I have been on the road for the past 6 weeks listening to customers. It has been a lot of fun. We learned a ton!!!!!!
The team that has been working with me and I have collected a lot of information about our customers virtualization journeys. We are now in the process of analyzing the data and putting together content to describe what a successful virtualization journey looks like and what business value it delivers.
This tour reminded me of how refreshing and important it is to listen to customers on a regular basis. I pride myself of having done this all my career, from the my youth working in my parents bakery to my days in IT. This time around it was different thought in scale and format. Never had I spent this much time meeting with so many customers in one single project and rarely had I been in a mode where I was not selling or defining a new product.
This time I was just listening, carefully to the words of the customer.
We interviewed more than 30 customers, from Fortune 500 to SMB. We met with system administrators, directors of IT and CIOs. We wrote it all down, analysed it and and identified:
- Common adoption patterns
- Virtualization adoption drivers
- Business and technical triggers
- Best practices
- Organizational implications
- Common mistakes
- Internal evangelization techniques
- Typical outcomes
- Business value tracking techniques
We also came up with a model that we believe captures and describes each of the journeys we heard from our customers.
Think of it as an algorithm that plots the main phases of adoption, what triggers each project within each phase, what is the technical outcome (capability) resulting from each phase, who are the stakeholders and sponsors, and how to calculate the business value delivered at each stage.
What we want to do now is to share the learnings and best practices back with all our customer. This will happen through a variety of channels starting from our VMworld User Conference in San Francisco the first week of September.
Also, I will devote the next posts to describe each of the virtualization journey phases in details and I am going to try hard to use the very words of the customers. No marketing or vendor mumbo jumbo, so stay tuned for that.
Now, back to preparing for VMworld