A consistent part of the competition between virtualization vendors is not played trying to place more sales, but trying to hire more bright minds. This can happen at different levels, not just in R&D.
A critical place where VMware wants to hire is the sales engineering department, where highly skilled virtualization professionals may debunk any vague and misleading messages from competitors in the proper way.
If the skilled sales engineer also has a past as influencer VMware wins two times cause the value of his intervention is much more trustable.
So it doens’t come by surprise that in October 2007 VMware hired Massimiliano Daneri, author of the highly popular VMBK.pl, the hot backup script for ESX Server.
The fact that he spent last two years mostly blogging about Microsoft virtualization technologies, and even won the Microsoft Most Valuable Professiona (MVP) award about virtual machines for two years in a row, is ironic but even more useful for VMware: customers will find hard to not believe that the new Sales Engineer is a reliable source in technical comparisons.