INTERVIEW - VMware Bulgaria developing solutions for banks, carmakers, sees IoT-driven shift to micro data centers

INTERVIEW - VMware Bulgaria developing solutions for banks, carmakers, sees IoT-driven shift to micro data centers Author: VMware Bulgaria Licence: All rights reserved

SOFIA (Bulgaria), March 7 (SeeNews) - VMware Bulgaria, part of US-based cloud computing company VMware, is working on potential new products and solutions for the financial and automotive sectors, while putting a lot of focus on its customer operations, a senior company official said.

From a technology perspective, the company will concentrate its efforts on cloud management and automation, core virtualization, disaster recovery and analytics, Diana Stefanova, Managing Director EMEA R&D Site and Strategic Business Development integrated solutions, told SeeNews in a recent interview.

The rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), one of the company's key development areas alongside blockchain and machine learning, will lead to a change in the way data centers and public clouds are perceived and it will require the establishment of micro data centers, Stefanova projected.

They will be closer to smart devices, for example, in smart production factories or automobiles, and they will not only analyze information from smart devices in real-time but will also take automated actions on this basis.

"If, with the introduction of public clouds, we saw large centralization of the infrastructure, applications and data, with the development of IoT we will see a new wave of decentralization of resources," she commented.

VMware's office in Sofia is the main development and innovation hub of the company in the EMEA region and is among the top three key strategic development centers for VMware worldwide. Launched as a purely R&D site in 2007 with less than 200 people, its staff has quadrupled, with plans to reach 1,500 in the next few years. To accommodate its expanding workforce, the company also plans to lease offices in Sofia Garitage Park by 2019 in what is supposed to be the largest deal on the Bulgarian rental market for the past decade.

"The office size growth goes hand in hand with the growth of the seniority and the expertise of our team, taking leadership roles into existing product areas and creating opportunities for new ones through our innovation lab," Stefanova said. "We will be focusing on revenue generating services, currently being delivered by our Professional Services Center of Excellence, which was opened in Bulgaria in 2015. We will aim even higher and apply strategies for product, solution and service portfolio generating revenue of $1 billion for VMware globally."

According to Commercial Register data, VMware Bulgaria's revenues increased to 71.4 million levs ($45.3 million/36.5 million euro) in 2017 from 59.5 million levs a year earlier. Net loss, however, increased to 14.8 million levs from 7.5 million levs.

The company's investment in Bulgaria to date exceeds 350 million levs.

Part of the investment is directed towards various sustainability projects, including projects supporting education in the form of tech academies, hackathons, and meet-ups with prominent industry guest speakers. Environment protection is another key area of the company's sustainability efforts, as its new office building will have a global sustainability certification and its employees will benefit from a programme promoting the use of e-cars, to be launched shortly.

The limited growth of the talent market is a challenge which VMware operations face on the domestic market, Stefanova said.

The software industry continues growing at a two-digit pace and the demand for a quick expansion of the talent pool is immense, she added, quoting the findings of an analysis by BASSCOM, the industry association of leading Bulgarian software development companies.

To support the development of the future generation of IT specialists the company will continue to partner with local educational institutions and industry organisations.

"In parallel, we will also continue to attract talent on a global level with the opportunity to work on high-tech projects with global contribution and various programs for personal and professional development. We see opportunities in attracting talent from the region to live and work in Bulgaria."

(1 euro=1.95583 Bulgarian levs)

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