environment… This is more of a people and process discussion rather than technology.
For example: What is their vision on Hardware, what is their vision on supporting their customers, what level of self-service do they want to implement in the organisation. These are just a few examples of key questions that need to be answered BEFORE we can implement the correct architecture and technology. All of us here are partners and experts in our field and excel in the architecture and the technology aspect of our business. But we believe this isn’t enough... By focussing on the business requirements… the question why, we can build a long term business relationship with our customers… By CO LAAA BOR ATING with our customers… By discussing WHY we are building this technology for them? This leads to new opportunities and possibilities for everyone as VMware partner."
Q5.Your team has a lot of knowledge in all VMware technologies. Which synergies do you see between VMware EUC technologies and other VMware technologies?
Answer "Yes absolutely… let me give you 3 examples:
The first is NSX you bring micro segmentation to your end device. But by combining NSX with the new features of AIR WATCH you can bring the security of the end user device to a whole new level. There will be plenty of sessions on this the next few days at VM world.
The second opportunity I see, the V Realise Operation Manager, so now you can not only monitor the SDDC… but with the same tooling you can monitor your entire workspace environment. This enables you to stay one step ahead of the problems the end users might experience.
The third is your Cloud Management Platform, the V Realize Automation, that is the ultimate step to bring self-service to end users. This enables end users for example reset their own passwords, request group memberships and request new applications by themselves. Of course there are many more examples such as DR, High Availability and Manageability. And like I said before, the SDDC and Workspace Environment are melted into one world."
Q6.If you could give 1 piece of advice to the partners in the room, what would it be?
Answer "Well…in 2001 I was 24 years old and I had a discussion with my close friend Paul Geerlings, who I founded ITQ with. And we asked ourselves the question: “How could we create a Professional Service Organisation that permanently invests in the best consultants?” We realized that most companies invest in the people that can’t keep up with the dynamic market. And we wanted a different approach. The world around us is changing so fast… Therefore we believe that SPEED is the new currency…
You need to be prepared to permanently invest in your team to keep THEM up to speed. Therefore, my tip to you: and this is something I am truly convinced about. Keep investing in skills and knowledge. By doing this you will not only be successful today… But Be Successful Tomorrow… "