What To Expect Ahead of VMware’s VMWORLD Conference

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Even if VMware (NYSE:VMW) sees its stock go sideways or even if it gets soft from here, it has a long way to go before many would be able to say this was not a successful IPO.  The valuations are now just too high for the sector to longer have a focus in I.T.  This is also true regardless of the VMware stock conundrum we noted recently. If you haven’t read up on and learned much about virtualization, as an investor you should read up on it as the next ‘next thing’ in software and IT. If you look at the competitors that some existing partners (and owners) are invested in, you’ll really understand.

One week from today, and possible over the coming weekend, we should start seeing many more companies announce "Partnering with VMware" or "Supplying VMware" or "Strikes key partners for virtualization" and the like.  Next week from September 11 to September 13 is the VMWORLD 2007 Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and the roster is a Who’s Who in Techland.  There is also a Technology Day symposium ahead of it. 

Keynote speakers here will be from such tech heavyweights as John Chambers of Cisco Systems (CSCO), Patrick Gelsinger of Intel Corp. (INTC), and Hector Ruiz of Advanced Micro (AMD).  Other sponsors are major tech giants like Dell (DELL), H-P (HPQ), NEC, IBM (IBM), and of course the parent EMC (EMC).

Network Appliances (NTAP) is also a sponsor, and it already issued its press release to signal its involvement.

Some of the gold sponsors that are not quite as prominent are BEA Systems (BEAS), Brocade (BRCD), EDS (EDS), Emulex (ELX), Sun Microsystems (JAVA).  Further down the list of sponsors and exhibitors are BMC Software (BMC), Avocent (AVCT), CA (CA), Citrix Systems (CTXS) (which also recently made a virtualization buyout of XenSource), Novell (NOVL), Patni Computer Systems Ltd. (PTI), QLogic (QLGC), Microsoft (MSFT), Symantec (SYMC), and more.

What is interesting is that this virtualization conference includes almost all of VMware’s key competitors.  So they are not blocking out competitors, at least not this year.  For whatever it is worth, there are many overlaps out there in what would be deemed partners and competitors.  It has XenSource, Microsoft, Symantec, and others. 

It also sold out of sponsor and exhibitor opportunities some time ago.  Here is a full list of exhibitors.  It is probably safe to assume that many more virtualization partnerships will be coming ahead of, out of, and after this key industry event.

Stock Tickers: VMW, EMC, CSCO, INTC, AMD, DELL, HPQ, NTAP, IBM, BEAS, BRCD, EDS, ELX, JAVA, SUNW, BMC, AVCT, PTI, CA, CTXS, NOVL, QLGC, MSFT, SYMC

Jon C. Ogg
September 4, 2007

Jon Ogg can be reached at jonogg@247wallst.com; he produces the 24/7 Wall St. Special Situation Investing Newsletter and he does not own securities in the companies he covers.