The News: VMware announced a couple of partnership expansions with system integrators Wipro and Atos earlier this week. VMware announced in standalone statements that its collaboration with Wipro will focus on accelerating enterprise app modernization and multi-cloud deployments, while the expanded Atos partnership will focus on “Data Spaces,” digital platforms which comply with jurisdictional data governance requirements.
VMware Extends Wipro and Atos Partnerships
Analyst Take: As the hybrid multi-cloud deployment becomes the prevailing architecture for many enterprises, the focus is beginning to shift on how to implement this architecture and gain maximum benefit from the deployment. Against this backdrop, the role of the Global System Integrator (GSI) is again at the forefront. These companies were previously the experts at stitching together on-premises deployments and implementing big enterprise-wide systems from the likes of Oracle and SAP. As the hyperscale cloud providers have moved to be the destination of choice for many, software vendors have pivoted to SaaS models, and the GSIs have had had to adapt.
We are seeing GSIs rush to either ink new deals such as the raft of recent partnership announcements from Kyndryl, many of them covered by Futurum Principal Analyst Shelly Kramer, or expansions of existing deals as we are seeing here with VMware, Wipro and Atos.
VMware and Wipro
Wipro and VMware have long been partners, so the announcements earlier this week are not new news, but more a restatement of both companies’ commitment to the partnership. In fact, Wipro was recently recognized with a 2022 Partner Lifecycle Services award as part of the annual VMware Partner Achievement Awards. This award recognized Wipro for growing long-term customer-partner relationships and increasing customer satisfaction.
The announcement focused on the expanded collaboration between the two companies and how they plan to enable customers to achieve what both are calling ‘cloud freedom.’ The companies plan to bring together VMware Cross-Cloud services with Wipro FullStride Cloud Services to enable enterprises to accelerate app modernization and reduce the cost, complexity, and risk of moving to the cloud.
The companies are focused on delivering to market a cloud native acceleration platform, which provides developers with templates and patterns to accelerate app development, ready to deploy zero-touch operations, and app lifecycle management processes.
A key element of the announcement was a focus on VMware’s Kubernetes platform Tanzu with Wipro’s FullStride Cloud Services’ cloud-native acceleration platform (CNAP) looking to be built on Tanzu Application Platform, Tanzu Build Service, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, and Tanzu Service Mesh. The announcement highlighted that Wipro’s Global Cloud Studios will add VMware Cloud support.
This partnership, while not exactly press release worthy, makes a lot of sense to me. Wipro is a proven partner for many organizations looking to implement new technology or migrate to the public cloud. Combining the deep bench of Wipro with the VMware Tanzu portfolio is additive for both companies. One thing that did surprise me, however, in the announcements was a lack of clarity around the number of VMware trained professionals that Wipro has today and any form of forward-facing commitment to skills development. I will be tracking with interest to see whether both companies provide more clarity on the depth of skills focused on this technology stack in the coming months.
Atos and VMware
Atos and VMware have been long term partners for some time now, so again the announcements that the companies plan to extend their alliance comes as no big surprise. The focus of the announcement earlier this week was an extension of the companies’ partnership by collaborating to deliver an integrated set of capabilities to help speed up the development of what the companies are calling “Data Spaces.” According to the announcement, Data Spaces are platforms that allow for greater exchange, collaboration, and monetization of data between organizations or industries, independently of the underlying infrastructure, whilst enabling data sovereignty and interoperability.
The companies highlighted that they plan to deliver an integrated set of capabilities that enable data and industry applications to be used and shared more strategically. The collaboration will also seek to deliver capabilities aligned to the Gaia-X architecture and serve as an enabler of the Gaia-X initiative, which will help accelerate the exchange of data through new digital platforms that comply with common rules. Gaia-X looks to deliver the next generation of data infrastructure ecosystem: through an open, transparent, and secure digital approach, where data and services can be made available, collated, and shared in an environment of trust.
Again, focused on the hybrid cloud trend, Atos and VMware plan to combine VMware’s multi-cloud and app modernization capabilities with the Atos’ cloud, expertise and technology integration capabilities. The focus is to provide enterprises and industries with the key building blocks to rapidly design, develop, deploy, better secure, and manage Data Spaces that are compliant with jurisdictional data governance requirements. We are seeing a rise of heavily regulated cloud deployments with the likes of IBM providing a Financial Services themed cloud deployment model focused on providing out-of-the-box solutions for banks, so this approach both makes sense and is responsive to the prevailing market trends for the next evolution of public cloud requirements.
According to the announcement, the capabilities provided by VMware and Atos are expected to include:
- VMware Tanzu Data Services – Designed to enable fast, scalable development and deployment of applications in the Data Space across clouds.
- VMware Cloud Foundation – For connecting the Data Space with cloud infrastructure including data storage platforms.
- VMware Versatile Data Kit – Aims to reduce ‘unplanned work’ using a Data SDK and a Control Service Server that enables users to manage data jobs by building, packaging, installing, tracking dependencies, and maintaining versioning.
- Atos cloud capabilities
- Atos Edge and Bare Metal-as-a-Service capabilities
- Atos Cybersecurity products and services
- Atos Digital Hub – Designed to be used to create shared and transparent tailored platforms that enable and orchestrate value chains within extended data-driven ecosystems.
While both announcements by VMware are not exactly groundbreaking, they do indicate the pivot the GSIs are making to keep pace with the adoption of both Kubernetes and cloud deployments. I expect to see the likes of SUSE with their Rancher technology and Red Hat with OpenShift make a raft of similar announcements in the coming months as the big three non-public cloud focused Kubernetes platforms focus on locking in the skills need to deploy their technology at scale.
Announcements such as this indicate that we are moving from the point where Kubernetes is the next hot thing touted by developers, to a stage where it is being deployed at scale as the architecture of choice for cloud-native applications. When you look at this trend as a whole and these announcements in this context, this is a good lead indicator for the likes of VMware, Red Hat, and SUSE as they have backed the right horse in Kubernetes.
I expect to see more announcements from the major global GSIs in the Kubernetes space as they look to retool their deployment consultants to leverage the still relatively new technology, at least at enterprise scale.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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Image Credit: VMware
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
Steven Dickens is Vice President of Sales and Business Development and Senior Analyst at Futurum Research. Operating at the crossroads of technology and disruption, Steven engages with the world’s largest technology brands exploring new operating models and how they drive innovation and competitive edge for the enterprise. With experience in Open Source, Mission Critical Infrastructure, Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, and FinTech innovation, Dickens makes the connections between the C-Suite executives, end users, and tech practitioners that are required for companies to drive maximum advantage from their technology deployments. Steven is an alumnus of industry titans such as HPE and IBM and has led multi-hundred million dollar sales teams that operate on the global stage. Steven was a founding board member, former Chairperson, and now Board Advisor for the Open Mainframe Project, a Linux Foundation Project promoting Open Source on the mainframe. Steven Dickens is a Birmingham, UK native, and his speaking engagements take him around the world each year as he shares his insights on the role technology and how it can transform our lives going forward.