A few days ago I tweeted about VMware hiring SAP's Sanjay Poonen as their new general manager for their end user computing business. My tweet was snarky, saying something like VMware has had four EUC chiefs in four years. (Actually I think it's been more than that.) Several people responded that they'd like to see a "where are they now" article detailing the revolving door at the top of that business. In researching that article (which I plan to publish next week), I reached out to VMware's EUC CTO Scott Davis, since he's spoken at several BriForums and we know each other pretty well. I think Scott's actually the highest level EUC person there who's been there the longest. (Check out my video interview with Scott from 2010 when he first got that position.)
Scott arranged a group call with me, him, and Sanjay for later today for them to share their perspectives on VMware's EUC business. (I'll publish that as a separate article next week.)
So my question to you: What questions should I ask Scott and Sanjay about VMware's EUC business?
I've often said that I believe that VMware's vision for end user computing is spot on. Where they've fallen down has been in the implementation and execution of building products that live up to that vision. The Horizon Suite is a great concept, but right now there are a bunch of major "gotchas." (And last week's Horizon 1.5 update doesn't hit the major problems that are holding it back.)
VMware's EUC groups is also being decimated by personnel departures. The list of folks who've left in the past few years includes Chris Young (EUC SVP & GM), Moe Khosravy (VP, Horizon), Boaz Chalamish (SVP & GM including EUC), Vitrorio Viarengo (VP Marketing, EUC), Noah Wasmer (EUC Senior Director and the guy who came up with Horizon), Sebastiano Tevarotto (EUC VP of product marketing), Israel David (VP over the group which included EUC), Kevin Goodman (founder of RTO Software which VMware acquired to become View Persona), and Phil Montgomery (EUC Senior Director of PM). So I wonder what Sanjay is bringing to the table, and given the recent history, what's he doing to last more than a year? I mean that's such a huge list of senior level people who've exited the company! Who's really running things over there?
A year ago Kevin Goodman wrote, "The future for VMware: should they spin off EUC into its own company?" I wonder with VMware's recent focus if that's an even bigger question today?
So between talking to Scott Davis and Sanjay Poonen tomorrow, and VMworld here in San Francisco in a few weeks, I'm hoping to get the following questions answered:
- What's VMware doing to help convert "shelfware" View licenses included with vSphere and enterprise deals to production Horizon View deployments.
- What's the status with PC-over-IP? Is that relationship sustainable? Is that the right protocol? What about Framehawk?
- Where's AppBlast? (They claimed it was not dead a last year's VMworld. But still nothing?)
- We now have a new version of the Horizon Suite (1.5) six months after the initial release, yet it still appears to have all the deficiencies of the 1.0 product that they said they were working on last Feb. (Only file solution is Horizon Data, no third party support. Can't click on files in the browser and open them in remote View sessions. Horizon Data can only use a single storage volume. No integration with SharePoint. Horizon Mirage not supported in View VDI VMs. No XenApp integration. No support for RDSH / Terminal Server desktops. No audio support in their web client. Only one concurrent session supported at a time with View Persona.
- How has Citrix been able to run circles around them with product and feature releases? We've heard from ex-employees that VMware's development cycles only really allow for about 6 weeks of actual development time per product cycle. Is that true? If so, how will Sanjay change that? And if that's not true, how do they explain the lack of real progress in the EUC space over the past several years? Can they get more resources to focus on EUC?
- Does VMware really care about EUC? If so, what are they doing to put their money where their mouth is?
What am I missing? What else should I ask these guys?
I've always say that the EUC space is VMware's business to lose. Have they lost it yet? If not, what do they need to do now?