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The unlikely partnership of VMware Inc. and Amazon Web Services Inc. is now more than five years old.

And far from one or both of the parties regretting the decision, as analysts predicted in 2016 when it was first announced, the companies have deepened the relationship and widened the capabilities of the VMware Cloud on AWS integrated cloud offering, raising the bar on cloud migration.

On Nov. 1, representatives from AWS and VMware joined theCUBE’s John Furrier for a special event celebrating the benefits the partnership is bringing to their joint customer base. Specifically, the event looked at how VMware Cloud on AWS makes business transformation a simpler, less stressful process for companies with existing VMware on-premises infrastructure. (* Disclosure below.)

In case you missed the “Accelerating Business Transformation with VMware Cloud on AWS” event, here are theCUBE’s top three takeaways from the event:

1) If you know how to work with VMware on-prem, you know how to work with VMware Cloud on AWS.

VMware Cloud on AWS eliminates the cloud skills gap by making on-prem engineers’ VMware knowledge set applicable to a cloud environment.

“The operations are exactly the same. The management systems are exactly the same. So you don’t really have to change anything,” said Ashish Dhawan, managing director and worldwide head of sales for enterprise workloads at AWS, in a conversation on “Customer Successes With VMware Cloud on AWS” with theCUBE analyst John Furrier during the event.

This is almost like an instant path to cloud skills for the hundreds of thousands of already trained VMware architects and operators, according to Furrier.

Taking away the need to upskill or hire new engineers means that cloud migration can happen much faster, with customers accomplishing multi-year plans in months and even weeks in some cases. One specific example cited by Narayan Bharadwaj (pictured, left), vice president and general manager of cloud solutions at VMware, was a large financial services company that migrated 1,000 workloads to VMware cloud in AWS in just six weeks.

VMware Cloud on AWS is the lowest cost, lowest risk approach to moving from point A to point B, according to Bharadwaj, who described the speed and simplicity of the transformation as “pretty phenomenal if you think about everything that goes into a cloud migration process: people, process, technology.”

Watch Narayan Bharadwaj and Fred Wurden (pictured, right), VP of commercial software services at AWS, discuss VMware Cloud on AWS innovations and solution updates:

2) Speedy migration leads to simple modernization.

Digital transformation starts with assessing existing infrastructure, licensing, and IT operations, in general. Then comes the migration of IT applications and infrastructure to the cloud, which we’ve just discussed can be achieved simply and speedily with VMware Cloud on AWS. But digital transformation is an ongoing journey, and the next step along the road is modernization. This is both a technological and cultural shift as applications and workflows become intelligent, automated, agile and more efficient.

Once they have accomplished their cloud migration using VMware Cloud on AWS, organizations are immediately able to access and integrate with AWS’ 200+ cloud services. This means that on-prem VMware experts are almost magically transformed into cloud architects, according to Dhawan.

“VMware cloud with AWS exactly does that,” he said. “They can connect easily to our data lake services, to our AI/ML services, to custom databases. They can decide which applications they want to keep and which applications they want to refactor.”

And it can all happen as fast as the company and the engineer feel comfortable moving.

VMware and AWS provide the support their customers require to become comfortable working in areas such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence and machine learning, according to Dhawan.

“We want to help them build those skills in the high-level services, be AI/ML, be it IoT, be it data lake and analytics. We want to invest in them, and we help our customers through that,” he said.

Discover more about how to migrate and modernize with VMware Cloud on AWS in the complete interview with Ashish Dhawan below:

3) The AWS and VMware strategic collaboration includes more than the engineering teams.

Partnerships are a dime a dozen these days, with AWS alone working with over 100,000 partners from more than 180 countries through its Partner Network.  But the AWS and VMware relationship stands out from the crowd, with both companies referring to it as a “strategic collaboration” because of the extent of the integration.

“We’re looking to deliver value to our customers together. These are our joint customers. So there are hundreds of VMware and AWS engineers working together on this solution,” said Samir Kadoo, worldwide VMware strategic alliance solutions architecture leader at AWS, who joined Daniel Rethmeier, principal architect of global AWS synergy at VMWare, for a discussion on the evolution of the AWS and VMware strategic partnership.

As well as engineering, AWS and VMware employees tag-team for VMware Cloud on AWS sales, customer support, accounts and other areas.

“They all come together to drive this innovation forward with VMware Cloud on AWS and the jointly engineered solution partnership,” Kadoo said.

AWS and VMware originally came from very different directions when it came to customer culture, with AWS focused on the developer (DevOps). While VMware’s crowd was the more traditional information technology operations (ITOps) teams. Working together has helped bridge that divide, according to Rethmeier.

“Our collaboration is not just that we have dedicated teams to help our customers get the most and the best benefits out of VMware Cloud and AWS,” he stated. “AWS learns from us about the VMware technology, where VMware people learn about the AWS technology.”

And there has been cultural exchange, as well as technical.

“One of the things that we’ve learned from AWS in the process is this notion of working backward,” Bharadwaj said, as he discussed how VMware Cloud on AWS has evolved based on customer feedback.

Rethmeier went on to add: [Together] we are driving the solution into the direction that our customers get the best benefits out of VMware Cloud on AWS.”

Watch the complete interview with Daniel Rethmieir and Samir Kadoo, part of theCUBE’s coverage of “Accelerating Business Transformation with VMware Cloud on AWS,” below:

To watch more of theCUBE’s coverage of “Accelerating Business Transformation with VMware Cloud on AWS,” here’s our complete event video playlist:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the “Accelerating Business Transformation” event. Neither Amazon Web Services Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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