DaaS Re-Boot II: Schultz & Dhawan Speak!

As promised, newly minted VMware execs Bob Schultz and Sumit Dhawan responded to my inquiries about their new jobs. Both came over from Citrix, signalling a clear escalation in the battle for desktop virtualization supremacy between the two companies.

Schultz has been named to a new position as chief strategy lead for Vmware’s End-User Computing (EUC) Unit, while Dhawan, who was with Citrix for almost 16 years, “will lead our desktop business and organization and be responsible for the overall business including overseeing the strategy, product portfolio and engineering,” according to EUC unit head Sanjay Poonen.

According to Bob and Sumit…
When asked what key, compelling reasons prompted his move, Schultz told Cloud Computing Journal, “My decision to make a career change came down to two related reasons. The first was VMware’s momentum in the market and the company’s commitment to investing in growth areas.” (He gave Desktone as an example here, as did Poonen in a formal company announcement.)(example: acquisition of Desktone).

“The second reason,” Schultz said, “was the competitive advantage I saw with the company’s vision of integration between their three major focus areas, the Software Defined Data Center, Hybrid Cloud and End-User Computing.”

Dhawan told us he “enjoyed every minute” of his time at Citrix, but decided to leave Citrix last summer “so I can get an experience of growing and building a business somewhere else. I found that VMware was the best place for me to come and join – best positioned with a great strategy for enabling IT as a service via a portfolio of products across (the three areas also mentioned by Schultz).”

“Everyone can see that the desktop and the way people work through technology is changing,” Schultz said. “So IT needs to think broadly about the desktop, mobile devices, applications and data.” He cited a new report from Gartner that estimates that by 2017, more than 60% of organizations will have to support Windows applications across multiple devices.

Dhawan noted that “there is a lot of research available from various sources regarding growth opportunities of virtual desktops and apps. However, my move was based on my personal belief that virtual desktops from both private and public cloud is still largely an untapped market.”

What Will They Be Up To?
Schultz said he plans “to help the business continue the momentum that is already in place, win customers over by clearly differentiating the many benefits of our integrated solutions, and continue to lead in desktop-as-a-service (DaaS). In addition, cost and complexity are two challenges that VMware End-User Computing is well positioned to solve thru integration with vSphere, vSAN for storage and unified management with vCOPS.”

For his part, Dhawan said “our goal is to target two major barriers that customer have experienced with virtual desktops – cost and complexity. Customers and partners have always put VMware View as the simplest VDI product in the market, and VMware has the leading DaaS platform with Desktone.

For a glimpse into the future, he told us, “look for us to leverage our assets across VMware, and key partnerships, to radically simplify customer experience in leveraging private and public cloud for delivering virtual desktops at low costs.”

Citrix Seems Satisfied
As I reported earlier, top management at Citrix is remaining outwardly calm. “We have a strong leadership team in place, including the new executive for our app and desktop virtualization business, which was announced this morning,” a company spokesperson told me in an email.

The newly named Citrix exec is Rakesh Narasimhan (pictured), a 25-year industry veteran “with 15 years in leadership positions at Microsoft, and whose expertise fits squarely in the Citrix market space,” according to Citrix’s note to me.

Narasimhan has served as a General Manager in Microsoft’s Server and Tools division during his career. He was most recently President and CEO at InstallFree. He also has experience at Oracle.

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