At the beginning of the year, VMware has released their renewed VMware Customer Connect portal, meant to replace the outdated and cumbersome My VMware, which usability has declined to the extent of being a torment for users. Now, the tables are turned and the Customer Connect portal is open to managing everyday routine tasks, such as the product line maintenance or licensing. Moreover, the most recent update is the appearance of Connect Success, a customer space designed for monitoring virtual infrastructure health 24/7 within their Health Scorecard methodology.

However, let’s discuss all in the appropriate order.

What is It?

Customer Connect is essentially a rebranding of the good old My VMware, only that now it is much more functional and unites different resources:

With the help of VMware Customer Connect, you are now able to:

  • Manage users’ assets (products, licenses) and their data
  • Find content to solve any problem or to answer any question related to VMware with powerful search functions.
  • Interact with other customers through the community.
  • Participate in programs with VMware experts or get certified with instructor-led training.
  • Create support tickets to solve your problems without delay.
  • Manage teams and user rights assignments

The portal utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to optimize search requests and results, which helps customers get where they need to be the fastest way possible.

How Does it Work?

VMware Customer Connect

Probably one of the best features in the new portal is the thing you start your work with – the Smart Search bar:

Smart Search bar

The search results are objects stored in different parts of the portal, from technical documentation to blogs. As you can see, it does look pretty neat:

VMware Customer Connect - the search result

Furthermore, VMware assures that this mechanism is capable of self-improvement (say thanks to AI/ML algorithms). Moreover, the engine is gradually customizing to fit your specific needs with the Connect AI Help, and specifically built and tailored Virtual Assistant helps you to find whatever you want:

Virtual Assistant

The primary feature that Customer Connect did inherit from My VMware is managing downloads, subscriptions, trial versions, products, beta versions, license keys, and everything else that makes up your virtual infrastructure. All of this is in the top menu section of Products and Accounts:

Products and Accounts

License Keys

Now, let’s take a look at what new is going on.

New Features

Renewed Customer Connect includes such components as:

  • Connect Knowledge

It is a set of mechanisms that enables you to access VMware-related content within various databases, including Knowledge Base Articles, TechZone, product documentation, blogs, and a lot more. In other words, this resource is keeping all necessary technical materials in one place.

Naturally, the most important of those are VMware KB articles with the Smart Search:

VMware KB

 

  • Connect Communities

This is a platform for future forums when you can ask any question and monitor the discussions around the most pressing issues, even though right now it’s merely a link (communities.vmware.com):

VMware Technology Network

  • Connect Learning

In Connect Learning, you can access the VMware Learning Zone resources. Here, you can enroll to courses, take exams, and track certifications, which is everything you require to improve your technical profile and monitor your own progress. As of now, it is represented by the external links to VMware Learning and Certification. However, it will be integrated into the portal in the future.

VMware Learning Zone resources

  • Connect Support

Here, you can contact technical support to solve any problem within the terms of your current subscription to VMware products.

The Virtual Assistant (based on AI/ML of the Connect AI engine) provides you with smart tips that contain possible ways to solve the problem. Just type a support request into the text field:

Issue Description

Algorithms will analyze your message and provide you with the most probable solution to your problem:

Identified the issue

  • Connect Success

Now, Connect Success is quite an exclusive feature, available only for the owners of the VMware Success 360 subscription (look here for details). VMware Success 360 is a set of proactive support and maintenance services from the side of VMware to maximize your experience from using their products and subscriptions.

This subscription implies specific and personalized care of the client’s infrastructure. Its condition is constantly monitored within the personalized Health Scorecard.

Here, VMware employees do not limit their attention to the availability of components but include performance indicators as well.

Virtual infrastructure admins can easily create Success Plan tasks broken down into detailed steps. This option allows tracking the progress of the virtual cloud platform. The plan is accompanied by one of the VMware employees:

Success Plan Overview

Every high-level task (for example, the provisioning of a new product) is subsequently divided into several subtasks with the possibility to track their execution time and monitor the persons responsible:

Skyline Implementation

Also, Customer Connect provides you with a specific App Launcher service to manage components such as:

  • Downloads and product test trials
  • Licenses
  • Users and solutions
  • VMware Knowledge Base
  • Specific utilities (Skyline, Sizing Guidelines, etc)

App Launcher service

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I should also mention that the VMware Customer Connect portal supports a role-based access model (it is working at the level of your VMware products and orders):

Users & Permissions

Conclusions

All in all, VMware Customer Connect has become much more pleasant to look at than its predecessor. First, everything is more structured. Second, it all looks very modernized and comfortable enough to use on a daily basis. It seems that the nightmare of the old My VMware is in the past!

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Alex Samoylenko
Alex Samoylenko
Virtualization technology professional. 10 years ago he built #1 website on virtualization in Russia. Alex runs his own virtualization-focused company VMC. He is a CEO of a mobile game publisher Nova Games and a CEO of an international dating site