In many ways VMware® PEX was very similar to other events I have attended over the years – a big event, with lots of people, meetings and technology demos. However, there were a few things that were a bit different this time.

Firstly, VMware was focused on a clear message. The three key themes of Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), Hybrid Cloud and Mobile Applications were threaded through each presentation. All three themes resonate well with Mitel’s strategy going forward. Software Defined Data Centers is an extension of the VMware framework strategy to include security, data and networks. This will increase the operational savings Mitel’s customers will see by reducing to effort to install, move and upgrade workloads. VMware’s views on the Hybrid Cloud align extremely well with Mitel’s multi-instance public and private cloud solution. Mainly leveraging the power and flexibility of SDDC across the public/private cloud domains will be architecture of choice for enterprise customers. Finally, the launch of Horizon Workspace solution as the centerpiece of the Horizon application suite dovetails nicely with Mitel’s Freedom architecture. Mitel was the only UC vendor who could demonstrate integration of our mobile UC client (Mitel Unified Communicator® Advanced, or UCA, on Android™) working with VMware’s Horizon Workspace solution.

Secondly, there was a lot more time at the event devoted to competitive positioning. How VMware is differentiated from the competition (direct, like Microsoft or Zen, or indirect, like Google® or Amazon®) was much more front and center at this shop. As was VMware’s tangible commitment to channel in programs, training and co-marketing.

It is clear that VMware is making some significant bets to expand its value proposition beyond the boundaries of traditional computer hypervisors – and they are strongly encouraging their channel to bet with them. The Mitel experience at the show would suggest that there is traction in this direction. We had numerous meetings with large VMware channels who were interested in expanding their offers from virtualization to include applications – particularly cloud-based applications which play well into mobile endpoints. Mitel’s UC solution is an excellent fit for this requirement.

Looks like it is going to be a busy year.

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