Broadcom sketches out VMware ambitions that stretch from mainframe to cloud

Broadcom has made its first public comment in weeks about its plans for VMware, should the surprise $61 billion acquisition proceed as planned, and has prioritized retaining VMware's engineers to preserve the virtualization giant's innovation capabilities.

The outline of Broadcom's plans appeared in a Wednesday blog post by Broadcom Software president Tom Krause.

The post opens with blandishments about Broadcom meeting with VMware customers "to tell them more about how this combination will deliver compelling benefits to them."

Those benefits center on "greater choice and flexibility to build, run, manage, connect and protect traditional and modern applications at scale across diversified, distributed environments."

Krause's definition of "choice" hinges on the intention that Broadcom Software's existing businesses - Symantec and CA - will operate under the VMware name once the deal is done. VMware customers will therefore be able to choose Symantec and CA products.

VMware customers are, it should be noted, free to make that choice today.

Krause added that the combination of VMware and Broadcom software will "help enterprises build, manage and secure a wide variety of applications - from mainframe to client server to cloud-native via Kubernetes - and more securely deliver amazing end user experiences to any device anywhere."

That's a slightly stronger statement, as the combined Broadcom Software and VMware will indeed have expertise on many platforms. But the post makes no mention of integration plans that might link the combined companies' portfolios more elegantly.

The post does state: "A key pillar of the combined company's innovation roadmap will be to retain and support VMware's engineering and R&D talent."

Broadcom Software has previously stated it prefers to focus R&D on the needs of its very largest customers, and that doing so saves money because the largest customers are also the stickiest and most lucrative.

It's even gone so far as to discourage smaller customers from persisting with its products - using price hikes and a cold shoulder to buyers and channel partners alike to make it plain they can do better elsewhere.

The company has already said VMware's channel will get to do the heavy lifting for smaller customers, and Krause re-stated that plan.

"We recognize the central role that VMware's deep customer relationships play in its success. Broadcom wants to preserve and grow these relationships," he wrote, adding "we'll be investing in both the direct sales force across all key verticals as well as the partners that support the broader customer base."

"VMware is an iconic software company with a vibrant ecosystem, including hyperscalers, system integrators and channel partners. We don't want to change any of that, and in fact, we want to embrace those relationships."

Before you feel too warm and fuzzy, note that the post also hedges by pointing out that Broadcom Software is yet to get a look inside VMware - so it can't offer detailed plans.

"We are approaching the post-closing planning phase of the transaction process with an open mind, while drawing from the lessons learned from our previous acquisitions of CA and Symantec Enterprise," Krause wrote. "This means that we'll be working in close coordination with VMware to learn more about their go-to-market, product portfolio, approach to innovation, engineering talent, partner network and, of course, strong customer footprint."

A reminder: when Broadcom Software acquired CA and Symantec it made swingeing cuts to headcount and sales and marketing expenses. While retained staff tell The Register Broadcom Software is a pleasant and supportive place to work, they cannot deny they have many fewer colleagues than before their previous employers were acquired.

Those cuts may be why jobs boards like The Layoff and Blind have, of late, featured questions from folks who have been offered jobs at VMware and wonder if Broadcom Software's takeover might make their tenures unpleasantly short.

One element of Krause's post that appears notable is his mention of delivering experiences to any device anywhere. Your correspondent has encountered many comments questioning whether VMware's end user computing products are a good fit for Broadcom Software's focus on infrastructure. Krause's post might ease those doubts.

Overall, however, Krause's post offers almost no specific information on how Broadcom Software plans to work with VMware.

The acquisition was announced on May 26, along with a 40-day go-shop provision under which VMware could solicit rival offers. At the time of writing no such bids have emerged, or been rumored. ®

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