There are many VMworld blog posts touting the top X things you need to do at VMworld.I have narrowed that list down to one:Spend time talking to vendors at Solutions Exchange….a lot of time.Challenge yourself to visit every vendor,not for the swag (though it is a nice benefit),but rather to understand their products.
What is Solution Exchange?
The VMworld Solutions Exchange is a traditional technology conference vendor space that affords attendees the opportunity to meet with all vendors in that technology space.Due to VMware’s market leading position in the virtualization space,VMworld’s Solution Exchange tends to be massive,touching many technologies.
The Solutions Exchange opens tonight Sunday 8/30 from 4-7 with a Welcome reception and continues throughout the conference.
One of the difficulties when trying to figure out if a vendor or solution is right for you is trying to navigate the local sales channels.Not that there is anything wrong with these channels,but wouldn’t it be great if you could talk to every vendor about their products in one location?How about talking to the actual product managers for the products?
Some example of how you can maximize your Solutions Exchange experience:
Talk to all vendors and learn what their product does and how it can help you.You may want to skip vendors that you’ve dealt with years ago,but I recommend asking about their current products.You may be surprised to find that the vendor has a new innovative approach that may fit your needs in the future.
Got specific questions about VMware products?Go to the VMware booth.There are booths for each product.Depending upon when you go,the person working the booth maybe the product manager or engineer.VMware also has booths dedicated to preview future product updates.
Another benefit of talking to all vendors is that you get an insight into where the industry is going.For example,I remember when Nutanix was an unknown at their first VMworld a few years back.I got to talk to the product managers about this new product category and understand it benefits.I have been closely following hyperconverged offerings ever since.I think Nutanixmay be on to something 🙂
Solutions Exchange is the hidden gem of VMworld.Its benefit to you is only limited by the effort you put forward.You never know maybe you’ll walk away with an Xbox or drone as well?Good luck.