VMworld 2018… from Disruptive Outsider to Legacy Platform

As I was preparing to attend a couple of weeks ago, I realized how much history the company and I share. was founded the year before I became an IT industry analyst. A few months after I started that job, a pair of reps on their first analyst “tour” briefed us to explain and promote the company’s technology and strategy.

Further along, I was covering in 2004 when it bought VMware, a deal spearheaded by CEO Joe Tucci that still qualifies as one of the tech industry’s all-time best corporate acquisitions. In 2016, I was covering both and when the latter announced its plans to acquire the former, along with its 85% stake in VMware.

Both VMworld 2017 and 2018 took pains to emphasize synergies between the company and its new parent but for slightly different reasons. Last year’s event was all about organizational continuity, including assuring VMware’s customers, employees and shareholders that Dell EMC fully understood and would continue to respect the company and its achievements.

VMworld 2018 contended with subtler issues, including Dell’s recent decision to reenter public trading, including acquiring the VMware tracking shares it issued in 2013. In addition, the recent departure of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has led to speculation that VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger—once a senior executive at Intel—was being touted to replace Krzanich.

So along with celebrating some notable milestones for VMware, including being both the company’s 15th and the 20th anniversary of its founding, VMworld 2018 emphasized VMware’s leadership stability, along with the continuing, growing value it provides .

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NOTE: This column was originally published in the .

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