CW: Will the Nicira acquisition make you competent enough in the public cloud space?
Yes. Nicira is a network virtualization provider, and it complements our offerings for compute, server, and storage virtualization. We have inherent networking virtualization capabilities in the vSuite, the technical foundation for software-defined datacenters. The next revisions of vCloud will have Nicira embedded in them. Enterprises can run network virtualization in any environment, and it does not make sense for them to run only in the vSphere environment.
CW: Are SMBs mature enough to ride the virtualization trend?
Virtualization is about driving down costs, and our business comes from various segments. We have more market penetration in enterprise accounts, as we define them. Most of the headroom is in the SMB space as the market is yet to mature for virtualization. But there is no direct competition, wherein we take virtualization installation from other competitors or vendors. Eighty-five percent of the market is still not virtualized in India and is up for grabs. Saving money on a single server might not be the reason for an SMB to go for virtualization. There might be other reasons such as compliance, security, and preventing downtime.
CW: What are your recent initiatives for channel partners to make more money in the marketplace?
We have introduced Partner Link, which extends social media engagement to our channel base. We primarily push information to our partners as we monitor Facebook and Twitter feeds. Post the announcement a few months ago, we now have 1,500 partners signed up, and they have created many communities, helping each other on both a technology level and business level.
We are not a leader in end-user computing. However, when we sell into that space, the conversation does not start there, but at the datacenter virtualization level. For those who require connections that make workload available to end-users in a secure way through any device of their choice, we have various offerings like the Verizon suite or offering to migrate from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8. Partners can benefit with us in this space too.
vSphere with operation management is a big white space and a great up-sell opportunity for partners. We have 400,000 vSphere customers worldwide. Resellers can thus increase their deal size and margins with us. The deals can increase 4x at times as partners continue to invest and reap the benefits, going down the virtualization journey.
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