It was an exciting first day of VMworld here in Las Vegas. More than 20,000 people are attending this 20th-birthday celebration of the VMware, and the energy from newly announced innovations is high!

CenturyLink and VMware made a significant announcement launching The Catalyst Club, one of the industry’s first leader-oriented networks designed to recognize IT experts and demonstrate their innovative use of technology to build value and drive growth. The Catalyst Club represents a distinguished group of business and IT leaders from various industries and geographies that are building transformative digital solutions that leverage CenturyLink services. As we launch this program at VMworld 2018, its inaugural members naturally highlight the powerful combination of CenturyLink and VMware.

Catalyst Club member Ingram Micro received the Partnership Award for having built a strong, long-lasting client base over years of innovation, continually evolving to meet their customers’ requirements. The company was recognized for its achievements in front of thousands of VMworld attendees.

In the opening keynote, VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger shared his thoughts on the “superpowers” needed to navigate the disruptive world of technology. He detailed a set of announcements positioning VMware’s role in shaping the future of cloud, mobile, networking, and security – as well as innovating in emerging areas like IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, edge computing, and containers. Pat also highlighted the importance of the VMworld Cloud Provider Program, highlighting solutions from CenturyLink that meet the standards of the VMware Cloud Verified certification program as part of VMware’s hybrid cloud strategy.

After the general session, I was joined by CenturyLink’s Thomas Broadwell and Dynatrace’s Bill Zajac for a live demonstration titled “Milliseconds Matter: Optimize Cloud Applications Through Network Control.”  Our conversation went back to those “superpowers” Pat discussed in the general session – and how expert control over cloud resources and connections make such a difference in today’s rapidly changing business environment.

Although many organizations understand that direct connectivity into the public cloud helps ensure network consistency, it’s not always clear how integrated combinations of backbone, routing, and orchestration can optimize cloud applications. During the session, we showed a demo and talked about innovative approaches to optimizing application deployment through control of the underlying network infrastructure.  We believe that for mission critical workloads, where milliseconds matter, network-aware cloud orchestration is our “superpower.”

Tomorrow is going to be another action-packed day at VMworld. I’m looking forward to checking out vmVillage and meeting with more clients and partners. Be sure to stay tuned for more updates!