During Day 2’s keynote at VMworld, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger stressed a critical sentiment: Success Begins with You. 

Central to this message is the idea of being empowered. Empowered to experiment with new development ideas. Empowered to extend your execution venues out to the edge. Empowered to collect and manage your data where and when you need it. But this message of empowerment goes beyond the purely technical.  In order to digitally transform, you need to culturally transform in order to tap into new sources of inspiration.

Here at VMworld, one place of inspiration for me is the VMvillage. It’s the epicenter of the event, oozing with inspiration and creative potential. Yesterday I was invited to appear on The Cube, from the heart of VMvillage, to discuss our relationship with VMware and how we are helping customers maximize their opportunity with VMware technologies. One of the things we discussed was how important cultural transformation was when trying to change the way our IT professionals exercise their empowerment. We talked about the importance of “platform thinking” and how the software-defined datacenter enables dynamic engagement in a technology system that is larger than any one single project.

Walking through the VMvillage, it’s easy to see other examples of empowerment and participating in something larger than ourselves. The VMware Foundation was very prominent during Pat’s keynote, and there are numerous places to engage as “citizen philanthropists” through VMware Foundation at this year’s VMvillage. This maps well to the sense of community that CenturyLink builds in all the regions where we operate. In between drone racing, ice cream snacks and Back To The Future DeLorean test-drives, I explored the many ways in which digital transformation makes the world a better place.

It’s also important to think about empowerment from a partnership perspective. IT leaders in all parts of the value chain should always be looking at new technologies, new tools and new alliances that help them focus on their core competency. One of the things we discussed on The Cube was the digital transformation of VMware themselves, and how that enables CenturyLink to focus on our core competency as a service provider – integrated solutions for workloads with robust networking requirements and risk mitigation through advanced cybersecurity protections.

If you are attending VMworld, take the time to stroll through VMvillage and see what inspires you. If you’re not at VMworld, take some time out of your day to find your own sources of creative inspiration and think about whether your IT organization is working to achieve something larger than itself. We all need to do whatever it takes to find that inspiration and creativity to be successful. We all need to work together to deliver customer success. And to reiterate the theme of this year’s VMworld event – that success starts with you.

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