In Colin Steele’s post yesterday he asked if VMware would dump any more products after their announcement that SlideRocket was on the block. In my guest blog back in August I wondered out loud if VMware would bundle up the EUC products so they could be spun off. I was partially correct. I had suggested a suite based upon View: View Horizon, View Mail, and so on. Instead, at VMworld we learned the suite would be based upon Horizon (Horizon Administrator, Horizon Enterprise Connector, etc.).
Even though I got the name wrong I was correct about the bundle and it has a lot to do with today’s announcement. Creating a suite combines job functions and therefore facilitates layoffs. Six products means six product managers, six product marketers, six project managers and so on down the line. In this instance one product would render 15 people extraneous. Extrapolate that through the organization and suddenly a bunch of people are looking for work. There are always winners and losers in this kind of shakeup and that includes both VMware and some of other companies in the valley. On the VMware side some folks have found they have just gone to the head of the class, and the exodus some primo talent has enriched some very lucky companies in the northern California area (AutoCad, MobileIron, Authentic8, Facebook and a startup still in stealth mode–I am talking to you). At other companies I have worked for they called this the “Rats off a sinking ship” phenomenon. Now VMware is not sinking by any means, but uncertainty has its way of unsettling people, leading them to look for other opportunities.
In my previous blog, I had suggested a spin off rather than a layoff just based upon what I know about the Silicon Valley job market. All things being equal a job candidate would rather go to work for a company that doesn’t have a history of laying off workers. And you can bet VMware will continue to hire.
I was also wrong about Paul Maritz. Turns out they he will head up the newly formed Pivot Initiative. I thought he would just disappear like the dog on the Brady Bunch (to those of you outside the US or those of you who don’t watch Nickelodeon, the “Brady Bunch” is a TV series about a blended family with six kids. One season the pet dog, “Tiger”, was written out of the show, but they never explained it to the audience. Didn’t any of the six kids notice that the dog went missing?). It reminds me of one of my favorite VMware managers. I am still waiting for her to come back from “sabbatical”.
However, I was correct about VMware’s need to focus on the cloud. I surmised back in August that Maritz’s departure was due to his inability to get traction on a cloud initiative. Six months later I am even more convinced. I understand many of you come to BrianMadden.com for all things virtual desktop, but I know from some of the comments that many of you are also involved in the infrastructure. You may be surprised to know that VMware’s main competitor isn’t Microsoft and Hyper-V or Citrix and everything Xen–it’s Amazon. To demonstrate how easy the Amazon’s cloud is they have an offer at http://aws.amazon.com/free. If you want to kick the tires you can get a free Microsoft Windows Server instance for a year. Once you get your server instance up and running, compare it to this VMware’s equivalent:https://vcloudservice.vmware.com/starteval/order/info
It’s my opinion that VMware has a long way to go. But, since this is a virtual desktop blog you may be asking how does all of this affect View and ThinApp and does this mean that View or ThinApp are going away? I don’t think so. I predict VMware will retain ownership of these products, although the names my change to something like HorizoView and HorizoApp (Meh, I still like ViewHorizon), but I also believe that VMware management now understands that VDI is a bit player in the desktop space and is planning accordingly.
BTW, I don’t work for Amazon or VMware although I do own a shitload of VMware stock.