Posts in the series:
- VMworld Europe 2017 – TAM Customer Day
- VMworld Europe 2017 – Day 1
- VMworld Europe 2017 – Day 2
- VMworld Europe 2017 – Day 3
Despite arriving in the early hours of Monday morning due to flight availability I had to be up bright and early to not only register for VMworld but to get set up for the day as I was participating in the Specialist Roundtable Sessions as part of TAM Customer Day.
There were 54 sessions in total each lasting 45 mins which featured product specialists and SMEs for the VMware portfolio and I presented on the following topic ““vRealize Operations…your challenges & questions + our Top Tips for success”
TAM Customer Day
TAM Customer Day at VMworld is an exclusive, invitation-only event which provides VMware Technical Account Manager (TAM) Service customers access to VMware experts who share best practices, innovative technologies and strategies to accelerate IT transformation. This event is usually 1 day before the main VMworld program aka Day 0 and gives TAM customers early access to the VMworld experience.
The events during TAM Customer Day provide a variety of content-rich sessions and roundtable engagements designed to address the challenges your IT organization is facing.
Welcome and Executive Keynote
After getting my bearings and finding the room where I was presenting I headed over to watch the Opening Keynote with an intro from Alan Barber, VP Technical Services EMEA who was then followed by our CEO Pat Gelsinger who gave the Executive Keynote.
Pat’s keynote outlined the company vision, value proposition and current strategy of “Any Device, Any Application, Any Cloud”. It also featured content specific to the TAM community and was then followed by some Q&A from TAM customers.
1st Roundtable Session
After the General Session had concluded it was time for the 1st Roundtable session, I was fortunate to have a full table and the session would be formulated around a quick intro, followed by around 15 -20 mins where customers could discuss the challenges they face with their vRealize Operations deployments and ask any related questions, the last 20-25 mins would be a presentation on Top Tops for Success based on my experiences in GSS as well as working on customer escalations and projects
As I went around the table it became apparent that the conversations were becoming more in depth and thus ran over the allotted time, therefore I made the decision that this was more important than the Top Tips for Success section and the customers agreed.
Once the 1st session was over, I went to get some lunch and did some networking with colleagues from VMware R&D. I would later learn that VMworld is one of the best places to network over even internal only events as I had some very productive conversations over the course of the event.
2nd Roundtable Session
After lunch it was time for the 2nd Roundtable Session, unfortunately there were less people at this session which was likely due to being straight after lunch. Nevertheless some good conversation was had and interesting questions were asked, no presentation was carried out and this session was entirely Q&A based. I was fortunate that one of the Product Owners for vRealize Operations was at my table as well so he helped provide input with some of the feature / roadmap questions that were discussed.
Final Roundtable Session
After another break, it was time for the Final Roundtable Session and thankfully this again was a full table. For this session I decided to primarily do a Q&A session and focused more on this than Top Tips and was able to completely fill the 45 min slot.
In hindsight, my Tops Tips for Success could have been a separate presentation in itself and for a similar event I would tweak and try to narrow down the content in order to avoid any overrun.
Topics Covered during the Specialist Roundtable Sessions
Over the course of the day a wide range of topics were discussed and some interesting use cases, challenges and scenarios were presented, these included:
- Preservation of historical data in vROps after a vCenter rebuild
- Integration of vROps with 3rd party monitoring tools – IBM Tivoli Manager
- Future of vRealize Configuration Manager (vCM) + compliance parity in vROps
- Questions about vSphere tags
- Simplifying projects as customer found them too complicated to interpret
- Questions about licensing in vROps with vSOM licenses
- Standard vs Advanced licensing – features vs tradeoffs etc
- Simplified and enforced permissions for accessing vROps and more granular control
- Speed requirements for HA failover for a Telco customer – 10 mins was too long
- Network visibility / NSX MP vs vRNI and feature tradeoffs
- vCenter alerts not appearing in vROps – battery needs replacing etc
Once the Specialist Roundtable Sessions had concluded it was time for the General Session which featured a chat with a guest speaker from Amazon Web Services and was moderated by Joe Baguley, VP + CTO, EMEA. This session detailed the partnership that Amazon Web Services has formed with VMware and the new VMware on AWS offering known as VMC. At the end of the session there was more Q&A with TAM customers.
TAM Customer Reception
The final event of the day was the TAM Customer Reception where you could mingle with TAM customers and colleagues, I didn’t stay long for this as I was heading to one of the parties plus I was tired from the early start but I did manage to grab 5 mins with our CEO Pat Gelsinger and even got a selfie which was an unexpected surprise. Even in a company of 19,000+ I appreciated the time with Pat and felt like I was not “just a number” as with other large companies.
Overall the TAM Customer Day and Specialist Roundtable Sessions were a success and some interesting questions and scenarios raised. With this information I plan to present this feedback back to CMBU Product Management.
It was also good to hear how our customers are using vRealize Operations and the use cases the product is addressing.
In addition, the majority of customers were either running vRealize Operations 6.6 or 6.6.1 which is a testament to the many recent improvements & changes which have been made to the product.
Stay tuned to more posts reviewing my time at VMworld Europe 2017!