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Choose Your Own Adventure with VMware’s Jason Conyard

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No one wants to be forced to do something. Whether it’s the newest “best practice” or the “old standard,” people and companies want to be able to choose the path for themselves. At VMware, the company that offers its tech stacks and service to many of the biggest companies in the world, the idea of choice is taken to another level.  Jason Conyard, the CIO of VMware says that VMware offers companies choice when it comes to their tech stacks and servers But when you look a little closer, VMware actually takes the idea of choice so much further than that. 

VMware has placed a premium on things like equality, inclusion, and appreciation for outside perspectives, and it has prioritized making decisions that lead the company, its employees, and its clients to the success they choose. How though? Don’t bias and business outcomes come into play? What does it take to truly let humanity and technology come together in a way that works for everyone?

Main Takeaways:

  • Freedom to Choose: Companies and businesses do not want one-size-fits-all technology solutions and should be given a choice around clouds and technology that can solve real world problems.  Freedom of choice is critically important in using technology to solve business problems because not every company has the same needs, processes, or solutions, so when you offer services, make sure that you can personalize that experience to customers’ needs. 
  • Simply Delightful: Frustration is often the emotion people associate with technology. As tech gets more advanced, sometimes it gets more difficult to use or understand. It’s your job as a business to strive to create the opposite, which is an amazing experience in which you lead with empathy. 
  • Experiment With Ideas: Having an environment in which all ideas are encouraged allows for employees to feel free to express themselves and bring their best to the table every day. Even if not every off-the-wall idea works, it can still be a starting point of something great.

 

Key Quotes:

“I think a lot of people know VMware obviously for our virtualization technologies, and that continues to be a core strength for the company, just amazing talent and people developing and continuing to improve and enhance those products. Recognizing the shift in the world around clouds, enabling companies to have choice around clouds, I think is incredibly important.

“VMware is kind of like the Switzerland in that regard. We’re helping IT professionals and companies move their workload. So, whether they’re virtual server workloads or even modern applications around workloads, is really important in giving companies that choice.” 

“We pay very close attention to how our employees interact with our technology and increasingly how our customers and our partners interact with technology and the solutions we deliver, because we want them to have an amazing experience. In fact, there is a term that I use all the time, which used to get kind of a giggle out of people, but I use the term “delighted” all the time. And the reason why I use delighted is because for me, delighted is the opposite of frustrated. And often I think ‘frustrated’ is the emotion people associate with technology… So, we actually track our colleagues’ feedback and our customers and partners’ feedback around how they use our technology.” 

“If you go to the effort of hiring great people, you want them to do great work and the best way to get people to do great work is to put them in an environment where they are valued, where they are comfortable, and give them the tools so that they can interact and do their best work… And, often when I talk about technology, I talk about emotions and how people feel, and I think that’s critically important and choices are a very, very important part of that.

“We do a lot of experimentation. One of the teams I have, is called the emerging technologies team, and they’re constantly coming up with new ideas and we try them and if it sticks, great, we’ll iterate and continue, and if not, close the book and say, well, that was great and put it on the shelf for either for another day or as a doorstop.” 

“I am obsessed about experience. I think that while we deliver some amazing technology to our customers and we will continue to do that in innovative, creative ways, I think that the role that experience plays will become more and more important. I also believe that VMware’s commitment to any device, any place you know, will become more true. I think that we will enable our customers to have a choice about what they run, where they run it and how they run it. And I think that’s really important.”

Bio:

Jason Conyard is the Chief Information Officer at VMware, leading the global information and technology organization in support of the company’s worldwide business operations.

With a passion for innovation and a bias for results, Conyard focuses his team on delivering a great at-work experience for all – one where advanced collaboration and productivity resources help everyone aspire to the next level of performance and potential. He is an active champion of diversity and equity in the workplace, proudly supporting talent development and serving as the executive sponsor of VMware’s Pride affinity group.

An industry veteran with 25 years’ experience driving large-scale transformations in global tech companies, Conyard joined VMware in 2015 as VP of Colleague Experience and Technology responsible for all employee-facing technology. At Juniper Networks, he led global infrastructure and end-user services as VP of IT; he also served as Managing Director for BlackRock (formerly Barclays Global Investors), Principal at Global Communications Partners, and Director of Worldwide Communications at Symantec.

A UK native and a proud ‘space nut’, Conyard is married and resides in the Bay Area. He is a frequent speaker on the Future of Work and a member of the LongNow Foundation, promoting sustainable strategies for the next 10,000 years.

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Episode 9