VMware EMPOWER 2018

Well it’s over… The first “VMware’s elite technical event for Partners” aka VMware EMPOWER 2018 is behind us. For people who are not familiar with what VMware EMPOWER is:
 

empower

VMware EMPOWER has replaced the technical aspect of Partner Exchange (PEX) previously held at VMworld. EMPOWER 2018 is taking place at the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta. The event is only available for VMware partners and is the place to be to get in-depth, technical deep-dives into VMware products and solutions. The event is focussing on people with a technical background such as SEs and Architects.

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During the event our hands where itching to blog and tweet about all the goodness that was presented during all the session, but unfortunately all the NDA disclaimers prohibited us to do so…
 

EMPOWER 2018 Summary

General Session

Brandon Sweeney kicked-off the general session and explained how important partners are for VMware. It was nice to see the recognition by VMware for the VCDX certification, including the mention of the VCDXs attending VMware EMPOWER. After Brandon Robin Gunn and Matthew Stepanski took the stage and talked about the portfolio of technical training for partners and successful services delivery. Chris Wolf closed the General Session with some cloud-to-edge principles, VMware Cloud, Functions as a Service (Faas) and the importance of all partners on this journey.

Partner Networking Reception

The Partner Networking Reception was held at the College #Football Hall of Fame. Which was a really cool location with loads of stuff to see and to do. Then some good food, good music and an awesome atmosphere of people enjoying themselves kept us busy the whole evening.

Recordings

All sessions were recorded and a link will be send out to all registered attendees in about one or two weeks after the event.

Conclusion

  • The content delivered was GOOD! In my opinion the content was much better (more technical) than at VMworld
  • FREE EXAMS!! An awesome perk of attending the event is that there was a voucher for a free VCP or VCAP exam included
  • The timeframe of around 6 months after VMworld is in my opinion a perfect moment to plan this event and have a summary of what is happening with all things VMware related
  • No vendors!! I think keeping the vendors out is a positive thing, it really keeps the focus on the VMware and not the whole ecosystem
  • VMware really listened to the feedback of partners and the EMPOWER team really took a step in the right direction to empower the Partner Ecosystem
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    The event was spot on, it is the ultimate technical training event of the year for partners. Would I recommend it to other partners? Most definitely!

    Room for improvement?

  • The 60-second “unrehearsed” questionnaire was not well received…
  • For my EUC focussed colleague Hans Jaspers it was quite difficult to fill his agenda with sessions from the EUC track
  • My company, ITQ, invests heavily in all the Solution Competencies available, but these Solution Competencies were never mentioned or explained during this partner event. As #1 leader of the Partner University Arie-Jan Bodde would like to see more information about the importance and necessity of the solution competencies and what benefit it could bring for the Partner Ecosystem
  • The LiveFire sessions looked really good, but they took the whole day, therefore planning these sessions with other shorter sessions was not possible
  • Include Partners in the sessions for their war stories and lessons learned from the trenches
  • WiFi… Yes, the WiFi was horrible the first day but luckily it was improved the next day. Because having a technical event without proper WiFi is asking for a riot
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    Some fun facts

  • The event was put together in 90 days
  • Almost 1,000 attendees
  • 57 countries represented
  • 74 technical sessions completed on the first day
  • 802 backpacks distributed
  • 58 gallons of coffee consumed on the first morning
  • 350+ VMware Certification Exams booked
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    All in all me and my colleagues had a blast and left Atlanta a little bit smarter then we arrived so mission accomplished!

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