Let me preface everything below with this – my company is an HP shop. We have other systems (IBM, Sun, Dell, etc.) in our datacenter, but for the gross majority, we are an HP shop. We are also what I’d term as medium sized VMware shop. We have a lot of eggs in both baskets.
Yesterday’s introduction of VMware vSphere was just short of disrespectful to HP, one of VMware’s larger partners. Sure, It’d been a long shot to get the EMC CEO VMware Chairman of the Board to acknowledge his competitor from the stage. Sure, it’d been unexpected for him to give big props to a company he likely hopes withers away. But, if there is one thing that Joe Tucci should understand by now is that he must wear his two hats very carefully.
Yes, EMC owns VMware. But they go to great lengths to draw a line in the sand and push that VMware is an independantly run entity. Where it becomes difficult to see that is when you have the chairman of the board making remarks in front of both partners and employees and purposefully leaving out a partner like HP who has already been on stage (albeit, for a couple seconds) and recognized by the CEO of VMware. As VMware’s chairman, Tucci should be grateful to anyone selling VMware – large or small. All of these partners in this market are key to the success – even more-so – the survival of VMware in the future. VMware has too much competition in its marketspace to make petty plays like this.
As I mentioned, HP made it to the stage for just a couple minutes. Nothing earth shattering was revealed during their time on stage. But, at the same time, HP’s guy didn’t babble on about how much innovation that HP was putting into virtualization, a la Michael Dell. (Hey Mike – remember, this is a VMware event – your kool-aid drinkers weren’t there. Don’t insult the VMware engineers by telling them how much YOU’VE done.)
But, back to my point… Would Tucci’s tongue really have turned to dust and fallen out if he said HP? I don’t really think so. But then again, what does that say to his camp back at EMC? So, really, I think the correct answer was to delete him from the slate of speakers and let the event ride on. Conflicts of interest are very interesting things. The outsting Dianne Green signaled changes at VMware, and its interesting to see the shake out. Perhaps the EMC CEO shouldn’t be the chairman of VMware’s board if he can’t separate his interests.