‘Pent-up demand’ boosts VMware sales 35%

Virtualisation software provider VMware saw revenues leap 35% to $633.5 million in the first quarter of its financial year, an increase the company attributed to "pent-up customer demand".

VMware’s license sales rose 21% to $312.1 million during the quarter, in maintenance and support revenue sho tup 52% to $267.2 million. Net income rose 12% to $78.4 million.

In a conference call with analysts, VMware CEO Paul Maritz claimed that the growth figures were evidence of the move to cloud computing. "We remain convinced that the industry is at the beginnings of a major and a far-reaching transition from the PC client server era to the cloud era and that virtualisation offers the bridge between the two," he commented.

VMware’s main competitors in the virtualisation space are at present software giant Microsoft and its long-term business partner Citrix, both of which announced in March that they would be stepping up their efforts to lure customers away from Vmware. "We are more than holding our own versus our competitors, but we also know that they are determined and have deep pockets. So while we remain fundamentally positive, we know that we cannot relax and we need to resist the temptations of exuberance," Maritz added.

During the quarter, VMware acquired Zimbra, an open source email and collaboration services provider, that prompted speculation the company plans to move into public cloud computing services. Next week, VMware and software-as-a-service CRM provider Salesforce.com will announce a joint project entitled VMforce, the nature of which is as yet unknown.

Statistics published by IT industry watcher IDC earlier this month showed that VMware had the largest market share of virtualised platforms for the fourth-quarter of 2009, despite license shipments declining 3%. Microsoft, meanwhile, which held second place by market share, saw its license shipments rise by 38% year-on-year.

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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