With digitisation happening at the end point, lead by traditional businesses such as large state owned banks, government agencies, utility providers and insurance companies that have agents, branch offices spread out throughout the country, the American technology company VMware sees huge opportunity for end-use computing business in India. In an exclusive interview with EC’s Mohd Ujaley, Sumit Dhawan, VMware’s senior vice president and general manager of end-user computing says, “Since the present network is not sufficient enough to be able to reach those end points in delivering acceptable level of performance, businesses are virtualizing the experience, leading to huge growth for end-user computing in India.”
How end-user computing business is doing for VMware?
End-User Computing for VMware is a high growth business. We don’t report the exact numbers of the business. But it is a sizable business and overall it is growing with healthy double digits growth. Within End-User Computing, there are 2 sub parts–desktop virtualization and mobile management.
Desktop virtualization, both on premise or cloud, is part of the portfolio called Horizon. Horizon business is growing at the rate of about 20%. We have reported the same growth almost consistently over the course of last several quarters and it is doing very well. Two-third of our End-User Computing business comes from Horizon.
The second part is our recent acquisition of AirWatch, which is in mobile management. Mobile management is the value proposition that enables enterprises to adopt mobile devices. Today, businesses are adopting mobile devices for doing something that was traditionally done by paper. As a result, you have to secure them. Traditionally when you have got PC’s, you have to secure them with some software. Now in mobile, the way you do it is with a solution like AirWatch. AirWatch is about one-third of our business and it is growing at a rapid rate of 40-50%.
Is there any specific reason behind rapid growth of 40-50-% for AirWatch?
There are many reason for this. What we are seeing is that digitisation is happening at the end point. Until now it has mostly occurred in corporate offices or in big companies that are newly formed. But traditional businesses such as large state owned banks, government agencies, utility companies and insurance companies have agents, branch offices that are spread out throughout the country and now digitisation is occurring at that level. Since the present network is not sufficient enough to be able to reach those end points in delivering acceptable level of performance, hence businesses are virtualizing the experience.
What are the verticals that drives the desktop and application virtualization?
Typically the verticals that take the lead in terms of desktop and application as virtualization are the ones that have some kind of a distributed group of users. For example banking, manufacturing have lot of distribution points and globally it is healthcare but in India, healthcare is not so much since health care is set up differently.
Also, government agencies have lot of people or branches or offices to reach end users. Those are the typical verticals that PCs are successfully adopting for one of the two reasons; one to provide access in high performance way and second to do it in a secure fashion, because once you put that application or desktop in the data center your data never leaves the data center and it is performing best because now you can do all of the applications running on the high performance servers rather than all of these end points that are not yet well performing.
How government segment is doing for VMware?
The IT /ITeS sector has contributed close to 50% to our revenue. The top 5 IT companies in India have adopted our products. Coming specifically to government it has been a big focus for us and we anticipate big returns in the government space because of the new initiatives the government is talking about specifically on e-governance. They are talking about implementation of GST, implementation of reaching out to the panchayats and something about how you can reach out to the rural areas and all those areas where we believe mobility and desktop solution would impact the customer specifically. So we are working very closely on all these pretext.
We are also working with some of the public sector units (PSUs), The BPCL plant in Mumbai is using our product as one of the technology solutions and they are evaluating this for different use cases. In areas such as flex-seating, BYOD, and a secure way of accessing desktop PSUs are exploring use of virtulization.
There is huge heterogeneity of technology in any organisation. Take an example of this room, to enable VMware’s employee to do video conference, there are products from Polycom, Cisco, Panasonic in this room. So how do you address the challenge of heterogeneity in end-user computing?
What is really happening is that today people are mobile and that is a bigger challenge because when people go mobile they need access to information. That information today is captured across multiple technologies just like you mentioned. In every customer there is heterogeneity, there are different types of applications. Polycom or Cisco may have Windows based applications for delivering certain experience. Panasonic may have turned their application into a web-based application for whatever type of application they serve. Some home grown new type of application may have been delivered to do mobile. Reality is that they may all be connecting to different technologies in a different way.
What we have done with the combination of Horizon and AirWatch is to provide one single unified experience. It does not matter what type of application it is, whether it is on premise or cloud, businesses will be able to give their users one single unified experience what we call ‘digital work space’. The entire problem space of end-user computing is to address the same issue of heterogeneity. And to address this, we provide an integration of technologies along with heterogeneity that exists in today’s organisations.
How has been India business for end-user computing?
India is among the top 3 highest growth opportunities for end-user computing. The simple reason being there are lots of digitisation occurring. End-User Computing means it is about end-user and there is just pure market demand that is unmet. We have invested heavily. Arun Parameswaran, our managing director for India joined about year and half ago and he is focused to make end-user computing a major part of India business. Actually India is one of the countries that has the highest percentage of business as end-user computing. It is one of the fastest growing businesses. Roughly we have grown our business by 3 to 5 times year over year in end-user computing and it continues to be a growth area for us.
Specially the government organisation, they are reluctant to go for cloud or virtualization due to security concern. So how do you convince them?
First of all when you do virtualization then the concern is less, usually customer sees the value of virtualization in their own data center to increase security over keeping the data at the end-point because it is in their contained walls of their data center. That is not difficult at all. In fact it is the opposite, usually customers get that very quickly.
Your question regarding cloud, that becomes trickier, what happens with my data going to the cloud? I think what we have seen that there is first of all fundamental difference in opinion based on where the customer has started. There are ‘cloud born companies’ and there are ‘premise born companies’. The cloud born companies are the ones that started in the last few years, maybe startups. They have everything, Gmail is their email, they have Google apps as their applications and potentially use some kind of cloud-based management, their SaaS based apps and all that stuff. Then there are other extremes, maybe in the traditional and most traditional would be the government where nothing is in the cloud and then they are enterprises that are in the middle where they have justified keeping some business processes applications into app in the cloud and they are going one by one and they are getting more and more comfortable.
To answer your question what happens and how do we deal with it? Our value proposition is quite simple, we say, “Listen you go to the cloud at the pace you want to” many of our customers say, “You know what I look at the value proposition of the cloud there are three value propositions I get. I get the ability to very quickly provide the agility; the cloud gives me the agility. Second, I get the ability to get much more predictable cost. Third I get the ability to very quickly expand if I need to”. What we have done is in our products for data center, we have built the first two capabilities. We call it ‘vCloud’.
Our vCloud solutions give first two capabilities in their own premise. In addition to solve the third problem we have connected vCloud to many partners that are using VMware technology and offering their public cloud and we call that ‘Hybrid Cloud’. Our technology works with any of our partner’s cloud and gives businesses the ability to expand not just to one cloud but any of these public clouds. So that is our strategy. It works for data center workload and for our end-user computing workload.
Are we likely to see any different focus on end-user computing once Dell acquisition completes?
I can’t talk about Dell from Dell’s perspective, what I can say is what we have heard from both; Michael Dell telling VMware as well what he has written publically in a blog. Michael Dell sees both VMware as well as end-user computing as something that is working very well and what he has publically stated is that he wishes to have VMware strategy of heterogeneity and innovation being something that he wants to keep as is and keeps going.
VMware has been in the past, partly or majority owned by EMC. Yet VMware partners heavily with NetApp and other storage providers and we do that in the context of this. We partner with EMC just as well we partner with NetApp. So at least from what Michael Dell has written publically and what he has stated he believes in that model and he wants to see us continue in that model because customers want it. As long as customers want it that way, he wishes to have to continue to see it. But there are some interesting opportunities that come along as well with Dell providing great think lines with our solutions that every customer need. We can provide some really good innovations now being sort of potentially working even closer to get it than we were.