VMware looks to drive growth by taking base to next level

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

California-based virtualization software company VMware (NYSE: VMW) will look to continue double-digit growth in Latin America by focusing on the current customer base and taking those clients to the next level in virtualization, Marco Fontenelle, company manager of partners, OEMs and alliances for Brazil and the rest of Latin America, told BNamericas.

"There are basically three levels. The first is when the company begins to virtualize servers. I'd say about 60-70% of our clients in Latin America are at this first stage and are beginning to see the whole purpose behind virtualization. Stage two is when it turns from a tactical play to a more strategic business play, when you start to virtualize applications that are more core, more business critical. You start to virtualize desktops and begin to start thinking of virtualized applications. That's about 20-25% of our clients in Latin America," he said.

"Stage three is the road toward the hybrid cloud, creating an infrastructure that supports your business. This is when the solution becomes extremely strategic. It's a decision coming from both the CEO and the CIO, when virtualization is no longer a tactical move but part of the business strategy. About 5% of our clients are in this stage in Latin America. So that goes to show the potential we have - getting all the clients in stage one and two, to stage three - that is our goal."

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The plan is to triple the company's size in the next three years in terms of human resources, Fontenelle noted, to build on VMware's "high double-digit sales growth" that Latin American operations have seen for four consecutive years.

VMware's sales in the region are 100% indirect, and to make the growth area focus fit, the company is looking for new partners throughout Latin America. "Right now our partners are basically focused on server virtualization, but we're looking for partners that have more of an integration focus, with the idea of moving between the private and the public clouds, in the hybrid cloud. To do that, they need to have a profile of more networking, infrastructure, security, applications. It's a different profile from the traditional channels we've had," he said.

Certification and education will also be fundamental. VMware parent company EMC "continues to grow, buying other companies and looking for new technologies, and it's important that the partner is tuned into that. You're only going to sell what you know how to sell," the executive added.

VMware has offices in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Miami - which coordinates all of Central America and the Caribbean - and it is studying opening other offices in the region, based on sales results. "We're looking at Peru, and we're thinking of opening a Central American office to support the region locally, and in Brazil we're continuing to expand. We started in São Paulo; now we have people in the south, in Rio and Brasília," he said.

Fontenelle highlighted Brazil, Chile and Argentina as strong markets, while underlining Colombia, Peru and Mexico as having lots of potential.