Last week, Nutanix hosted its long-awaited in-person .NEXT event after a hiatus of more than three years. As the Chief Marketing Officer for just over a year, participating in a live .NEXT for the first time exceeded all of my expectations.
Nutanix customers are enthusiastic champions. I continue to be struck by their ingenuity, passion for their work, remarkable trust in our people and our platform, and appreciation for Nutanix services and support. Our customers’ loyalty is palpable and at the event I heard firsthand how they loved the technology deep dives, our innovation announcements, and the entertainment we provided in Chicago on May 9 and 10. But most importantly, everyone was excited about the ability to come together as a community to engage, interact, share, learn and just…connect in person.
Many of the conversations centered around the fact that driving initiatives in the face of numerous constraints is more important than ever, especially related to the two biggest drivers of modern business: applications and data. The growth rate of applications and data is unrecognizable compared to the last in-person .NEXT in 2019, and that pace continues to accelerate. This puts immense pressure on getting workload placement right, requires even bigger demands on underlying infrastructure, has the potential to create more silos, performance issues, and talent gaps. In a word: complexity.
At the same time, we are witnessing some truly transformational shifts happening in our industry (and our world) that are not only influencing our platform, but also moving beyond classification as a trend and well on their way to becoming the standard. These include: the rise of modern applications, the tidal wave of data coming from the edge, sustainability, and of course, the proliferation of AI/ML throughout our daily lives.
What our customers and partners heard loud and clear from us in Chicago was simple: We got you - today, tomorrow and in the future. The things that our customers have always loved us for are exactly what make us even more important now. Simplicity. Customer-obsession. Flexibility. And, of course, innovation. A key theme that our CEO Rajiv Ramaswami delivered in his keynote was about the strength of our current capabilities and our unique ability to give our customers one platform to run apps and data anywhere, as well as our vision for the future.
As CMO, I was especially proud to share the unveiling of our new brand identity as part of re-launching Nutanix. We look and sound different because we have evolved well beyond the company we were when we were founded in 2009 or even when we went public in 2016, and we have so much more to offer than what the world knows us for.
This exactly mirrors what our customers want. They want more from us. Building on our pioneering leadership in hyperconverged infrastructure, our focus on hybrid multicloud gives our customers the unique ability to have one platform run apps and data anywhere - on-prem, with their preferred cloud provider or across multiple cloud providers, and at the edge. For more organizations, their future will run on a hybrid multicloud environment. Nutanix can help business leaders pivot to this approach and gain more control, peace of mind, and freedom to focus on their business. This really inspires me to help them make important decisions that will shape their future.
When we plan .NEXT, the customer is at the center, and the collaboration and teaming with customers is what makes the event special. We were honored to have more than 75 customers and partners participate in keynotes, breakout sessions, panels, interviews, and more. It’s their invaluable experience and firsthand knowledge that makes a real difference for the attendees.
Solving our customers’ most important challenges with technology was front and center, and our attendees took full advantage. Every breakout session I attended was packed. Our hands-on labs and certification rooms were constantly at capacity. In just two days, attendees spent a total of 245 hours in our hands-on labs, and we administered more than 375 certification exams.
The human element plays a significant role at.NEXT. To foster meaningful connections, the ones between people, we hosted special networking engagements for our valued partners, customer executives and practitioners alike, as well as facilitated important conversations on diversity and inclusion. Finally, we partnered with Wounded Warrior Project and donated all of the proceeds from our 24 hours of sales at the .NEXT store to their worthy cause. Altogether, we raised $38,500.
On a personal note, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share the stage and interview Olympic champion, entrepreneur, and change agent, Allyson Felix. Her story of battling for the rights of mothers and athletes everywhere is something I am incredibly grateful for and I’ll always remember. It was also amazing to hear from cultural icon, Tony Hawk and hear Dr. Ayesha Khanna’s fascinating and inspiring human-centric approach to AI.
Final Thoughts and a Call to Action
I’m still buzzing about all of the goodness that was packed into a mere two days. I can honestly say that I’m more excited and confident about our place and our opportunities going forward than I have ever been. I can’t wait to continue the conversations we started in Chicago, because in a world where applications and data evolve rapidly, we want business leaders to know they are choosing the right platform–one that gives them the ability to modernize today, extend to the cloud and edge, and be cloud smart into the future so they have the freedom and peace of mind to focus on their business. We want business leaders to know they can build a powerful, flexible, and sustainable future with Nutanix.
If you weren’t able to join us in person, I hope you will watch the replay or find us during our .NEXT experience tour coming soon. We’re always learning, and we got a big dose of knowledge at .NEXT to share. So most of all, I invite you to bring us your toughest multicloud challenges. Remember, we got you.
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