Nearly 18 years after it was first acquired by EMC, VMware is set to become an independent vendor again later on Monday after it completes a much-anticipated spinoff from Dell.
And if you listen to VMware president Sumit Dhawan discuss the potential ahead, it's like the company was a princess trapped in a tower who is now finally free to pursue Prince Charming. The hybrid cloud provider wants to do it all: deeper partnerships, more customers and acquisitions — all goals that were, apparently, much harder to achieve under Dell.
"There is always hesitation from both cloud providers as well as customers when they think of us being potentially part of Dell. It's a conversation that we have to have," Dhawan told Protocol. "They always worry or wonder whether there could be an [ulterior] motivation over time which could negate any of the investments that they make with us."
In VMware's case, the Prince Charmings are the top cloud providers. The company envisions a lucrative role for itself in the future of enterprise tech by helping customers bridge together different public and private cloud services. But achieving that goal will require much closer alignments with companies like AWS and Google Cloud, per Dhawan.
"Our solutions for multi-cloud can only be great for our customers if we can have deep innovations … with these cloud providers," he said. "It's in the interest of cloud providers to be part of that solution."
And when it comes to acquisitions, Dhawan said it wasn't that Dell didn't give VMware the ability to pursue deals, just that it now has the "utmost flexibility with our balance sheets."
"There are no constraints that we have from what any of the acquisitions would do to the parent company," he added.
While VMware has made large acquisitions under Dell's ownership, including spending $2.1 billion to acquire Carbon Black, the company plans to focus on smaller, so-called "tuck in" acquisitions, according to CEO Raghu Raghuram.