Originally published at VMware Customer Experience and Success by John Sabino

Participating in the multi-cloud event of the year, VMware Explore US, left a lasting impression on me. As I wrote last month, this was my first experience attending VMware’s flagship event. VMware customers were front and center from start to finish.

Kicking off Day 2 with my Customer Innovation Showcase session allowed us to focus on how the VMware Customer Experience and Success (CXS) team empowers VMware customers to accelerate their journey to cloud smart. We had the pleasure of hearing from leaders at McLaren Racing, Comcast, and JPMorgan & Chase on partnering with VMware CXS to build their multi-cloud solutions.

McLaren Racing: Seconds matter when delivering data connectivity

Ed Green, Head of Commercial Technology, McLaren Racing, knows a great deal about meeting tight timelines. He also knows the power of assembling the right team to cross the finish line in first place.

The McLaren team faced a challenge at the start of the Formula 1 season – deploying 200 Android devices with embedded applications into the device kiosk for the Miami Grand Prix. With no time to spare, the team started working out how to manage and deploy the digital assets. McLaren chose VMware CXS because of their technical expertise and because they have the people willing to get in the trenches, solve problems, and work alongside the customer to achieve goals.

“Everything we do is about choosing the best technology for the team. But technology is almost a given. We know you’re best in class at what you do. You’ve got the best technology and an amazing research and development process. It’s the people. As a customer, you want to know that you’ve got an amazing group of people working together that care about making your outcome successful.”

Ed Green, Head of Commercial Technology, McLaren Racing

The audience and I were on the edge of our seats as Ed discussed preparing for deployment on the eve of the Miami race. After sharing the gripping details of how McLaren and VMware CXS worked together through the night to get the devices ready for the drivers, Ed shared what’s next in their digital transformation journey. It’s interesting to hear how McLaren is changing how they look at customer service and their technical landscape regarding the core and edge.

Comcast: People and partners make the difference when innovating from within

Stephanie Trotter, Comcast SVP of Cloud Technologies, was next to take the stage with Matt Stepanski, VMware SVP Global Professional Services, to discuss what it takes to build an environment at scale. Comcast’s multi-cloud journey began in 2010 with its first private cloud aimed to change how set-top boxes work. As Comcast progressed, the idea of cloud became popular with more purpose-built clouds.

As Stephanie shared with the audience, the challenge is to take these purpose-built clouds and establish general compute or try other third-party technologies like AWS, Microsoft or Google. Stephanie’s role when she joined was to bring the diverse teams and technologies together.

The company was looking at how to get to general compute and more standardization and automation to gain efficiencies. For Comcast, however, reliability is the first requirement from an organizational perspective.

As a result, Comcast wanted a partner who knew VMware Cloud Foundation to work with their engineers to roll out capacity on demand. So, over the last three years, VMware Professional Services has supported Comcast on their cloud journey to build reliability, performance, operability and reduce costs.

“Everyone knows that the people are what really make the difference,” says Trotter. “We needed a partner like VMware Professional Services to be there thick and thin with us.”

Stephanie Trotter, Comcast SVP of Cloud Technologies

JPMorgan Chase: Start with why and lead with transparency

VG Kurup, Managing Director – Global Head of Compute, Networks and Storage, JPMorgan Chase & Co., spoke next on successfully deploying one of the world’s largest VMware Cloud Foundation environments. VG shared his thoughts with Kevin Meeks, Senior Vice President, Customer Success, about the role of cross-team collaboration and multiplying a private cloud environment. 

Multiple implementations of virtual infrastructure presented a challenge for JP Morgan Chase. So, when they began designing for their data center, they wanted to ensure they had a robust IaaS platform that could house 90-95% of their applications. That’s when JP Morgan Chase reached out to VMware.

Consolidating hardware patterns, keeping data centers clean, and creating more virtual desktop horsepower were all essential requirements for JP Morgan Chase. API-first was also critical; they wanted to provide self-service and a common API layer for product teams to leverage.

But as VG so eloquently pointed out, although tools are essential, mindset and cultural change lead to customer success, especially for a large community. Cross-team collaboration is non-negotiable, and celebrating accomplishments with everyone, including partners, drives successful outcomes.

“You always want to start with why you’re doing what you’re doing,” says VG Kurup. “As you go through a big transformational journey, it may not be smooth. It’s important to come with a shared vision and provide transparency. We’ve made tremendous progress in the last three years.”

VG Kurup, Managing Director – Global Head of Compute, Networks and Storage, JPMorgan Chase & Co

VMware CXS: Innovation beyond the imagination

I’ll wrap up for now with a few final thoughts. First, I want to thank our speakers for sharing their experiences and knowledge. One of the best parts of leading the CXS team is working with visionary leaders like Ed, Stephanie, and VG.

Secondly, I encourage you view the replay to hear examples of how customers take VMware CXS services beyond the original purpose to break new ground in their industries. I also announced some new services CXS launched this year to empower multi-cloud operations and accelerate a cloud-smart approach.

Professional Services built Pre-Configured Accelerators to deploy use-cases quicker and a Multi-Cloud Adoption Framework for faster, easier transitions.

VMware Learning took training to the next level with digitized and standardized learning content for consumption in any format access, no matter where you’re located. 

Customer Success expanded customer access with VMware Success 360™ tiered offers and packaged for partner network. We’ve also invested significantly in the digital component of VMware Success 360, VMware Customer Connect, with more analytics to monitor your progress.

VMware Skyline, a proactive intelligence SaaS offering to keep customers out of harm’s way, made several exciting announcements at VMware Explore. We’ve built over 1000 separate rules in the Skyline tool to get ahead of cases before they happen.

Finally, my first VMware Explore was better than I could have imagined. Please join us at VMware Explore Europe in Barcelona, November 7-10, to hear more stories on how we’re building the new multi-cloud universe together.

Jens Koegler

Jens Koegler is VMware's Healthcare Industry Director in EMEA. He is helping our healthcare customers develop and run modern applications to drive innovation and ensure better patient care through a digital foundation that includes data center, hybrid cloud, mobile, networking and security technologies. VMware plays a strategic role in the healthcare industry. Its leading innovations in enterprise software help ensure consistent patient care and reduce IT access time for healthcare professionals so they can spend more time with their patients. Jens plays a key role in helping customers understand how new applications, devices, the latest IT technologies and digital transformation are driving innovation in healthcare.