By Tom Thorpe, Vice President International Markets, Broadcom Software\n\nIt\u2019s been great to see people returning to face-to-face meetings in recent months \u2013 for us at Broadcom Software, a little more than most.\n\nTalk about timing: just as we completed the acquisition of Symantec in November 2019, a global pandemic hit. With companies shutting their offices and shifting to remote work, Covid restrictions limited our ability to communicate with customers about the great value the acquisition brings our customers to mostly virtual communication channels. Even after we formed Broadcom Software as a dedicated business one year after closing the deal, the timing still wasn\u2019t quite right to return to in-person meetings on a large scale.\n\nMy team and I finally got back on the road last month, holding three customer events over a week in London, Paris, and Bologna. And what a tremendous experience it was.\n\nYou can be very well positioned in the market in terms of scale and reach. You can have a very well-thought-through strategy. And you can communicate your strategy via virtual communication channels. At Broadcom Software, we take pride in being able to check allthree of those boxes. But these live customer events reminded me just how critical face-to-face communications is for successful business relationships.\n\nIt doesn\u2019t matter how good everything looks on paper; when you\u2019re the CIO, CTO, CISO, or CPO of a large organization dealing with a big supplier of many of your business-critical applications, face-to-face, personal engagement with the individuals driving those software roadmaps and supporting services is critical.\n\nOver the course of our conversations, customers talked about three primary challenges where the pandemic left an indelible mark, including:\n\nEvolution to an increasingly hybrid digital environment\n\nMaximum agility and efficiency require employees and business-critical applications to be able to transition seamlessly with the same experience, protected by the same security policies, across on-premises, cloud, and remote working environments. To support that, a core part of our mission is to enable customers to consume software in whatever format they want, across those different environments. Our Web Protection Suite (WPS) is a good example.\n\nReducing costs through the simplification of IT operations\n\nMany of our customer environments are burdened with an accumulation of vendors, vendor software, and commercial agreements that either overlap with each other or outright duplicate one another. It\u2019s not uncommon for us to come across customers with a couple of hundred vendors in the same security stack. Often exacerbated by historical M&A activity, it\u2019s also quite common to see large customers with offices all over the world that have dozens of different commercial agreements in place \u2013 all with the same vendor.\n\nIt\u2019s not unusual either for customers to share with us that in some parts of their organization they are still trying to figure out what software is running where and under what licensing agreement. It was great to feel the enthusiasm in London, Paris, and Bologna for the efficiencies our breadth and scale of operation can bring customers in procuring and managing their software. To give just one example, our Portfolio License Agreement (PLA) provides a single license allowing access to our entire portfolio spanning all our acquired companies.\n\nLingering skills gap\n\nWe\u2019re not just intimately familiar with the cyber security space, where the shortage of skilled people shows little sign of abating. We have the same visibility into the challenges of finding people who can serve the mainframe market, a shortage that\u2019s made worse as older, skilled experts exit the workforce for retirement. Our Vitality program is a great example of the kind of hiring, training, and customer placement programmes we are investing in to counter that trend. Vitality is a skills development program designed to cultivate next-gen mainframe talent. And while Vitality serves the mainframe market, I was able to share with customers that we intend to expand our existing training programmes in other core security and agile operations market segments as well.\n\nA last take-away from our mini-European tour: Customers I met with invest a lot of time figuring out how to adjust their strategy and operating model in response to disruptive market forces. Whether we\u2019re talking about geopolitical impacts on supply chain operations, new entrants in the marketplace, or intensified M&A activity by competitors, many customers spend as much time thinking about how to reinvent their operating model as they do on optimizing their current model. As a large and trusted partner, one that\u2019s intimate with current models, it\u2019s clear to me that we\u2019re very well placed to help shape these ideas as well as enable customers to execute on their transformation.\n\nTo learn more about how Broadcom Software can help you modernize, optimize, and protect your enterprise, contact us here.\n\nAbout the Author:\n\nTom has experience in Cyber, Software, and Outsourcing industries over the last 20 years, with strong focus on using Agile Scrum frameworks. He currently leads the international sales team for Broadcom Software as the Vice President of International Markets.