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#VMwareExplore 2023 Q&A: An Exclusive Inside Look as VMware Provides Details Ahead of its Annual Event

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Going back as far as 2004, each year, VMware users and enthusiasts have made the annual trek to the world's largest virtualization and cloud computing event, now called VMware Explore.  And for the first time since 2018, the event is once again returning to Las Vegas.

This event will be jam packed with incredible information coming out of the keynote presentations as well as their huge number of breakout sessions and hands-on-labs.  And don't forget about the huge number of sponsors who are also making this journey, they'll be bringing their experts, product demos and swag to their respective booths.

To find out more ahead of the show, VMblog spoke with VMware to dig in a little deeper as we prepare for the kick off of VMware Explore.

VMblog: What's the theme for this year's VMware Explore event?  And why was it chosen?

VMware: VMware Explore 2023 is the industry's go-to-event for all things multi-cloud, where technology users and industry leaders can learn how to solve today's multi-cloud complexities. The theme for this year's event is "Explore the center of the multi-cloud universe," as we're inviting way-finders, chaos-tamers and questioners to join us on a journey and discover the power of multi-cloud. Attendees will get the tools, solutions and support to tame the complexity of multi-cloud so they can standardize cloud migrations, operations, infrastructure and security across clouds and focus on creating the business value they envision. They will get what they need to move from cloud chaos to cloud smart with more choice and no compromise.

VMblog: This year's event was moved to Las Vegas.  Can you talk about that a little?  What was the decision behind the move?

VMware: After a successful first year as VMware Explore, we decided to take things to the next level and move to Las Vegas for more space and accommodations.

VMblog: Last year's VMware Explore event in San Francisco was the first return of the event to a live audience since COVID.  What expectations do you have for this year's event in Las Vegas now that even more people are traveling again?

VMware: VMware Explore 2022 had a great in-person turnout, so we are excited to move things to a new city with larger space to accommodate more in-person attendees. VMware Explore is all about connections, so we are expecting a great turnout with attendees from around the world, including customers, ecosystem partners and colleagues.

VMblog: Will this year's event have any online/digital components?  Or is it strictly for in person attendees?

VMware: There will be a live broadcast on Tuesday, August 22 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM PDT. The broadcast will cover the general session, the solution keynotes and the technology innovation showcase. This live broadcast is free to attend and will be streamed through the VMware Explore website.

VMblog: Now in its second year, what benefits are being promoted for attendees and vendors to attend/sponsor?  What should they get out of this year's event?

VMware: VMware Explore 2023 Las Vegas will begin with a general session on Tuesday, August 22, featuring announcements, customers and previews of VMware innovation. Additionally, attendees can expect multiple solution keynotes featuring VMware executives, customers and industry leaders, as well as hundreds of user-driven panels, certification trainings and labs on industry and technology topics.

There will be a packed agenda filled with sessions and networking opportunities that will enable attendees to scale cloud-native platform operations, accelerate cloud transformation and empower and secure the hybrid workforce. There will also be practical insights and best practices from customers who've cracked the code on addressing challenges like the ones we face. Attendees will be able to spend time with top experts on tips to improve the use of existing solutions and roadmaps on how to advance our capabilities to conquer new business requirements.

There will also be opportunities to interact with hands-on labs on the latest multi-cloud solutions, accompanied by product experts right there ready to assist and engage. With an extensive ecosystem of 90% of the top cloud partners, there will be opportunities for professional development through both technical sessions as well as career advancement sessions to better enable growth.

Additionally, this year SpringOne is part of VMware Explore 2023 Las Vegas and will focus on providing the expert technical content that enables Spring developers to build microservices, web apps, serverless, event-driven, reactive, and cloud workloads across the software industry. Keynotes start on August 21, with opportunities for breakouts, networking and roundtables through August 24.

VMware will also host the Global Partner Forum, a series of events taking place throughout VMware Explore designed exclusively for the VMware Partner community.

VMblog: What are you most excited about for VMware Explore 2023?

VMware: This is our first year hosting our annual conference in Las Vegas since 2018 and we couldn't be more thrilled to be back. As the flagship event for all things multi-cloud, VMware Explore 2023 aims to facilitate new relationships, inspire learning, provide hands-on training, and access to thought leadership in the multi-cloud space.

We're very excited about our new Modern Explorers Keynote. Don't miss this inspiring session featuring former NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver, Leland Melvin, top artificial intelligence leader, advisor, and investor Allie K. Miller and President and Founder of the Ocean Exploration Trust, Robert Ballard.

And of course, we're eager to unpack technology's most pressing topics together including the rise of Artificial Intelligence, experience VMware's latest solutions in the VMware Hands-on Labs and learn from VMware customers and experts through a compelling agenda of speaking sessions. Make sure you reserve your seat for any session in VMware's Explore schedule builder!

VMblog: Without asking you to give up too much information, what plans do you have for this year's keynote?  What are some of the hot topics you'll cover?  What type of announcements can we expect?  Which executives plan on taking the stage?

VMware: VMware executives, industry leaders and best-in-field knowledge experts will share our vision for a future defined by AI, and introduce new innovations that will empower multi-cloud enterprises with more agility, better security and resiliency, and faster innovation. Speakers will dive into key areas across Modern Applications & Cloud Management, Cloud Infrastructure, Vision & Innovation, Hybrid Workforce, Networking & Security, and Software-Defined Edge.

VMware's CEO Raghu Raghuram will give a keynote on taking a cloud-smart approach to harness the power of generative AI. Purnima Padmanabhan, VMware SVP/GM Modern Apps & Management Business Group, will discuss application delivery for continuous innovation, and Sanjay Uppal, VMware SVP & GM, Service Provider & Edge BU, will discuss how customers can solve their edge use cases with VMware's software-Defined edge approach. Additionally, Shankar Iyer, VMware SVP and GM, EUC, will discuss the power of data and intelligence for today's changing workplace.

Attendees will also hear from VMware CTO, Kit Colbert, and vice president of VMware AI Labs, Chris Wolf, on how to succeed in today's multi-cloud world and the rise of AI.

VMblog: Sessions are key to VMware Explore learning.  Are there any key sessions that you can shine a spotlight on that attendees will want to make sure they get on their schedules?

VMware: Be sure to check out the Technology Innovation Showcase to hear from Kit Colbert, Amanda Blevins and Chris Wolf, and see demos of VMware's products and solutions for today's multi-cloud world. We also have a special Modern-Day Explorers Keynote which will feature real-life explorers who will share their experiences and insights with attendees.

The Cloud & Edge Infrastructure sessions offer insights into delivering enterprise applications on the latest cloud platform offerings from VMware including keynotes with VMware leaders like Sanjay Uppal and Krish Prasad, who will outline the challenges and opportunities facing today's enterprise developers and IT professionals and the solutions and guidance to address them.

VMblog: Hands-on Labs are always difficult to sign up for if you wait around too long.  What can you tell us about the Hands-on Labs this year?  Are you adding more to try and meet demand?  How many sessions are you expecting to have?  Is there anything new or different about the HOL this year?

VMware: VMware Hands-on Labs is coming to VMware Explore 2023 Las Vegas with 107 brand new labs this year (including 2 secret labs to be released on day 2)...you don't want to miss this year. For the workshops, the team has taken the feedback from previous years and made some changes to ensure more attendees have access to the content you know and love! Some of these changes include:

  1. Added an additional room to offer more workshop sessions
  2. Seats will be released over the next week to ensure folks to sign up closer to the show will have equal access to workshops
  3. Brand new this year...the most popular labs will be hosted in special pop-up workshops that are announced during the show! The location and times of these pop-ups are already in the catalog. The content for each workshop will be decided the evening prior to the workshop, uploaded to the catalog and all seats will be released. Everyone at the event will have access to sign up for these workshops. To be notified when the sessions are released, follow us on X.

Did you know, 98% of the labs we present as Expert-led Workshops are available in our Self-paced Labs area? And the workshop presenters and lab authors are in the room waiting to answer your questions, deep dive into solutions or just chat about VMware products and solutions...these chats are 1:1 and on your schedule. Self-paced labs do not require reservations, just stop by when you have some time and take as many labs as you want.

Also new this year, we are adding 25 quick talk sessions on topics you won't find anywhere else, check them out in the Content Catalog.

Finally, The Odyssey Tournament returns for the 5th year in a row, this year inside the Hands-on Labs room. Test your knowledge of VMware products and your score at the top of the leaderboard could enter you in the tournament to win some amazing prizes (including an Alienware Aurora R15 Gaming Desktop).

VMblog: What are the trends VMware is focused on in 2023/2024?  What should attendees and VMware customers be aware of?

VMware: Generative AI has certainly been a hot topic for industry. VMware Explore 2023 Las Vegas will dive into the convergence of generative AI and how multi-cloud technologies are driving the next wave of business innovation.

VMblog: What VMware technologies deserve special attention this year?  What should attendees focus their attention on at this year's show?  Why?

VMware: VMware Explore content will cover all things multi-cloud, including enterprise applications, cloud architecture, infrastructure, tools for the hybrid workforce, networking and security - with a special spotlight on AI for the VMware community. The goal is to deliver a comprehensive program that allows every attendee to navigate this multi-cloud era and focus on creating the business value they envision.

VMblog: Beyond the education factor, what type of entertainment do you have planned?  Are there areas for attendees to go during the event to wind down and have fun?  What will be available?  Are you going to have Hall Crawl's again?  And what does the closing party look like this year, can you give us any info?

VMware: Each year we are eager to bring engaging activities to our attendees including a welcome reception in The Expo where participants will get a first look at the show floor, network with fellow attendees in a fun atmosphere, pick up some new swag and enjoy delicious appetizers and drinks.

We are continuing our Hall Crawl this year, which will give attendees the chance to get up close and personal with the VMware ecosystem, sponsors and exhibitors in The Expo. They will be able to participate in giveaways, get in-depth product information, grab swag, and socialize over snacks and drinks at the sponsor booths. Finally, attendees won't want to miss The Party, our must-attend event at XS Nightclub, where they can expect food, drinks, games, and of course, great music.

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Published Monday, August 14, 2023 12:31 PM by David Marshall
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