The noise around Gen AI is similar to the early years of the cloud, says VMware channel exec — and partners are key to cutting through the hype.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

November 8, 2023

2 Min Read
Gen AI hype
Natalya Bardushka/Shutterstock

VMWARE EXPLORE BARCELONA — The hype machine around generative AI (Gen AI) is in overdrive – and it’s up to partners to help prevent customers from making costly mistakes.

That’s according to Andy Corcoran, UK&I channel sales director, VMware. He was speaking at VMware Explore Barcelona, where the vendor this week unveiled its Private Cloud architecture.

Corcoran said organizations believe they have to do something with Gen AI, but they’re not sure what. He compared the current noise around generative AI to the hype around cloud.

VMware's Andy Corcoran

“We’ve heard that before. The hype cycle went mad, where it was just cloud everything and where everybody thought a cloud first strategy is absolutely what you must adopt. We’re in a similar situation again. Customers hear everything Gen AI. I don’t know whether they naturally understand the difference between predictive AI and Gen AI and how that works, but they just know that they must do it.”

Corcoran advocates for a more cautious approach where the organization puts the needs of the application over “the desire to move to a buzzword.”

VMware’s Private Cloud is an architectural approach that enables partners to build privacy into the AI model.

“You don’t want to get into a situation where you don’t have the right level of security, the right level of access to data, the right level of privacy to the data that exists. You want to make sure you are protecting your own IP,” said Corcoran.

“We don’t want to dampen the enthusiasm for GenAI. The optimism for what Gen AI can bring is amazing. But there’s a pragmatic approach that says be careful around how you implement it to make sure that you bring along that Private AI platform with you.”

Partners a 'Safe Pair Of Hands' for Customers

The exec said partners can be a safe pair of hands, rather than promoting “buzzword bingo.”

“The experiences that we’ve had in the past about how to safely navigate customers through a cloud journey, we’ll do the same with the private AI journey. So, trying to make sure that our partners understand that the benefit is delivering a secure, private solution to a customer that doesn’t end them up in a load of trouble and differentiates the message for them.”

Robin Gardner is strategic services director at U.K. VMware partner, Xtravirt. He said customers exploring AI initiatives are already navigating architecture principles across model choice, business goals primary targets for AI investment.

Xtravirt's Robin Gardner

“VMware Private AI [is] providing a fast track to resolve concerns regarding data privacy and intellectual property which might otherwise stall progress and value. Building on VMware Cloud Foundation leverages existing skill sets reduces infrastructure operational overhead and ensures investment can be focused at the top of the stack where value is greatest.”

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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