VMblog: I have to start off by asking, why the name change? Why change from VMworld to VMware Explore? How are sponsors and registering attendees taking the news? I know some folks questioned losing their "VMworld status" after attending so many times.
VMware: VMware is a company that is known for profound reinvention with a hyper-focus on customer innovation. We are defining a new market category, with apps and multi-cloud at the core of everything we do. The transformation from VMworld to VMware Explore has allowed us to revolutionize the VMware experience and showcase ourselves as a cloud leader. VMware Explore is the evolution of VMworld, and will be inclusive of more technologies, and ecosystem and developer communities that help shape the multi-cloud universe. Our sponsors and registering attendees are just as eager as we are to experience this enhanced version of our flagship event.
All previous VMworld alumni status will be transitioned to the VMware Rewards Program. With the VMware Rewards Program, customers and partners will be given an exclusive digital award. Event loyalists will also receive access to the rewards lounge, along with early access to The Party. As we steadily approach VMware Explore, we will be sharing more specific details on what else is on the horizon for those in the program.
VMblog: VMworld has been around since 2004. With VMware Explore being in its first year, can you talk about the key benefits (to either attendees attending or exhibitors sponsoring or both)?
VMware: After two years of online events, VMware Explore attendees will experience a refreshed customer event with the opportunity to network and collaborate with industry peers and best-in-field experts from around the globe at Moscone Center in San Francisco. Attendees can expect feature-rich technical content both in-person and on-demand, along with more business-oriented sessions, customer success stories, and community corners.
Attendees will also learn about multi-cloud and edge architectures from the perspective of VMware experts and customers, as well as how to streamline developer experiences and DevOps practices across applications. VMware Explore will feel familiar to previous VMworld attendees in many ways, while offering numerous new opportunities for discovery.
VMblog: What's the theme for this year's VMware Explore event? And why?
VMware: VMware Explore will serve as the center of the multi-cloud universe. It will focus heavily on cloud transformation, cloud-native platforms, the hybrid workspace, and cloud security. With an unparalleled view into multi-cloud services, VMware Explore 2022 attendees will gain the tools they need to solve challenges by simplifying multi-cloud complexity without compromise.
VMblog: The show is back as a physical event, but will you have an online component for people to attend remotely? If so, will it be limited or will they have access to most things like they did when VMworld was a digital event? How can they sign up and follow along?
VMware: There is a free online option for those looking to attend remotely. VMware Explore will offer unique on-demand content as well as replays from in-person sessions in the digital library. Attendees looking to attend remotely can access the video library link on the VMware Explore website beginning August 29. They will just need a VMware ID to access the online programming.
VMblog: What are you most excited about in preparing for this event?
VMware: After hosting the event online for two years, we are eager to re-connect in person with old and new colleagues who are leading the way in defining the multi-cloud era, including our customers, ecosystem partners and influencers from around the world. We are also looking forward to having attendees experience all the new things VMware Explore has to offer as an evolution of the event they know and love.
VMblog: Without asking you to give too much away, can you talk about what plans you have for the keynotes this year? What are some of the hot topics that you plan to cover?
VMware: VMware executives, industry leaders, and best-in-field knowledge experts will dive into key areas including multi-cloud, app modernization, cloud complexity, supporting an anywhere workspace, and accelerating IT modernization.
On Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. PDT, VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram will provide a behind-the-scenes look at how multi-cloud is enabling and enhancing an always-on, digital world. He will also showcase VMware's strategic partner ecosystem, which is helping customers scale their business, drive innovation and transform customer experiences.
The session will also feature VMware President Sumit Dhawan and CVS Health CIO, Roshan Navagamuwa, to discuss the U.S. healthcare leader's customer-centric approach as it puts multi-cloud into action. Additionally, VMware leaders CTO Kit Colbert and CTO of Americas Amanda Blevins, along with other industry experts will discuss multi-cloud leadership, cloud-native platforms, cloud and edge transformation, and the hybrid workforce. Attendees will also hear from McLaren Racing's Head of Commercial Technology Edward Green, who will share how racing teams in the pit and hospitality suite guests are gaining the same secure, frictionless access to apps.
VMblog: Are there any sessions that you want to shine an extra spotlight on that you think attendees should give some extra attention to when scheduling?
VMware: The Solution Keynotes are always valuable sessions for attendees to prioritize because they provide an exclusive view from VMware leaders on how the company is accelerating innovation to meet customer needs. This year, attendees can learn how Tom Gillis is enabling customers to implement Zero Trust across multi-cloud environments without appliances, tickets, taps or disruptions. Kit Colbert will share how he is thinking about innovation differently through a new customer-centric approach and will highlight the mindset changes and behaviors needed to drive your next chapter of success. We will also have Solution Keynotes for attendees interested in VMware Cross-Cloud services, modern apps, multi-cloud, hybrid work and more.
Attendees also won't want to miss out on The Hub Theater. Be sure to catch pop-up sessions focused on DevOps, live podcasts featuring customers and executives, our "back by popular demand" VMware Throwdowns and innovative entertainers.
VMblog: With the show back as a physical event, how are you incorporating hands-on-labs at this event? Is there anything different this year? Are there any new labs this year? Any of note that people should pay special attention to?
VMware: VMware Explore will see the return of our hands-on labs, test drive demos and the new discovery platform. Attendees will experience the latest VMware products and solutions in dynamic, online and live environments through our expert-led workshops, interactive labs and even some brand-new experiences.
VMblog: Can you talk about what new trends are happening in the industry that people should be aware of?
VMware: Multi-cloud is now the industry standard to enable and enhance our always-on, digital world by transforming the ways enterprises build, manage and secure workloads. However, the complexity associated with multi-cloud threatens to undermine its expected benefits. To win in today's unique ecosystems, leaders need to move from a ‘cloud-first' approach to a ‘cloud-smart' approach of using more than one cloud. VMware Explore will provide a valuable opportunity for attendees to learn how to navigate the unique multi-cloud environment, conquer cloud complexity, and transcend the chaos.
VMblog: Lastly, beyond educational, VMware always finds a way to bring the fun and entertainment to its attendees. What do you have planned to keep folks entertained over the course of the event?
VMware: We always strive to provide attendees with a healthy dose of engagement and fun in between the educational sessions. VMware Odyssey is back, and we are eager to see attendees put their new skills learned from our hands-on labs and workshops to the test as they compete for prizes and bragging rights. Our Hall Crawl will allow attendees to enter giveaways while talking with sponsors and exhibitors. We'll also be showcasing our partnership with McLaren in some fun and surprising ways. And of course, you can't forget The Party, which will be held at the Chase Center in San Francisco and feature local artists, cuisine and entertainment.