00011246102022FYFALSE Includes related party revenue as follows (refer to Note D):
License$1,530 $1,598 $1,569 
Subscription and SaaS820 524 342 
Services2,470 1,994 1,459 
Includes stock-based compensation as follows:
Cost of license revenue
Cost of subscription and SaaS revenue21 19 13 
Cost of services revenue92 99 83 
Research and development528 524 459 
Sales and marketing302 322 293 
General and administrative131 157 168 
Automatically as a result of VMware’s spin-off from Dell on November 1, 2021 (the “Spin-Off”), each share of Class B convertible common stock converted into one fully paid and non-assessable share of Class A common stock. Subsequent to the Spin-Off, net income per weighted-average share was attributable to VMware Inc. Class A common stockholders. Prior to the Spin-Off, net income per weighted-average share was attributable to VMware Inc. Class A and Class B common stockholders (Refer to Note H).12http://fasb.org/us-gaap/2021-01-31#OtherAssetsNoncurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2021-01-31#OtherAssetsNoncurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2021-01-31#PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndFinanceLeaseRightOfUseAssetAfterAccumulatedDepreciationAndAmortizationhttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2021-01-31#PropertyPlantAndEquipmentAndFinanceLeaseRightOfUseAssetAfterAccumulatedDepreciationAndAmortizationhttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2021-01-31#AccruedLiabilitiesCurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2021-01-31#AccruedLiabilitiesCurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2021-01-31#AccruedLiabilitiesCurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2021-01-31#AccruedLiabilitiesCurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2021-01-31#OtherLiabilitiesNoncurrenthttp://fasb.org/us-gaap/2021-01-31#OtherLiabilitiesNoncurrentP6Y
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Table of Contents
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended January 28, 2022
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from            to
Commission File Number 001-33622
_______________________________________________________

VMWARE, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
_______________________________________________________
Delaware94-3292913
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
3401 Hillview Avenue
Palo Alto,
CA
94304
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip Code)
(650) 427-5000
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
_____________________________________________________

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A common stockVMWNew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by a check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.   Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).   Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.    
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.     
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes       No  
As of July 30, 2021, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s Class A common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant (based upon the closing sale price of such shares on the New York Stock Exchange on July 30, 2021) was approximately $12.4 billion. Shares of the registrant’s Class A and Class B common stock held by each executive officer and director and by each entity or person, other than investment companies, that, to the registrant’s knowledge, owned 5% or more of the registrant’s outstanding Class A common stock as of July 30, 2021 have been excluded in that such persons may be deemed to be affiliates of the registrant. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.
As of March 15, 2022, the number of shares of Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of the registrant outstanding was 421,056,294.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Information required in response to Part III of Form 10-K (Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14) is hereby incorporated by reference to portions of the registrant’s Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held in 2022. The Proxy Statement will be filed by the registrant with the Securities and Exchange Commission no later than 120 days after the end of the registrant’s fiscal year ended January 28, 2022.


Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  Page
PART I
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
PART II
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
Item 9C.
PART III
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
PART IV
Item 15.
Item 16.

VMware, Tanzu, Pivotal, Bitnami, Heptio, Wavefront, CloudHealth, vRealize, vSphere, VMware vSAN, NSX, vCenter, VMware HCX, Carbon Black, Workspace ONE, Anywhere Workspace, Horizon, VMworld, vForum, SpringONE, VeloCloud, Nyansa, Datrium, Lastline, Avi Networks and AetherPal are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective organizations.
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Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact could be deemed forward-looking statements and words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “target,” “goal,” “project,” “intent,” “plan,” “believe,” “momentum,” “seek,” “estimate,” “continue,” “potential,” “future,” “endeavor,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “depend,” “predict,” and variations or the negative expression of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this report include, but are not limited to, statements relating to expected industry trends and conditions; future financial performance, trends or plans; anticipated impacts of developments in accounting rules and tax laws and rates; our expectations regarding the timing of tax payments and the impacts of changes in our corporate structure and alignment; plans for and anticipated benefits of VMware products, services and solutions and partner and alliance relationships; plans for, timing of and anticipated impacts and benefits of corporate transactions, capital-raising activities, acquisitions, stock repurchases and investment activities; the outcome or impact of pending litigation, claims or disputes; our ESG-related programs including the objectives of our 2030 Agenda and our programs to further diversity, equity and inclusion; the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy as well as any related effects on our business operations, financial performance, results of operations and stock price; our commercial relationship with Dell following completion of the Spin-Off and the related payment of the Special Dividend; our plans to repay our outstanding indebtedness, including the indebtedness incurred to pay a portion of the Special Dividend; our commitment and ability to maintain an investment-grade credit rating; the sufficiency of our cash sources to fund our operations; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. These statements are based on current expectations about the industries in which VMware operates and the beliefs and assumptions of management. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and the cautionary statements set forth above and those contained in the section of this report entitled “Risk Factors” identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted in any such forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements in this document are made as of the date hereof, based on information available to us as of the date hereof. We assume no obligation to and do not currently intend to, update these forward-looking statements.
Risk Factor Summary
VMware is subject to various risks as set forth in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including:
Operation of Business and Strategic Risks
A significant decrease in demand for our data center virtualization products would adversely affect our operating results.
Our subscription and software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) offerings, which constitute a growing portion of our business and our initiatives to extend our data center virtualization and container platforms into the public cloud, involve various risks.
Our success depends upon our ability to adapt our business and pricing models to a subscription and SaaS model appropriately.
We face intense competition.
Our commercial relationship with Dell could adversely impact our business, stock price, market share and ability to build and maintain other strategic relationships.
Our success depends increasingly on customer acceptance of our newer products and services.
Competition for our highly skilled employees is intense and costly.
The loss of key management personnel could harm our business.
Our current research and development efforts may not produce significant revenue.
Acquisitions and divestitures could materially harm our business and operating results.
Disruptions to our distribution channels, including our various routes to market through Dell, could harm our business.
The evolution of our business requires more complex go-to-market strategies.
We may not be able to respond to rapid technological changes with new solutions and services offerings.
We operate a global business that exposes us to additional risks.
Russia’s military actions in Ukraine have affected and may continue to affect our business.
Our success depends on the interoperability of our products and services with those of other companies.
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Failure to effectively manage our product and service lifecycles could harm our business.
Financial Risks
Our operating results may fluctuate significantly.
Adverse economic conditions may harm our business.
We have substantial indebtedness and may incur other debt in the future, which may adversely affect our financial condition and future financial results.
We have potential tax liabilities as a result of our former controlling ownership by Dell, which could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.
Our operating results may be adversely impacted by exposure to additional tax liabilities and higher than expected tax rates.
Security Risks
Cybersecurity breaches of our systems or the systems of our vendors, partners and suppliers could materially harm our business.
Our products and services are highly technical and may contain or be subject to our own or suppliers’ errors, defects or security vulnerabilities.
Problems with our information systems could interfere with our business and could adversely impact our operations.
Legal and Compliance Risks
We are involved in litigation, investigations and regulatory inquiries and proceedings that could negatively affect us.
We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property rights.
Actual or perceived non-compliance with privacy and data protection laws, regulations and standards could adversely impact our business.
Our use of “open source” software in our products could negatively affect our ability to sell our products and subject us to litigation.
If we fail to comply with government contracting regulations, our business could be adversely affected.
Some of our directors have potential conflicts of interest with Dell.
Risks Related to Owning Our Class A Common Stock
The MSD Stockholders and the SLP Stockholders have significant influence over us and their interests may conflict with our interests and the interests of our other stockholders.
The price of our Class A common stock has fluctuated significantly in recent years and may fluctuate significantly in the future.
Anti-takeover provisions in Delaware law and our charter documents could discourage takeover attempts.
Our bylaws provide for an exclusive forum for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or employees.
General Risks
We are exposed to foreign exchange risks.
If our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets become impaired, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings.
Changes in accounting principles and guidance could result in unfavorable accounting charges or effects.
Natural disasters, catastrophic events or geo-political conditions could disrupt our business.
Climate change may have a long-term negative impact on our business.
Social and ethical issues, including our ability to make progress on our ESG goals and commitments, may result in reputational harm and liability.
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PART I
ITEM 1.    BUSINESS
Overview
VMware, Inc. (“VMware”) originally pioneered the development and application of virtualization technologies with x86 server-based computing, separating application software from the underlying hardware, and then evolved to become the private cloud and mobility management leader. Building upon that leadership, VMware is focused on becoming the multi-cloud leader. Information technology (“IT”) driven innovation continues to disrupt markets and industries. Technologies emerge faster than organizations can absorb, creating increasingly complex environments. Organizations’ IT departments and corporate divisions are working at an accelerated pace to harness new technologies, platforms and cloud models, ultimately guiding businesses and their product teams through a digital transformation. To take on these challenges, we are helping customers drive their multi-cloud strategy by providing the multi-cloud platform for all applications, enabling digital innovation and enterprise control.
Our multi-cloud portfolio, spanning application modernization, cloud management, cloud infrastructure, networking, security and anywhere workspaces, forms a flexible, consistent digital foundation on which customers can build, run, manage, connect and protect their mission-critical workloads.
We incorporated in Delaware in 1998 and were acquired by EMC Corporation (“EMC”) in 2004. In August 2007, we conducted an initial public offering of our Class A common stock (“Class A Stock”), but remained majority-owned by EMC, the sole stockholder of our Class B common stock (“Class B Stock”). In September 2016, Dell Technologies Inc. (“Dell”) acquired EMC and we became a majority-owned subsidiary of Dell. On November 1, 2021, our spin-off from Dell was completed, each share of Class B Stock converted into one fully paid and non-assessable share of Class A Stock and we became a standalone company (the “Spin-Off”). In connection with the Spin-Off, we paid an $11.5 billion cash dividend, pro rata, to each of the holders of our Class A Stock and Class B Stock as of the close of business on October 29, 2021 (the “Special Dividend”).
Our fiscal year is the 52 or 53 weeks ending on the Friday nearest to January 31 of each year. We refer to our fiscal year ending February 3, 2023 and fiscal years ended January 28, 2022 and January 29, 2021 as “fiscal 2023,” “fiscal 2022,” and “fiscal 2021,” respectively. Fiscal 2023 is a 53-week fiscal year, while fiscal 2022 and fiscal 2021 were each 52-week fiscal years.
Total revenue in fiscal 2022 increased 9% to $12.9 billion. Total revenue is comprised of license revenue of $3.1 billion, subscription and software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) revenue of $3.2 billion and services revenue of $6.5 billion. As customers shift from our on-premises offerings to our subscription and SaaS offerings, license revenue and software maintenance revenue may be lower and subject to greater fluctuation in the future, resulting from a higher proportion of our sales occurring through our subscription and SaaS offerings.
Our corporate headquarters are located at 3401 Hillview Avenue, Palo Alto, California and we have 111 offices worldwide.
Products and Technology Solutions
Our portfolio supports and addresses our customers’ key priorities, including modernizing their applications, managing multi-cloud environments, accelerating their cloud journey, modernizing the network using commodity hardware, embracing zero-trust security and empowering anywhere workspaces. We enable digital transformation of customers’ applications, infrastructure and operations for their constantly evolving business and employee needs.
Application Modernization
VMware Tanzu, a portfolio of products and services for modernizing applications and infrastructure, enables customers to deliver better software to production, continuously. The portfolio enables customers to build, run and manage modern applications on any cloud and simplifies the use of Kubernetes, an open-source platform for managing containers, in a multi-cloud environment. The modern or cloud-native applications allow businesses to bring new ideas to market faster and respond sooner to customer demands. Tanzu uses cloud native patterns to build applications with microservices and application programming interfaces and uses Kubernetes to simplify how these applications are deployed, observed and managed across on-premises, public clouds and edge environments. Tanzu includes technologies acquired as part of our Pivotal, Bitnami, Heptio and Wavefront acquisitions.
Key products within our Application Modernization portfolio include:
Tanzu Application Platform—a modular, application-aware platform that provides a rich set of developer tooling and a prepared path to production to build and deploy software quickly and more securely on any compliant public cloud or on-premises Kubernetes cluster.
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Tanzu Operations Platform—a platform that simplifies operating Kubernetes for multi-cloud deployment by centralizing management and governance for clusters and teams across on-premises, public clouds and edge environments.
Tanzu Application Service—a platform that allows enterprises to accelerate cloud-native software development with managed access to native cloud services and portability to run across any cloud.
Tanzu Observability— an enterprise-grade monitoring and observability platform, with out-of-the-box integration with Tanzu, that Development and IT operations (“DevOps”) and Site Reliability Engineering teams use to troubleshoot and optimize the performance of their multi-cloud applications operating at massive, cloud-native scale.
Tanzu Community Edition—a full-featured, easy-to-manage Kubernetes platform for learners and users. It is a freely available, community-supported, open-source distribution of VMware Tanzu that can be installed and configured in minutes on local workstations or any cloud.
Tanzu Labs—a service that provides guidance and support to help customers modernize existing applications or build new, modern applications with agile development practices.
Cloud Management
Our cloud management products help customers manage multi-cloud environments running a range of workloads, including virtual machines and containers. VMware Cloud Management offerings optimize cloud usage and costs; automate the deployment, management and migration of applications and data; improve cloud security and compliance; and monitor application and cloud infrastructure.
Key products within our Cloud Management portfolio include:
vRealize Cloud Management—offers cloud management products, available as a service or as an on-premises offering, that are integrated together, delivering consistent operations from the data centers to the cloud and to the edge, including:
vRealize Automation—a modern infrastructure automation platform, enabling customers to accelerate their multi-cloud infrastructure transformations based on DevOps, open source and self-service automation.
vRealize Operations—enables self-driving operations with unified application-to-infrastructure visibility, capacity and cost management, workloads optimization and configuration and compliance management to better optimize, plan and scale private-, hybrid- and multi-cloud environments.
vRealize Log Insight—manages data at scale with centralized log management, deep operational visibility and intelligent analytics for troubleshooting and auditing across private-, hybrid- and multi-cloud environments.
vRealize Network Insight—provides end-to-end network visibility to help customers monitor and build an optimized, highly available and more secure network infrastructure across clouds.
Our vRealize Cloud Universal combines SaaS and on-premises vRealize Cloud Management products into a single offering with a single license, providing customers with a consistent hybrid and multi-cloud management experience.
vCloud Suite—an enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure and management solution combining vRealize Cloud Management with vSphere.
CloudHealth by VMware Suite—available as a service offering, enables organizations to simplify financial management, streamline operations and strengthen security and compliance for public cloud and multi-cloud environments.
CloudHealth —a robust multi-cloud management platform that helps organizations optimize and control spend and improve cross-organizational collaboration.
CloudHealth Secure State —an intelligent multi-cloud security and compliance monitoring platform that helps organizations reduce risk and protect cloud resources.
Cloud Infrastructure
Our Cloud Infrastructure solutions include infrastructure products and services that enable customers to connect to multiple clouds and create a common operating environment, based on VMware Cloud Foundation, extending from on-premises data centers to the cloud and to the edge.
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Key products within our Cloud Infrastructure portfolio include:
vSphere—our flagship data center infrastructure offering, utilizes our hypervisor software, which resides between the operating system and system hardware, to provide the fundamental compute layer for customer environments, enabling virtualization. We continue to build on vSphere with VMware Tanzu solutions, which provide a simple way for vSphere customers around the world to get started with Kubernetes and to modernize their workloads running on vSphere. Additionally, we are partnering to deliver an AI-Ready Enterprise platform that combines vSphere with the NVIDIA AI Enterprise suite to enable customers to rapidly deploy, manage and scale AI in production with confidence.
vSAN and VxRail—offer cost-effective, holistic data storage and protection options for all applications running on vSphere. These products are applicable to hyperconverged infrastructure as well as traditional infrastructure solutions and enable customers to deploy on a broad range of hardware solutions. Our vSAN offering creates simple, shared storage designed for virtual machines. VxRail is a hyperconverged infrastructure solution comprised of a fully integrated and pre-configured Dell EMC appliance powered by vSAN and vSphere software.
VMware Cloud Foundation—a cloud platform that combines our vSphere, vSAN and NSX, or network virtualization, offerings with vRealize Cloud Management into an integrated stack that delivers developer-ready infrastructure for public and private clouds. VMware Cloud Foundation extends to multi-cloud through these main routes: VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud on Dell EMC offerings; hyperscaler public cloud services, including Azure VMware Solution, Google Cloud VMware Engine, IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions and Oracle Cloud VMware Solution; and VMware Cloud Verified Providers. Available from VMware and reseller partners, VMware Cloud Universal is a flexible subscription that simplifies the purchase and consumption of VMware multi-cloud infrastructure and management services across the data centers, public clouds or edge.
VMware Cloud on AWS—an integrated hybrid cloud solution that extends on-premises vSphere environments to a VMware Software-Defined Data Center (“SDDC”) running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (“Amazon EC2”). Jointly engineered by VMware and Amazon Web Services (“AWS”), this on-demand service enables IT teams to seamlessly extend, migrate and manage their cloud-based resources with familiar VMware tools, minimizing the difficulty of learning new skills or utilizing new tools. VMware Cloud on AWS integrates VMware’s flagship compute, storage and network virtualization products (vSphere, vSAN and NSX), along with vCenter Server management as well as robust disaster protection and optimizes them to run on dedicated, elastic, Amazon EC2 bare-metal infrastructure that is fully integrated with AWS Cloud. VMware, AWS and the AWS partner networks sell VMware Cloud on AWS, which is available in 20 global AWS regions, while VMware and our partner community deliver and support the service.
VMware Cloud on other major hyperscalers—includes Azure VMware Solution, an infrastructure-as-a-service private cloud offering built on VMware Cloud Foundation that runs on dedicated bare-metal servers in Azure regions. It is a service sold and supported by Microsoft, backed and cloud verified by VMware. VMware Cloud on other major hyperscalers also includes Google Cloud VMware Engine, an integrated first-party offering that is built, sold and supported directly by Google Cloud and delivers a fully managed VMware Cloud Foundation stack along with VMware HCX for cloud migration in a dedicated environment on Google Cloud.
VMware Cloud Providers—a key component of our strategic priority to support multi-cloud, this global ecosystem of more than 4,500 cloud providers in over 120 countries provides VMware-based cloud services. VMware Cloud Provider offerings are directed at traditional hosting partners, regional cloud providers and local and global managed service providers. VMware Cloud Providers give organizations the flexibility of running applications in virtual machines, in containers or both on their own private clouds inside their data center and on public clouds by providing multi-cloud managed services. IBM was our first cloud provider partner to offer VMware Cloud Foundation as-a-service, enabling their customers to leverage our technologies on IBM Cloud in their worldwide cloud data centers.
VMware Cloud on Dell EMC—a fully managed on-premises, local cloud-as-a-service offering providing customers with a hybrid cloud experience that combines the simplicity and agility of the public cloud with the security and control of on-premises infrastructure.
Networking
We offer a complete portfolio of Layer 2-7 virtual networking and security solutions that deliver innovative software-based capabilities for switching, routing, firewalling, intrusion prevention and intrusion detection systems, network detection and response, load balancing, service mesh and SD-WAN for enterprise and Telco environments. These networking solutions enable customers to connect and protect all workloads running on bare metal, in containers, on virtual machines and across data
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centers, multi-cloud environments and the distributed edge. Adoption of VMware networking solutions is driven by customers who are replacing legacy, hardware-based network and security infrastructure, such as physical firewalls and load balancers and expensive dedicated wide-area network links.
Key products within our Networking portfolio include:
VMware NSX—our network virtualization platform that abstracts physical networks to greatly simplify customers’ provisioning and consumption of networking and security resources. NSX can be layered into any environment, integrates with many automation, security and container solutions and is a foundational part of our key offerings, such as VMware Cloud Foundation.
NSX Distributed and Gateway Firewalls—a zone firewall and a software-defined Layer 7 firewall that are purpose-built to help secure multi-cloud traffic across virtualized workloads. They provide stateful firewalling with intrusion detection and prevention, sandboxing, network traffic analysis and network detection and response to provide complete visibility into applications and workload flows with policy automation that are linked to workload lifecycles.
NSX Network Detection and Response—an AI-based threat correlation and forensics engine, delivered as either standalone or integrated tightly within NSX, that helps network security and security operations teams efficiently detect malicious activity and block lateral movement of sophisticated threats.
NSX Advanced Load Balancer (Avi)—provides consistent, multi-cloud load balancing, web application firewall and application insights across data centers and public clouds for virtual machines, container and bare-metal workloads.
Tanzu Service Mesh—provides end-to-end operational visibility, control and security for distributed cloud-native applications, across end-users, applications and data, on any platform or cloud.
Our offerings also include VMware SASE, a cloud-native platform that converges cloud networking and cloud security into one holistic solution. Regardless of the location of users and applications, VMware SASE provides unified secure access from a single management platform. Organizations use VMware SASE to provide their users with more reliable, optimal and secure access to any application in on-premises, public cloud and edge environments. The VMware SASE platform includes VMware SD-WAN, which delivers high-performance, reliable and more secure access to cloud services, private data centers and SaaS-based enterprise applications for remote workers and branch locations; VMware Secure Access, a cloud-hosted solution that secures and optimizes corporate network and application access for remote and mobile users based on a Zero Trust Network Access framework; and VMware Cloud Web Security, a cloud-hosted service that protects users and infrastructure accessing SaaS and Internet applications from evolving threats, offers visibility into and control over internet and SaaS application usage and enables compliance with administered security access rights. These services can be sold individually or together for the full VMware SASE solution.
Security
Today’s modern, distributed enterprise requires security that is both built-in and built differently. We leverage the unique power of virtualization to put security everywhere, helping our customers to secure any cloud, any application and anywhere workspaces. VMware Carbon Black Cloud, a SaaS-delivered cloud native endpoint, workload and container protection platform, is at the center of the VMware security portfolio.
Key products within our Security portfolio include:
Carbon Black Endpoint—consolidates multiple endpoint security capabilities using one lightweight agent and cloud console to ease analysis of complex attacks, simplify the automation of detection and response workflows and identify attackers’ changing behavior patterns to better detect, respond to and prevent emerging and continuing attacks. This endpoint protection platform includes next-generation antivirus, endpoint detection and response; managed detection, audit and remediation; and threat hunting and containment.
Carbon Black Workload—delivers advanced protection purpose-built for better securing modern workloads, reducing the attack surface and strengthening security postures. The solution combines prioritized vulnerability reporting and foundational workload hardening with prevention, detection and response capabilities to protect workloads running in virtualized private and hybrid cloud environments. VMware Carbon Black Workload is also tightly integrated with vSphere to provide built-in security that alleviates installation and management overhead and consolidates the collection or telemetry for multiple workload security use cases.
Carbon Black Container—enables enterprise-grade container security to reduce risk, enhance visibility, maintain compliance and simplify security for Kubernetes environments, from development to production. VMware Carbon Black Container empowers cross-functional teams to secure the complete lifecycle of Kubernetes applications, detect and fix vulnerabilities and misconfigurations before production deployment, meet compliance standards and achieve simple, secure multi-cloud and hybrid cloud Kubernetes environments at scale.
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Anywhere Workspace
VMware Anywhere Workspace is a software solution that is designed to deliver secure and seamless experiences for distributed workforces while reducing costs and operational overhead for organizations. It combines the key elements of unified endpoint management (“UEM”), desktop and application virtualization, secure access service edge and endpoint security technologies to fully meet the needs of today’s distributed workforce. Specifically, VMware Anywhere Workspace brings together the benefits of our three innovative solutions: Workspace ONE, Carbon Black Cloud and VMware SASE.
As our End User Computing business drives VMware Anywhere Workspace forward, we continue to offer our digital workspace solution, Workspace ONE. Workspace ONE is a platform that more securely delivers and manages any application on any device by integrating multi-platform endpoint management, access control and application management. The platform brings the following offerings together with a common access control and analytics layer:
Workspace ONE UEM—a solution built to manage and help secure mobile devices, laptops and other devices across all major operating systems from a single management console and includes a suite of productivity applications that enable customers to more effectively manage and secure both corporate and personal devices.
Workspace ONE Access—a cloud service that enables customers to continuously track device state, user details and authentication context to determine user and device risk, allow or deny access and require multi-factor authentication or a remediation for access.
Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub—a solution that empowers employees to more securely access corporate applications and resources “from hire to retire.” IT can grant single-sign-on access to any application from a unified catalog, send informational and actionable notifications and enable one-click contextual workflows with SaaS and backend applications on-the-go.
Horizon—a platform that provides a streamlined approach to delivering, protecting and managing virtual desktops and applications from one digital workspace, while containing costs and allowing end users to work anytime, anywhere and across any device.
Through the continued expansion of our portfolio, customers can deliver virtual desktops and applications to users in many ways, from customer-managed solutions that run on any on-premises or VMware Cloud certified environments, including VMware Cloud on AWS, Google Cloud VMware Engine, IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud VMware Solution, Azure VMware Solution and more, to a fully-managed Desktop as a Service solution delivered natively from Microsoft Azure.
Technology Alliances
We have more than 1,100 technology partners with whom we bring offerings to the marketplace and over 4,500 active cloud, hyperscaler and managed service provider partners. We classify our partners as follows:
Independent Hardware Vendors (“IHVs”)—we have established relationships with large system vendors, including Apple, Cisco, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HPE, IBM, Lenovo and Samsung, for certification and co-development and we continue to work closely with Dell, Intel, NVIDIA and other technology vendors to provide input on product development to enable them to deliver advancements that benefit multi-cloud and modern applications users. We coordinate with the leading technology platform vendors to ensure interoperability and enable our solutions to access their differentiated functionality.
Independent Software Vendors (“ISVs”)—we partner with leading systems management, infrastructure software and application software vendors, including healthcare, telecom, finance and retail leaders, to deliver value-added products that integrate with our products.
VMware Cloud Providers—we have established partnerships with over 4,500 active cloud, hyperscaler and managed service providers, including Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Lumen, IBM, AUCloud, OVH, Rackspace, NxtGen, Telefonica, TietoEvry and UKCloud, that support our multi-cloud strategy. These partners leverage our cloud technologies to host and deliver enterprise-class cloud services for enterprises to extend their data centers to external clouds, while preserving security, compliance and quality of service.
In addition to our base of active partnerships with cloud providers, we have a strategic alliance with AWS to build and deliver an integrated hybrid offering, VMware Cloud on AWS, that enables customers to run applications across vSphere-based private, public and multi-cloud environments.
Our Technology Alliance Partner (“TAP”) program facilitates collaborative solution creation and coordinated go-to-market activities for our ecosystem of more than 1,100 technology partners. Created exclusively for IHV and ISV partners, the TAP program gives technology partners the ability to test, integrate and package application software, infrastructure and hardware products with our products and services offerings—on premises or in the cloud.
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Our ISVs and other alliance partners, developers and additional VMware community members continue to distribute software applications as virtual appliances. We invest significant capital in testing and certifications of infrastructure to rigorously ensure our software is compatible with major hardware and software products.
Research and Development
We have made, and expect to continue to make, significant investments in research and development (“R&D”). We have assembled an experienced group of developers with expertise within application modernization, cloud management, cloud infrastructure, networking, security, anywhere workspaces, software-as-a-service, open source and edge solutions. We also have strong ties to leading academic institutions around the world and we invest in joint research with academia.
We prioritize our product development efforts through a combination of engineering-driven innovation and customer- and market-driven feedback. Our R&D culture places a high value on innovation, quality and open collaboration with our partners. We currently participate in numerous standards groups and our employees hold a variety of leadership positions with standards organizations.
We continue to invest in our key growth areas while also investing in areas that we expect to be significant growth drivers in future periods.
Sales and Marketing
Our go-to-market efforts include a direct sales force, including a specialized sales force for our key growth offerings, and our channel and cloud partners.
We have well-established, ongoing business relationships with our distributors. Our distributors purchase software licenses and software support from us for resale to end-user customers via resellers. These resellers are part of VMware Partner Connect, a program which offers resellers pricing incentives, rebates, sales and product enablement through the VMware Partner Connect web portal and access to the worldwide network of VMware distributors. In addition, our channel partner network includes certain systems integrators and resellers trained and certified to deliver consulting services and solutions leveraging our products. Our channel network also includes partners that host our products and deliver them as-a-service to customers.
We generally do not have long-term contracts or minimum-purchase commitments with our distributors, resellers, system vendors and systems integrators and our contracts with these channel partners do not prohibit them from offering products or services that compete with ours.
End users can purchase the full breadth of our subscription, SaaS, license and services portfolio through discrete purchases or through enterprise agreements (“EAs”), both of which provide access to a range of flexible purchasing programs. EAs are sold to our direct customers and through channel partners and can include our license, multi-year maintenance and support, subscription and SaaS offerings. EAs enable us to build long-term relationships with our customers as they commit to our virtual infrastructure solutions. Our sales cycle varies depending on numerous factors, including the size and complexity of the proposed offering and a customer’s infrastructure footprint.
In establishing list prices for our solutions, we take into account, among other numerous factors, the value our solutions deliver and the cost of alternative virtualization, end-user computing, hardware and security solutions.
Our marketing efforts focus on communicating the benefits of our solutions and educating our customers and users, distributors, resellers, system vendors, systems integrators, the media and analysts about the advantages of our innovative offerings. We raise awareness of our company and brands, market our products and generate sales leads through VMware and industry events, public relations efforts, marketing materials, advertising, direct marketing, social media initiatives, free downloads and trials and our website. We have invested in multiple online communities that enable customers and partners to share and discuss sales and development resources, best practices implementation and industry trends among other topics. Our annual user conferences, VMworld, vForum and SpringOne are global events. We also offer management presentations, seminars and webinars on our solutions and services. We believe the combination of these activities strengthens our brand and enhances our leadership in the industries in which we compete.
On November 1, 2021, in connection with the Spin-Off, we and Dell entered into the Commercial Framework Agreement to provide a framework under which we and Dell will continue our strategic commercial relationship, particularly with respect to projects mutually agreed by the parties as having the potential to accelerate the growth of an industry, product, service or platform that may provide the parties with a strategic market opportunity. The Commercial Framework Agreement has an initial term of five years, with automatic one-year renewals occurring annually thereafter, subject to certain terms and conditions. Bookings through Dell sales channels in aggregate comprise the largest route-to-market for our sales.
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We also have strategic partnerships with AWS, Google, IBM and Microsoft to jointly provide the expertise, solutions and go-to-market capabilities to help our customers efficiently and more securely extend their proven software-defined solutions into public clouds, utilizing the tools and processes with which our customers are already familiar.
Our business and the sales of our products and services are subject to seasonality. For example, our fourth quarter revenue is affected by a number of seasonal factors, including year-end spending trends, that impact the timing of renewals of our EAs and support and maintenance contracts.
Remaining Performance Obligations
Remaining performance obligations represent the aggregate amount of the transaction price in contracts allocated to performance obligations not delivered, or partially undelivered, as of the end of the reporting period. Remaining performance obligations include unearned revenue, multi-year contracts with future installment payments and certain unfulfilled orders against accepted customer contracts at the end of any given period.
As of January 28, 2022, the aggregate transaction price allocated to remaining performance obligations was $12.0 billion, of which approximately 57% is expected to be recognized as revenue over the next twelve months and the remainder thereafter.
As of January 29, 2021, the aggregate transaction price allocated to remaining performance obligations was $11.3 billion, of which approximately 55% was expected to be recognized as revenue during fiscal 2022 and the remainder thereafter.
Backlog
Backlog is comprised of unfulfilled purchase orders or unfulfilled executed agreements at the end of a given period and is net of related estimated rebates and marketing development funds. Backlog consists of licenses, subscription and SaaS and services. As of January 28, 2022, our total backlog was $88 million and our backlog related to licenses was $14 million. For our backlog related to licenses, we generally expect to deliver and recognize revenue during the following quarter. Backlog totaling $36 million as of January 28, 2022 was excluded from the remaining performance obligations because such contracts are subject to cancellation until the performance obligation is fulfilled.
As of January 29, 2021, our total backlog was $93 million and our backlog related to licenses was $23 million. Backlog totaling $18 million as of January 29, 2021 was excluded from the remaining performance obligations because such contracts were subject to cancellation until the performance obligation is fulfilled.
The amount and composition of backlog will fluctuate period to period and backlog is managed based upon multiple considerations, including product and geography. We do not believe that the amount of backlog is indicative of future sales or revenue or that the mix of backlog at the end of any given period correlates with actual sales performance of a particular geography or particular products or services.
Customers
Our product offerings allow customers to manage IT resources across private clouds and complex multi-cloud, multi-device environments. Customer deployments range in size from a single virtualized server for small businesses to thousands of virtual machines and managed devices for our largest enterprise customers.
During fiscal 2022, revenue from Dell, including purchases of products and services directly from us, as well as through our channel partners, accounted for 38% of our consolidated revenue. These purchases included Dell selling joint solutions as an OEM, which accounted for 13% of total revenue from Dell, or 5% of our consolidated revenue. The remaining revenue from Dell consisted of Dell acting as a distributor to other non-Dell resellers, reselling products and services as a reseller or purchasing products and services for its own internal use. On certain transactions, Dell Financial Services also provided financing to our end users at our end users’ discretion.
Other than Dell, none of our distributors accounted for more than 10% of our consolidated revenue during fiscal 2022. Our distribution agreements are typically terminable at will by either party upon 30 to 90 days’ prior written notice to the other party and neither party has any obligation to purchase or sell any products under the agreement.
Competition
We face intense competition across all markets for our products and services. We believe that the key factors in our ability to successfully compete include the level of reliability, interoperability and new functionality of our product and service offerings; the ability of our product offerings to support multiple hardware platforms, operating systems, applications frameworks and public cloud platforms; our ability to anticipate customer needs in rapidly evolving markets for IT resources; the pricing of our product and service offerings; the ability to integrate open source technologies that are critical in private and public cloud computing architectures; the ability to attract and retain key employees; and the ability to maintain and expand our ecosystem of technology partners, service providers and sales channel partners. While we believe that we are a technology leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions and have a strong, favorable image with our customers, many of our
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current or potential competitors have longer operating histories, greater name recognition, larger customer bases and significantly greater financial, technical, sales, marketing and other resources than we do. Additionally, the adoption of public cloud, micro-services, containers and open source technologies has the potential to erode our profitability.
We face competition from, among others:
Providers of public cloud infrastructure and SaaS-based multi-cloud offerings. As businesses increasingly utilize public cloud and SaaS-based offerings, they are building more of their new compute workloads and may also shift some of their existing workloads, off-premises. A significant percentage of new application development is happening in the public cloud, with providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure (“Azure”) or Google Cloud, or in a distributed fashion and these new applications are often deployed on public cloud or multi-cloud infrastructure. As a result, the demand for on-premises information technology (“IT”) resources is expected to slow and our products and services will need to increasingly compete for customers’ IT workloads with off-premises public cloud and SaaS-based multi-cloud offerings, such as those offered by Datadog in monitoring and IT telemetry and ServiceNow in the automation space. If we fail to address evolving customer priorities or requirements, the demand for VMware’s products and services may decline and we could experience slower than expected or no growth. Additionally, VMware Cloud Provider Program (“VCPP”) offerings from our partners may compete directly with infrastructure-as-a-service (“IaaS”) offerings from various public cloud providers, which are increasingly integrated with on-premises solutions. In fiscal 2018, we entered into a strategic alliance with AWS to deliver a vSphere-based cloud service, VMware Cloud on AWS, running in AWS data centers available in certain geographies and, in fiscal 2019, we extended our collaboration with AWS to include AWS Outposts. In fiscal 2020, we also announced partnerships with Microsoft (Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple), Google (Google Cloud VMware Solution by CloudSimple) and Oracle (Oracle Cloud VMware Solution) under the framework of our VCPP that enable customers to run native VMware-based workloads on each of Azure, Google Cloud and Oracle Cloud. Our partnerships with AWS and other public cloud providers may be seen as competitive with each other and with other VCPP partners, while some partners may elect to include solutions such as VMware Cloud on AWS as part of their managed services provider offerings. In addition, many of these public cloud providers are delivering hybrid cloud hardware solutions with their distributed cloud management. For example, many public cloud infrastructure providers have also entered into strategic partnerships with mobile telecommunications network providers to jointly embed distributed cloud infrastructure and management tools into 5G mobile networks. To the extent customers and partners, including service providers, choose to operate native cloud environments (or similar non-VMware environments, such as Azure Stack or AWS Wavelength) in their data centers in lieu of purchasing VMware’s on-premises and hybrid and multi-cloud products, our operating results could be materially adversely affected.
Providers of application modernization and open source developer platform services. Many public cloud infrastructure and multi-cloud SaaS competitors also offer standalone or embedded application development, or Platform-as-a-Service (“PaaS”), services. In the case of AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, these PaaS services are often bundled with consumption-based IaaS offerings. These IaaS providers and other developer solution partners, such as Red Hat, a subsidiary of IBM, and HashiCorp, offer tools and services based on containers and DevSecOps (or development security and operations) practices. Open source technologies for containerization and cloud platforms, such as Xen, KVM, Docker, rkt, OpenShift, Mesos, Kubernetes and OpenStack, and other open source software-based products, solutions and services may reduce the demand for our solutions, put pricing pressure on our offerings and enable competing vendors to leverage open source technologies to compete directly with us. New platform technologies and standards based on open source software are consistently being developed and can gain popularity quickly. Improvements in open source software could cause customers to replace software purchased from us with open source software. In step with these trends, we deliver a comprehensive container, Kubernetes and Cloud Native Application technologies portfolio with VMware Tanzu and have increased our level of commitment to open source projects and communities, such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, that are designed to increase the rate at which customers adopt micro-services architectures. The adoption of distributed micro-service application architectures, and their alignment with container technologies, represents an emerging area of competition. As we continue to invest in these areas, we will experience increasing competitive overlap with other cloud native vendors, such as Red Hat, and the large providers of public cloud infrastructure. Such competitive pressure or the availability of new open source software may cause us to experience reduced sales, increased pricing pressure, increased sales and marketing expenses and reduced operating margins, any one of which may adversely affect our operating results.
Providers of enterprise security offerings. With our acquisition of Carbon Black Inc. (“Carbon Black”) in 2019, we launched a new set of enterprise security solutions that includes the Carbon Black endpoint security platform and the intrinsic security elements of our existing NSX virtual networking, Workspace ONE end user and our compute offerings. The cybersecurity market is large, highly competitive, fragmented and subject to rapidly evolving technology, shifting customer needs and frequent introductions of new solutions. Competitors in the end point security space range from established solution providers such as Microsoft and Trend Micro to next-generation endpoint security providers such as CrowdStrike and SentinelOne. While we believe that the intrinsic security elements in our existing offerings coupled with our Carbon Black endpoint security offerings and new combined offerings we expect to develop and introduce in the future will enable us to
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provide an integrated security offering with significant advantages over our competitors’ current offerings, our ability to gain traction and market share as a new entrant into this well-established market segment is uncertain. Additionally, new trends, such as Extended Threat Detection (XDR), Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Zero Trust Network Access, represent the coalescence of formerly distinct markets, such as identity management, secure web gateway, SD-WAN, network firewall and cloud access security brokers. These new trends may bring existing partners, such as Fortinet, Zscaler and Okta into a more competitive position with our Carbon Black, VeloCloud and other distributed network security offerings. If we are unable to successfully adapt our product and service offerings to meet these opportunities and rapidly evolving trends our operating results could be adversely affected.
Large, diversified enterprise software and hardware companies. These competitors supply a wide variety of products and services to, and have well-established relationships with, our current and prospective end users. For example, small- to medium-sized businesses and companies in emerging markets that are evaluating the adoption of virtualization-based technologies and solutions may be inclined to consider Microsoft solutions because of their existing use of Windows and Office products. Some of these competitors have in the past and may in the future take advantage of their existing relationships to engage in business practices that make our products and services less attractive or more expensive to our end users. For example, in 2019, Microsoft modified its on-premises licensing terms to require end users who wish to deploy Microsoft software on certain dedicated hosted cloud services other than Microsoft’s Azure cloud service, including VMware Cloud on AWS, to purchase additional rights from Microsoft. Other competitors have limited or denied support for their applications running in VMware virtualization environments. In addition, these competitors could integrate competitive capabilities into their existing products and services and make them available without additional charge. For example, Oracle provides free server virtualization software intended to support Oracle and non-Oracle applications, Microsoft offers its own server, network and storage virtualization software packaged with its Windows Server product as well as built-in virtualization in the client version of Windows and Cisco includes network virtualization technology in many of its data center networking platforms. As a result, existing and prospective VMware customers may elect to use products that are perceived to be “free” or “very low cost” instead of purchasing VMware products and services for certain applications where they do not believe that more advanced and robust capabilities are required.
Other industry alliances. Many of our competitors have entered into or extended partnerships or other strategic relationships to offer more comprehensive virtualization and cloud computing solutions than they individually had offered. We expect these trends to continue as companies attempt to strengthen or maintain their positions in the evolving virtualization infrastructure and enterprise IT solutions industry. For example, CrowdStrike has formed the CrowdXDR Alliance, an initiative competitive with VMware security offerings that includes VMware partners such as Zscaler and Google Cloud. These alliances may result in more compelling product and service offerings than those we offer.
Our partners and members of our developer and technology partner ecosystem. We face competition from our partners. For example, third parties currently selling our products and services could build and market their own competing products and services or market competing products and services of other vendors. Additionally, as formerly distinct sectors of enterprise IT such as software-based virtualization and hardware-based server, networking and storage solutions converge, we also increasingly compete with companies who are members of our developer and technology partner ecosystem. For example, in 2019, one of our important partners and customers, IBM, acquired Red Hat, one of our competitors in the cloud native applications space. Consequently, when such convergences occur, we may find it more difficult to continue to collaborate productively on other projects with these partners, and the advantages we derive from our ecosystem could diminish.
These various forms of competition could result in increased pricing pressure and sales and marketing expenses, thereby materially reducing our operating margins and could also prevent our new products and services from gaining market acceptance, thereby harming our ability to increase, or causing us to lose, market share.
Intellectual Property
As of January 28, 2022, over 5,000 patents of varying duration issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have been granted or assigned to us. We also have been granted or assigned patents from other countries. These patents cover various aspects of our server virtualization and other technologies. We also have numerous pending U.S. provisional and non-provisional patent applications, and numerous pending foreign and international patent applications, that cover other aspects of our virtualization and other technologies.
We have federal trademark registrations in the U.S. for “VMWARE,” “VMWORLD,” “VSPHERE,” “VCLOUD,” “VCENTER SERVER,” “VMOTION,” “HORIZON,” “AIRWATCH,” “VREALIZE,” “VCLOUD,” “WORKSPACE ONE,” “ESX,” “VMWARE NSX,” “VMWARE CLOUD FOUNDATION,” “VELOCLOUD,” “CARBON BLACK,” “BITNAMI” and “PIVOTAL” and numerous other trademarks. We also have trademarks registered in several foreign countries.
We rely on a combination of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws in the U.S. and other jurisdictions, as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect our intellectual property rights and our brand.
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We enforce our intellectual property rights in the U.S. and several foreign countries. Despite our efforts, the steps we have taken to protect our proprietary rights may not be adequate to preclude misappropriation of our proprietary information or infringement of our intellectual property rights, and our ability to police such misappropriation or infringement is uncertain, particularly in countries outside of the U.S. patent filings are intended to provide the holder with a right to exclude others from making, using, offering to sell, selling or importing into the U.S. products covered by the claims of granted patents.
Our granted U.S. patents, and any future patents (to the extent they are issued), may be contested, circumvented or invalidated in the future. Moreover, the rights granted under any issued patents may not provide us with proprietary protection or competitive advantages, and we may not be able to prevent third parties from infringing these patents. Therefore, the exact effect of our patents and the other steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property cannot be predicted with certainty.
Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”)
At VMware, we believe technology can have a positive impact on society and the planet. In December 2020, we announced our 2030 Agenda, which represents our ESG strategy focused on three business outcomes: Sustainability, Equity and Trust. Our 2030 Agenda is designed for the benefit of all VMware stakeholders: shareholders, customers, employees, partners, suppliers and communities.
Sustainability: We are committed to decarbonization for our customers, supply chain and operations through our focus on: net-zero emissions, radical efficiency, zero-carbon clouds, energy resilience for an “anywhere” workforce and investing in innovation.
Equity: We are committed to building a future that is accessible, inclusive and just for all through our focus on: distributed workforce technology; human capital development; diversity, equity and inclusion; product accessibility; nonprofit digital transformation; and digital skills.
Trust: We are committed to building and protecting trust with all stakeholders—our customers, partners, stockholders, people and communities through our focus on: security, privacy-by-design, digital ethics and transparent business practices.
To promote long-term stakeholder value creation, we created an ESG governance structure comprised of internal leadership and members of our executive staff to guide strategy, measure performance and engage with our Board of Directors to review ESG matters. The Nominating, Governance and Related Persons Transactions Committee of our Board of Directors meets with our ESG leadership team on a regular cadence throughout the year to review ESG objectives and their integration into VMware’s strategic objectives and to monitor progress against the goals set in our 2030 Agenda.
Environmental Sustainability
We are committed to creating products and services that support our customers in reducing the environmental impact of their digital infrastructure. In fiscal 2022, we launched VMware Zero Carbon Committed where we help connect customers who are looking for low-carbon solutions with a VMware Cloud Provider partner who can help customers achieve their sustainability goals. This zero-carbon cloud initiative is possible through renewable energy-powered operations and energy-efficient data centers and helps customers reduce the environmental impact of their digital infrastructure.
VMware is committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions for our operations and supply chain by 2030 as part of our ESG strategy. Our net zero goal builds on validated science-based targets as well as our achievements of continuing to operate as a certified CarbonNeutral company in accordance with the CarbonNeutral Protocol and procuring 100% renewable energy for our operations, in accordance with RE100’s technical guidance. In fiscal 2022, we launched our Responsible Sourcing program to drive sustainability, diversity and accessibility across our supply chain.
During fiscal 2022, we continued to utilize concepts from the Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”) framework and expanded our climate change risk assessment to model multiple climate change scenarios and their potential impacts on our global operations. We will use the risk assessment process to inform future risk mitigation strategies. In addition to TCFD, VMware’s ESG self-assessments and goals are informed by ESG frameworks including Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, Global Reporting Initiative and the United Nations’ Global Compact.
Our commitment to ESG was recognized for the second consecutive year by being included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. More details on our ESG programs, goals and commitments can be found in our annual ESG Report on our website. Information on our website is not deemed to be incorporated by reference into this filing on Form 10-K.
Human Capital
General Demographics
As of January 28, 2022, we employed approximately 37,500 employees located in 60 countries, approximately 15,700 of which work in the U.S.
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We use contractors from time to time for temporary assignments and in locations in which we do not currently have operating subsidiaries or branches. In the event that these contractor resources were not available, we do not believe that this would have a material adverse effect on our operations. None of our employees are represented by labor unions and we consider current employee relations to be good.
Wellbeing and Culture
The VMware culture is based on a set of shared values best expressed through the acronym EPIC2: Execution, Passion, Integrity, Customers and Community. Each year, we honor extraordinary employees through our EPIC2 Achievement Awards program. Individuals are recognized for their ability to regularly go above and beyond the Company’s high standards. We have quarterly EPIC2 days off and an EPIC2 shutdown at the end of the year, which enable our people to focus on their wellbeing and rejuvenate.
During fiscal 2022, we continued our programs initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to address the safety of our employees while continuing to support the business continuity needs of our customers and partners. We have enabled employees to choose to work in the office or remotely consistent with local health regulations and operational requirements. We have continued to implement flexible work and customer outreach experiences that allow our teams to remain connected with each other and with our customers while maintaining and enhancing productivity, operational excellence and innovation. We continued additional benefits to employees including a wellbeing allowance, home equipment allowance for all new employees, coverage of COVID-19 testing and treatment, as well as additional personal paid time off days.
Future of Work
During fiscal 2022, we continued to build and expand a dynamic, global workforce of the future that empowers our people to work from any location, consistent with business requirements, that accelerates their productivity to deliver innovative solutions and operational excellence for our customers worldwide. We believe our approach to employee choice and flexibility is enabling the Company to successfully compete to hire and retain skilled and talented team members from many new locations globally and contribute to meeting our diversity, equity and inclusion goals. As our employees demonstrated throughout the pandemic, work location does not dictate success. The choice and flexibility that form the cornerstones of this new distributed workforce model mirror the choice and flexibility we provide to our customers when choosing their digital infrastructure.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (“DEI”)
DEI is a business priority at VMware. Our DEI initiative, VMinclusion, is a business-led effort to attract, develop and retain the multinational, multicultural talent critical to our globally connected business. We are committed to creating a flexible, inclusive environment where everyone is respected and has equal opportunity to succeed. Specifically, we are focused on driving a culture that is inclusive of all forms of diversity: from demographic factors such as race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status to other critical factors such as function, office location, personality, age and life experience. During fiscal 2022, all Senior Directors and above were assigned responsibility for achievement of company-wide DEI goals tied to bonus compensation. We are continuing to expand our programs and monitor the impact of our practices on the hiring and retention of talent from underrepresented communities including women, people with disabilities, veterans and those that self-identify as being part of LGBTQ+ communities.
We have been recognized for our achievements including Forbes 2021 The Best Employers for Diversity, Forbes 2021 The Best Employers for Women and the 2022 Human Rights Campaign Foundation Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality as well as 2021 DEI Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.
As of the end of fiscal 2022, women represented 29% of our global employees and underrepresented minorities represented 12% of our U.S. employees.
We are committed to equitable compensation. We know that leveraging the power of human difference starts with equal pay for equal work. We continually analyze compensation globally, accounting for multiple factors that influence pay such as job, grade, tenure, time in job, geographic location and performance. Our most recent data analysis as of October 2021 shows that at VMware, women, in the aggregate, adjusting for the factors identified above, earn 99% of their male counterparts' target cash compensation globally and underrepresented minorities earn 100% of their white counterparts in the U.S.
Compensation and Benefits
We tailor our compensation programs including base pay strategy, variable compensation programs and health, wellbeing and retirement programs to meet the needs of our employees. Equity awards are a key compensation component that enables us to recruit and retain top talent. The Compensation Committee of our Board of Directors oversees the utilization of stock-based compensation to appropriately balance competitive needs against the dilutive impact on our stockholders. These components of
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total compensation are part of a broader framework of employee recognition, as well as our strategy to reinforce VMware’s culture and to attract, develop and retain a talented and diverse workforce.
Available Information
Our website is located at vmware.com and our investor relations website is located at ir.vmware.com. Our goal is to maintain the investor relations website as a portal through which investors can easily find or navigate to pertinent information about us, all of which is made available free of charge, including:
our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file that material with or furnish it to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”);
announcements of investor conferences, speeches and events at which our executives discuss our products, services and competitive strategies;
webcasts of our quarterly earnings calls and links to webcasts of investor conferences at which our executives appear (archives of these events are also available for a limited time);
additional information on financial metrics, including reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures discussed in our presentations to the nearest comparable GAAP measure;
press releases on quarterly earnings, product and service announcements, legal developments and international news;
corporate governance information including our certificate of incorporation, bylaws, corporate governance guidelines, board committee charters, business conduct guidelines (which constitutes our code of business conduct and ethics) and other governance-related policies;
ESG (environmental, social and governance) information;
other news, blogs and announcements that we may post from time to time that investors might find useful or interesting; and
opportunities to sign up for email alerts and RSS feeds to have information pushed in real time.
The information found on our website is not part of, and is not incorporated by reference into, this or any other report we file with, or furnish to, the SEC. The SEC also maintains a website at sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.
INFORMATION ABOUT OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
The names of our executive officers and their ages as of March 15, 2022, are as follows:
NameAgePosition(s)
Rangarajan (Raghu) Raghuram59Chief Executive Officer
Zane Rowe51Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Sumit Dhawan47President
Jean-Pierre Brulard 63Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales
Amy Fliegelman Olli58Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Rangarajan (Raghu) Raghuram has served as VMware's Chief Executive Officer and a director of VMware since June 2021. Prior to that Mr. Raghuram served as VMware’s Chief Operating Officer, Products and Cloud Services since October 2016, guiding VMware’s cloud and SaaS transformation efforts. Prior to that he served as Executive Vice President, Software-Defined Data Center division from February 2014 to October 2016 and Executive Vice President, Cloud Infrastructure and Management from April 2012 to February 2014. Mr. Raghuram joined VMware in 2003 and has held multiple product management and marketing roles. Mr. Raghuram served as Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Infrastructure and Management, Virtualization and Cloud Platforms and Enterprise Products, from December 2009 through March 2012. Mr. Raghuram previously served as Vice President of VMware's Server business unit and of Product and Solutions Marketing through December 2009. Prior to VMware, Mr. Raghuram held product management and marketing roles at Netscape Communications Corporation and Bang Networks, Inc.
Zane Rowe has served as VMware’s Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President since March 2016. Mr. Rowe also served as VMware’s interim Chief Executive Officer from February 2021 through May 2021. Prior to joining VMware, he was EMC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from October 2014 until February 2016. Prior to joining
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EMC, Mr. Rowe was Vice President of North American Sales of Apple Inc., a technology company that designs, develops and sells consumer electronics, computer software, online services and personal computers, from May 2012 until May 2014. He was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of United Continental Holdings, Inc., an airline holdings company, from October 2010 until April 2012 and was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Continental Airlines from August 2008 to September 2010. Mr. Rowe joined Continental Airlines in 1993. Mr. Rowe currently serves on the board of Sabre Corporation.
Sumit Dhawan has served as VMware’s President since June 2021. Prior to that Mr. Dhawan served as VMware’s Chief Customer Experience Officer since February 2020. From May 2018 until February 2020, Mr. Dhawan served as CEO of Instart (formerly Instart Logic), a multinational cloud company focused on web and mobile application delivery, customer experience and security for enterprise customers. Mr. Dhawan initially joined VMware in 2013 and served in various roles with VMware’ End User Computing group, including as Senior Vice President and General Manager of VMware’s End User Computing group from November 2016 through May 2018.
Jean-Pierre Brulard has served as VMware’s Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales since February 2020. Mr. Brulard previously served as VMware’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, EMEA from April 2015 to January 2020 and as Vice President, EMEA, Southern Region from April 2009 to April 2015. Prior to joining VMware, Mr. Brulard served in senior management positions of increasing responsibility for Business Objects, an enterprise software company, for seven years, most recently as its Senior Vice President and General Manager, EMEA.
Amy Fliegelman Olli has served as VMware’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since December 2020. She joined VMware as Senior Vice President and General Counsel in August 2017 and was appointed as Secretary in October 2017. Prior to joining VMware, Ms. Fliegelman Olli served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Avaya, Inc., a provider of contact center, unified communications and networking products, from June 2014 through August 2017. Previously, she was the General Counsel of CA, Inc., a provider of software solutions, from September 2006 to June 2014 where her responsibilities covered all legal, governance, compliance, internal audit, security, risk management and controls matters. Ms. Fliegelman Olli also spent 18 years with IBM Corporation, ultimately serving as Vice President and General Counsel for the Americas and Europe.
ITEM 1A.    RISK FACTORS
The risk factors that appear below could materially affect our business, financial condition and operating results. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only risks and uncertainties we face. Our business is also subject to general risks and uncertainties that affect many other companies.
Operation of Business and Strategic Risks
A significant decrease in demand for our data center virtualization products would adversely affect our operating results.
A significant portion of our revenue is derived, and will for the foreseeable future continue to be derived, from our data center virtualization products. As more businesses achieve high levels of virtualization in their data centers, the market for our vSphere product continues to mature. Additionally, as businesses increasingly utilize public cloud and SaaS-based offerings, they are building more of their new compute workloads off-premises and are increasingly shifting some of their existing and many of their new workloads to public cloud providers, thereby limiting growth and potentially reducing the market for on-premises deployments of vSphere. Although sales of vSphere have declined as a portion of our overall business and we expect this trend to continue, vSphere remains key to our future growth as it serves as the foundation for our newer SDDC, network virtualization and our newer subscription and SaaS offerings. Although we have launched, and are continuing to develop, products to extend our vSphere-based SDDC offerings to the public cloud, due to our product concentration, a significant decrease in demand for our server virtualization products would adversely affect our operating results.
Our subscription and SaaS offerings, which constitute a growing portion of our business, and our initiatives to extend our data center virtualization and container platforms into the public cloud involve various risks, including, among others, reliance on third-party providers for data center space and colocation services and on public cloud providers to prevent service disruptions.
As we continue to develop and offer subscription and SaaS versions of our products, we must continue to evolve our processes to meet various intellectual property, regulatory, contractual and service compliance challenges, including compliance with licenses for open source and third-party software embedded in our offerings, compliance with export control and privacy regulations, protecting our services from external threats or inappropriate use, maintaining the continuous service levels and data security expected by our customers and adapting our go-to-market efforts. The expansion of our subscription and SaaS offerings also requires significant investments, and our operating margins, results of operations and operating cash flows may be adversely affected if our new offerings are not widely adopted by customers.
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Additionally, our subscription and SaaS offerings rely upon third-party providers to supply data center space, equipment maintenance and other colocation services and our initiatives to extend our virtualization and container platforms into the public cloud rely upon the ability of our public cloud and VCPP partners to maintain continuous service availability and protect customer data on their services. Although we have entered into various agreements for the lease of data center space, equipment maintenance and other services, third parties could fail to live up to their contractual obligations. The failure of a third-party provider to prevent service disruptions (including as a result of climate change), data losses or security breaches may require us to issue credits or refunds or indemnify or otherwise be liable to customers or third parties for damages that may occur, and contractual provisions with our third-party providers and public cloud partners may limit our recourse against the third-party provider or public cloud partner responsible for such failure. Additionally, if these third-party providers fail to deliver on their obligations, our reputation could be damaged, our customers could lose confidence in us, and our ability to maintain and expand our subscription and SaaS offerings would be impaired.
Our success depends upon our ability to adapt our business and pricing models to a subscription and SaaS model appropriately.
We continue to transition our portfolio from a perpetual license model to subscription and SaaS offerings. During this transition, we will recognize less revenue up front than we would otherwise recognize as part of the multi-year license contracts through which we typically sell our established offerings. Additionally, in order to provide customers flexibility, we offer one- and three-year term licenses for certain portions of our perpetual portfolio, which have certain characteristics that are similar to subscription products but are accounted for as License and Services revenue. Our transition to these term licenses and subscription and SaaS offerings involve various risks that may negatively affect our operating results, including:
We may fail to set pricing for subscription and SaaS offerings at levels appropriate to maintain our revenue streams or our customers may choose to deploy products from our competitors that they believe are priced more favorably.
We may fail to accurately predict subscription renewal rates or their impact on operating results, and because revenue from subscriptions is recognized for our services over the term of the subscription, downturns or upturns in sales may not be immediately reflected in our results.
As customers transition to our subscription and SaaS products and services, our revenue and license revenue growth rate may be adversely impacted during the period of transition when we recognize less revenue up front than we would otherwise recognize as part of the multi-year license contracts. For example, effective with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, we commenced reporting revenue from our subscription and SaaS as a separate revenue line item, breaking out components that had previously been included in our license revenue and services revenue and prior period amounts were reclassified to conform with this presentation. As a result, the rate of growth in our license revenue, which was previously viewed as a leading indicator of our business performance, as well as our software maintenance revenue and deferred revenue were negatively impacted. At the same time, growth in subscription and SaaS revenue may not appear as robust because such revenue is recognized ratably over time as customers consume our subscription-based products.
The transition from selling support and maintenance with perpetual licenses to selling subscription and SaaS offerings may negatively affect our profitability, as the cost associated with software maintenance renewals is generally lower than the cost associated with selling new subscription and SaaS offerings.
Term licenses are sold with shorter support and maintenance terms than perpetual licenses are, and customers may not renew such licenses at the end of their term or transition to subscription and SaaS offerings.
As we offer more services that depend on converting users of free services to users of premium services and purchasers of our on-premises products to our SaaS offerings, our ability to maintain or improve and to predict conversion rates will become more important.
We face intense competition that could adversely affect our operating results.
The application platform, multi-cloud, digital workspace, networking and security product areas are interrelated and rapidly evolving, and we face intense competition across all the markets for our products and services. Many of our current or potential competitors have longer operating histories, greater name recognition, larger customer bases and significantly greater financial, technical, sales, marketing and other resources than we do. Additionally, the adoption of public and distributed cloud, micro-services, containers, and open source technologies has the potential to erode our profitability.
We face competition from, among others:
Providers of public cloud infrastructure and SaaS-based multi-cloud offerings. As businesses increasingly utilize public cloud and SaaS-based offerings, they are building more of their new compute workloads, and may also shift some of their existing workloads, off-premises. A significant percentage of new application development is happening in the public cloud,
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with providers such as Amazon Web Services (“AWS”), Microsoft Azure (“Azure”) or Google Cloud, or in a distributed fashion, and these new applications are often deployed on public cloud or multi-cloud infrastructure. As a result, the demand for on-premises information technology (“IT”) resources is expected to slow, and our products and services will need to increasingly compete for customers’ IT workloads with off-premises public cloud and SaaS-based multi-cloud offerings, such as those offered by Datadog in monitoring and IT telemetry and ServiceNow in the automation space. If we fail to address evolving customer priorities or requirements, the demand for VMware’s products and services may decline, and we could experience slower than expected or no growth. Additionally, VMware Cloud Provider Program (“VCPP”) offerings from our partners may compete directly with infrastructure-as-a-service (“IaaS”) offerings from various public cloud providers, which are increasingly integrated with on-premises solutions. In fiscal 2018, we entered into a strategic alliance with AWS to deliver a vSphere-based cloud service, VMware Cloud on AWS, running in AWS data centers available in certain geographies, and, in fiscal 2019, we extended our collaboration with AWS to include AWS Outposts. In fiscal 2020, we also announced partnerships with Microsoft (Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple), Google (Google Cloud VMware Solution by CloudSimple), and Oracle (Oracle Cloud VMware Solution) under the framework of our VCPP that enable customers to run native VMware-based workloads on each of Azure, Google Cloud, and Oracle Cloud. Our partnerships with AWS and other public cloud providers may be seen as competitive with each other and with other VCPP partners, while some partners may elect to include solutions such as VMware Cloud on AWS as part of their managed services provider offerings. In addition, many of these public cloud providers are delivering hybrid cloud hardware solutions with their distributed cloud management. For example, many public cloud infrastructure providers have also entered into strategic partnerships with mobile telecommunications network providers to jointly embed distributed cloud infrastructure and management tools into 5G mobile networks. To the extent customers and partners, including service providers, choose to operate native cloud environments (or similar non-VMware environments, such as Azure Stack or AWS Wavelength) in their data centers in lieu of purchasing VMware’s on-premises and hybrid and multi-cloud products, our operating results could be materially adversely affected.
Providers of application modernization and open source developer platform services. Many public cloud infrastructure and multi-cloud SaaS competitors also offer standalone or embedded application development, or Platform-as-a-Service (“PaaS”), services. In the case of AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, these PaaS services are often bundled with consumption-based IaaS offerings. These IaaS providers and other developer solution partners, such as Red Hat, a subsidiary of IBM, and HashiCorp, offer tools and services based on containers and DevSecOps (or development security and operations) practices. Open source technologies for containerization and cloud platforms, such as Xen, KVM, Docker, rkt, OpenShift, Mesos, Kubernetes and OpenStack, and other open source software-based products, solutions and services may reduce the demand for our solutions, put pricing pressure on our offerings and enable competing vendors to leverage open source technologies to compete directly with us. New platform technologies and standards based on open source software are consistently being developed and can gain popularity quickly. Improvements in open source software could cause customers to replace software purchased from us with open source software. In step with these trends, we deliver a comprehensive container, Kubernetes and Cloud Native Application technologies portfolio with VMware Tanzu and have increased our level of commitment to open source projects and communities, such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, that are designed to increase the rate at which customers adopt micro-services architectures. The adoption of distributed micro-service application architectures, and their alignment with container technologies, represents an emerging area of competition. As we continue to invest in these areas, we will experience increasing competitive overlap with other cloud native vendors, such as Red Hat, and the large providers of public cloud infrastructure. Such competitive pressure or the availability of new open source software may cause us to experience reduced sales, increased pricing pressure, increased sales and marketing expenses and reduced operating margins, any one of which may adversely affect our operating results.
Providers of enterprise security offerings. With our acquisition of Carbon Black Inc. (“Carbon Black”) in 2019, we launched a new set of enterprise security solutions that includes the Carbon Black endpoint security platform and the intrinsic security elements of our existing NSX virtual networking, Workspace ONE end user and our compute offerings. The cybersecurity market is large, highly competitive, fragmented and subject to rapidly evolving technology, shifting customer needs and frequent introductions of new solutions. Competitors in the end point security space range from established solution providers such as Microsoft and Trend Micro to next-generation endpoint security providers such as CrowdStrike and SentinelOne. While we believe that the intrinsic security elements in our existing offerings coupled with our Carbon Black endpoint security offerings and new combined offerings we expect to develop and introduce in the future will enable us to provide an integrated security offering with significant advantages over our competitors’ current offerings, our ability to gain traction and market share as a new entrant into this well-established market segment is uncertain. Additionally, new trends, such as Extended Threat Detection (XDR), Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and Zero Trust Network Access, represent the coalescence of formerly distinct markets, such as identity management, secure web gateway, SD-WAN, network firewall and cloud access security brokers. These new trends may bring existing partners, such as Fortinet, Zscaler and Okta into a more competitive position with our Carbon Black, VeloCloud and other distributed network security offerings. If we are unable to successfully adapt our product and service offerings to meet these opportunities and rapidly evolving trends our operating results could be adversely affected.
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Large, diversified enterprise software and hardware companies. These competitors supply a wide variety of products and services to, and have well-established relationships with, our current and prospective end users. For example, small- to medium-sized businesses and companies in emerging markets that are evaluating the adoption of virtualization-based technologies and solutions may be inclined to consider Microsoft solutions because of their existing use of Windows and Office products. Some of these competitors have in the past and may in the future take advantage of their existing relationships to engage in business practices that make our products and services less attractive or more expensive to our end users. For example, in 2019, Microsoft modified its on-premises licensing terms to require end users who wish to deploy Microsoft software on certain dedicated hosted cloud services other than Microsoft’s Azure cloud service, including VMware Cloud on AWS, to purchase additional rights from Microsoft. Other competitors have limited or denied support for their applications running in VMware virtualization environments. In addition, these competitors could integrate competitive capabilities into their existing products and services and make them available without additional charge. For example, Oracle provides free server virtualization software intended to support Oracle and non-Oracle applications, Microsoft offers its own server, network and storage virtualization software packaged with its Windows Server product as well as built-in virtualization in the client version of Windows and Cisco includes network virtualization technology in many of its data center networking platforms. As a result, existing and prospective VMware customers may elect to use products that are perceived to be “free” or “very low cost” instead of purchasing VMware products and services for certain applications where they do not believe that more advanced and robust capabilities are required.
Other industry alliances. Many of our competitors have entered into or extended partnerships or other strategic relationships to offer more comprehensive virtualization and cloud computing solutions than they individually had offered. We expect these trends to continue as companies attempt to strengthen or maintain their positions in the evolving virtualization infrastructure and enterprise IT solutions industry. For example, CrowdStrike has formed the CrowdXDR Alliance, an initiative competitive with VMware security offerings that includes VMware partners such as Zscaler and Google Cloud. These alliances may result in more compelling product and service offerings than those we offer.
Our partners and members of our developer and technology partner ecosystem. We face competition from our partners. For example, third parties currently selling our products and services could build and market their own competing products and services or market competing products and services of other vendors. Additionally, as formerly distinct sectors of enterprise IT such as software-based virtualization and hardware-based server, networking and storage solutions converge, we also increasingly compete with companies who are members of our developer and technology partner ecosystem. For example, in 2019, one of our important partners and customers, IBM, acquired Red Hat, one of our competitors in the cloud native applications space. Consequently, when such convergences occur, we may find it more difficult to continue to collaborate productively on other projects with these partners, and the advantages we derive from our ecosystem could diminish.
These various forms of competition could result in increased pricing pressure and sales and marketing expenses, thereby materially reducing our operating margins, and could also prevent our new products and services from gaining market acceptance, thereby harming our ability to increase, or causing us to lose, market share.
Our commercial relationship with Dell could adversely impact our business, stock price, market share and ability to build and maintain other strategic relationships.
Our commercial relationship with Dell is significant and complex. During the time in which we were a majority-owned subsidiary of Dell, the portion of our sales that were realized through the Dell sales channel grew more rapidly than our sales through non-Dell resellers and distributors. As a standalone company following the Spin-Off, we continue to transact a significant amount of business with Dell pursuant to the commercial framework agreement between us and Dell that became effective upon the Spin-Off, which involves various risks such as:
Reliance on our relationship with Dell. During the year ended January 28, 2022, revenue from Dell, including purchases of products and services directly from us, as well as through our channel partners, accounted for 38% of our consolidated revenue, which included revenue from Dell selling joint solutions as an OEM, acting as a distributor to other non-Dell resellers, reselling products and services as a reseller and purchasing products and services for its own internal use. On certain transactions, Dell Financial Services also provides financing to our end users and channel partners at our end users’ and channel partners’ discretion. Our reliance on the Dell sales channel could negatively impact our ability to negotiate favorable go-to-market arrangements with Dell and our relationships with other channel partners.
Dell’s arrangements with our competitors. Dell maintains significant partnerships with certain of our competitors, including Microsoft, and may enter into more such partnerships in the future. Further, Dell may choose to partner with our competitors instead of with us. These partnerships may adversely impact our relationship with Dell, impede our standalone competitive success and result in declines in our stock price or market share. Additionally, our potential strategic relationships may be negatively affected by our relationship with Dell, as companies may favor or choose to partner with our competitors because of those competitors’ relationship with Dell or due to our relationship with Dell.
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Overlaps in areas in which we and Dell compete. We and Dell compete across the IT infrastructure industry providing products and services that overlap in various areas, including software-based storage, management, hyperconverged infrastructure and cloud computing. Dell competes with us in these areas now and may compete with us in new areas and engage in increased competition with us in the future. Some of our products compete directly with products sold or distributed by Dell, which could result in declines in VMware sales. Additionally, this competition could result in increased pricing pressure and sales and marketing expenses, thereby materially reducing our operating margins, and could also prevent our new products and services from gaining market acceptance, thereby harming our ability to increase, or causing us to lose, market share.
Our arrangements with Dell’s competitors. We partner and have arrangements with a number of companies that compete with Dell, including certain of our significant channel, technology and other marketing partners, such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Our relationship with Dell could adversely affect our relationships with these companies or other customers, suppliers and partners. Further, our relationships with these companies could adversely impact our relationship with Dell.
We believe that our commercial relationship with Dell provides us a unique opportunity to leverage the respective technical expertise, product strengths and market presence of Dell for the benefit of our customers and stockholders while enabling us to compete more effectively with our larger competitors. However, such transactions may prove not to be successful and may divert our resources or the attention of our management from other opportunities. Negotiating and implementing these arrangements can be time consuming and cause delays in the introduction of joint product and service offerings and disruptions to VMware’s business. Additionally, though we, as a standalone company, now have more flexibility in our strategic partnerships with cloud and on-premises infrastructure companies, for example, such companies may not choose to partner with us to the full extent or at all due to our historical and on-going commercial relationship with Dell. As a result, we may be unable to capitalize, either strategically or commercially, on our new flexibility, and our business, stock price, market share and relationships may suffer.
Our success depends increasingly on customer acceptance of our newer products and services.
Our products and services are primarily based on data center virtualization, application modernization and related multi-cloud technologies used to manage distributed computing architectures, which form the foundation for multi-cloud computing. As the market for server virtualization continues to mature, the rate of growth in license sales of VMware vSphere (“vSphere”) has declined. We are increasingly directing our product development and marketing and sales efforts toward products and services that enable businesses to modernize applications and efficiently implement their multi-cloud services. We have also been introducing SaaS versions of our on-premises products, including vRealize Cloud Universal, and investing in a range of SaaS and cloud-native technologies and products, including through acquisitions such as CloudHealth Technologies, Inc., Carbon Black and Pivotal Software, Inc. (“Pivotal”). These cloud and SaaS initiatives present new and difficult technological, operational and compliance challenges, and significant investments continue to be required to develop or acquire solutions to address those challenges. Our success depends on our current and future customers perceiving technological and operational benefits and cost savings associated with adopting our multi-cloud and application platform solutions. As the market for our data center virtualization products continues to mature, and the scale of our business continues to increase, our rate of revenue growth increasingly depends upon the success of our newer product and service offerings. To the extent that adoption rates for our newer products and services are not sufficient to offset declines in revenue growth for our established server virtualization offerings, our overall revenue growth rates may slow materially or our revenue may decline substantially. Additionally, we may fail to realize returns on our investments in new initiatives and our operating results could be materially adversely affected.
Competition for our highly skilled employees is intense and costly, and our business and growth prospects may suffer if we cannot attract and retain them.
We must continue to attract and retain highly qualified personnel, particularly software and cloud engineers and sales and customer experience personnel, for which competition, particularly against companies with greater resources, startups and emerging growth companies is intense. Research and development personnel are also aggressively recruited by startup and emerging growth companies, which are especially active in many of the technical areas and geographic regions in which we conduct product and service development. This competitive situation has become exacerbated by the increase in employee resignations currently taking place throughout the U.S., in part as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is commonly referred to as the “great resignation.” This competition results in increased costs in the form of cash and stock-based compensation and can have a dilutive impact on our stock. We have experienced, and we expect to continue to experience, difficulty in hiring and retaining highly skilled employees with appropriate qualifications, and, if we fail to attract new personnel or fail to retain and motivate our current personnel, our business and future growth prospects could suffer.
The loss of key management personnel could harm our business.
We depend on the continued services of key management personnel. We generally do not have employment or non-compete agreements with our employees, and, therefore, they could terminate their employment with us at any time without
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penalty and could pursue employment opportunities with any of our competitors. In addition, we do not maintain any key-person life insurance policies. The loss of key management personnel could harm our business.
Our current research and development efforts may not produce significant revenue for several years, if at all.
Developing our products and services is expensive, and developing and launching disruptive technologies requires significant investment often entailing greater risk than incremental investments in existing products and services. Our research and development expenses were approximately 24% of our total revenue during the year ended January 28, 2022. We plan to continue to significantly invest in our research and development efforts to maintain our competitive position. Our investments in research and development may result in products or services that generate less revenue than we anticipate or may not result in marketable products and services for several years or at all.
Acquisitions and divestitures could materially harm our business and operating results.
We have acquired in the past, and plan to acquire in the future, other businesses, products or technologies. We also sell or divest businesses, products and technologies from time-to-time. Acquisitions and divestitures involve significant risks and uncertainties, including:
disruptions to our ongoing operations and diverting management from day-to-day responsibilities due to, for example, the need to provide transition services in connection with a disposition or difficulty integrating the operations, technologies, products, customers and personnel of acquired businesses effectively;
adverse impacts to our business and financial results resulting from increases to our expenses due to, among other things, integrating business operations and on-boarding personnel and the incurrence of amortization expense related to identifiable intangible assets acquired and other accounting consequences of acquisitions;
reductions to our cash available for operations, stock repurchase programs and other uses, potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities or the incurrence of additional debt;
uncertainties in achieving the expected benefits of an acquisition or disposition, including with respect to our business strategy, revenue, technology, human resources, cost and operating efficiencies and other synergies, due to, among other things, a lack of experience in new markets, products or technologies; or an initial dependence on unfamiliar distribution partners or vendors;
unidentified issues that were not discovered during the diligence process, including issues with the acquired or divested business’s intellectual property, product quality, security, privacy and accounting practices, regulatory compliance or legal contingencies;
lawsuits resulting from an acquisition or disposition;
maintenance or establishment of acceptable standards, controls, procedures or policies with respect to an acquired business; and
the need to later divest acquired assets at a loss if an acquisition does not meet our expectations.
Disruptions to our distribution channels, including our various routes to market through Dell, could harm our business.
Our future success is highly dependent on our relationships with channel partners, including distributors, resellers, system vendors and systems integrators, which contribute to a significant portion of our revenue. Recruiting and retaining qualified channel partners and training them in the use of our technology and product offerings requires significant time and resources. Our failure to maintain good relationships with channel partners would likely lead to a loss of end users of our products and services, which would adversely affect our revenue. We generally do not have long-term contracts or minimum purchase commitments with our channel partners, and the contracts that we do have with these channel partners do not prohibit them from offering products or services that compete with ours.
Sales via our various route-to-market relationships with Dell accounted for 38% of our consolidated revenue during the year ended January 28, 2022 and transactions where Dell acted as an original equipment manufacturer (“OEM”) accounted for 13% of the revenue from Dell, or 5% of our consolidated revenue. Such routes to market include Dell selling joint solutions as an OEM, acting as a distributor to other non-Dell resellers, reselling products and services as a reseller or purchasing products and services for its own internal use. Although we and Dell entered into a commercial agreement effective upon the Spin-Off that is intended to preserve and enhance our strategic partnership, as a standalone company, our relationship with Dell is fundamentally different from the relationship that we had with Dell when we were its majority-owned subsidiary. Following the Spin-Off, Dell no longer consolidates VMware’s revenues, and Dell may not be sufficiently incentivized to drive VMware business through our various route-to-market relationships. If sales through Dell decline and VMware is unable to shift business to suitable alternative channel partners, our business and operating results will be negatively affected. Additionally, any disruption or significant change to our relationship with Dell or the terms upon which they sell and distribute our products and
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services could have a negative impact on our operating results until such time as we arrange to replace these distribution services with the services of existing or new distributors.
Other than Dell, none of our distributors accounted for 10% or more of our consolidated revenue during the year ended January 28, 2022. Although we believe that we have in place, or would have in place by the date of any such termination, agreements with replacement distributors sufficient to maintain our revenue from distribution, if we were to lose the distribution services of a significant distributor, such loss could have a negative impact on our operating results until such time as we arrange to replace these distribution services with the services of existing or new distributors.
The evolution of our business requires more complex go-to-market strategies, which involve significant risk.
Our increasing focus on developing and marketing IT management and automation and IaaS offerings (including software-defined networking, VCPP-integrated virtual desktop and mobile device, cloud and SaaS) that enable customers to transform their IT systems requires a greater focus on marketing and selling product suites and more holistic solutions, rather than selling on a product-by-product basis. Consequently, we have developed, and must continue to develop, new strategies for marketing and selling our offerings. In addition, marketing and selling new technologies to enterprises requires us to invest significant time and resources to educate customers on the benefits of our offerings. These investments can be costly and educating our sales force can distract from their efforts to sell existing products and services. Additionally, from time to time, we reorganize our go-to-market teams to increase efficiencies and improve customer coverage, but these reorganizations can cause short-term disruptions that may negatively impact sales over one or more fiscal periods. Further, upon entering into new industry segments, we may choose to go to market with third-party manufactured hardware appliances that are integrated with our software—as we did when we entered into the SD-WAN space through our acquisitions of VeloCloud Networks, Inc. and Nyansa, Inc.—which requires us to rapidly develop, deploy and scale new hardware procurement, supply chain and inventory management processes and product support services and integrate them into our ongoing business systems and controls. Similarly, our launches of managed subscription services, such as VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, require us to implement new methods to deliver and monitor end user services and adjust our model for releasing product upgrades. As our customers increasingly shift from one-time purchases of perpetual software licenses to purchasing our software via more subscription and SaaS-based programs, our go-to-market teams will need to alter their outreach to customers to support ongoing consumption of our offerings, and we will need to appropriately adjust the variable compensation programs we use to incentivize our sales teams. If we fail to successfully adjust, develop and implement effective go-to-market strategies, our financial results may be materially adversely impacted.
We may not be able to respond to rapid technological changes with new solutions and services offerings.
The industries in which we compete are characterized by rapid, complex and disruptive changes in technology, customer demands and industry standards that could make it difficult for us to effectively compete and cause our existing and future software solutions to become obsolete and unmarketable. Our ability to react quickly to new technology trends—such as cloud computing, which is disrupting the ways businesses consume, manage and provide physical IT resources, applications, data and IT services—and customer requirements is negatively impacted by the length of our development cycle for new and enhanced products and services, which has frequently been longer than we originally anticipated. This is due in part to the increasing complexity of our product offerings as we increase their interoperability and maintain their compatibility with IT resources, such as public clouds, utilized by our customers while sustaining and enhancing product quality. When we release significant new versions of our existing offerings, the complexity of our products may require existing customers to remove and replace prior versions to take full advantage of substantial new capabilities, which may subdue initial demand for the new versions or depress demand for existing versions until the customer is ready to purchase and install the newest release. If we are unable to evolve our solutions and offerings in time to respond to and remain ahead of new technological developments—in applications, networking or security, for example—or in ways that are compelling to customers, our ability to retain or increase market share and revenue could be materially adversely affected. We may also fail to adequately anticipate the commercialization of emerging technologies, such as blockchain, and the development of new markets and applications for our technology, such as edge computing, and thereby fail to take advantage of new market opportunities or fall behind early movers in those markets.
We operate a global business that exposes us to additional risks.
A significant portion of our employees, customers, channel partners and third-party providers whom we rely upon to help deliver our subscription and SaaS services are located outside the U.S. Our international activities account for a substantial portion of our revenue and profits, and our investment portfolio includes investments in non-U.S. financial instruments and holdings in non-U.S. financial institutions. In addition to the risks described elsewhere in these risk factors, our international operations subject us to a variety of risks, including:
difficulties in delivering support, training and documentation; enforcing contracts; collecting accounts receivable; transferring funds; maintaining appropriate controls relating to revenue recognition practices; and longer payment cycles in certain countries and especially in emerging markets;
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network security and privacy concerns, which could make foreign customers reluctant to purchase products and services from U.S.-based technology companies;
tariffs and trade barriers, and other regulatory or contractual limitations on our ability to sell or develop our products and services in certain foreign markets, such as in China, whose government has adopted a range of laws and regulations relating to the procurement of key network equipment and security products and the storage and processing of data that might cause our business in China to suffer and expose us to civil and criminal penalties;
localized impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that persist or flare up in particular regions, such as in India where several of our global support services as well as research and development personnel are located, have in the past and in the future could cause delays or disruptions in certain of our business operations and product development;
regional impacts of climate change which increase the risk of extreme weather events, wildfire and drought that can impact local infrastructure such as the reliability of local electrical grids and telecommunications;
economic or political instability, military actions or armed conflict, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, both of which are locations where we have employees, partners and customers, and uncertainty about or changes in government and trade relationships, policies, and treaties that could adversely affect the ability of U.S.-based companies to conduct business in non-U.S. markets, such as in the U.K. where considerable regulatory uncertainty remains regarding compliance post-Brexit; and
legal risks, particularly in emerging markets, relating to compliance with U.S. exchange control requirements and international and U.S. anti-corruption laws and associated exposure to significant fines, penalties and reputational harm.
Our failure to manage any of these risks successfully could negatively affect our reputation and materially adversely affect our operating results.
Russia’s military actions in Ukraine have affected and may continue to affect our business.
In response to Russian military actions in Ukraine, we have suspended business operations in Russia and Belarus, including suspension of sales, support on existing contracts and professional services in both countries. Furthermore, the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and other countries in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine include restrictions on selling or importing goods, services or technology in or from affected regions and travel bans and asset freezes impacting connected individuals and political, military, business and financial organizations in Russia. Sanctions imposed on Russia and our suspension of business operations could impact the fulfillment of existing orders, future revenue streams from impacted customers and the recoverability of certain financial assets. It is not possible to predict the broader consequences of this conflict, which could include further sanctions, embargoes, regional instability, geopolitical shifts and adverse effects on the global economy.
Our success depends on the interoperability of our products and services with those of other companies.
The success of our products depends upon the cooperation of hardware and software vendors to ensure interoperability with our products and offer compatible products and services to end users. In addition, we extend the functionality of various products to work with native public cloud applications, which in some cases requires the cooperation of public cloud vendors. To the extent that hardware, software and public cloud vendors perceive that their products and services compete with ours, they may have an incentive to withhold their cooperation, decline to share access or sell to us their proprietary APIs, protocols or formats, or engage in practices to actively limit the functionality, compatibility and certification of our products. In addition, vendors may fail to certify or support or continue to certify or support our products for their systems. If any of the foregoing occurs, our product development efforts may be delayed or foreclosed and it may be difficult and more costly for us to achieve functionality and service levels that would make our services attractive to end users, any of which could negatively impact our business and operating results.
Failure to effectively manage our product and service lifecycles could harm our business.
As part of the natural lifecycle of our products and services, we periodically inform customers that products or services will be reaching their end of life or end of availability and will no longer be supported or receive updates and security patches. To the extent these products or services remain subject to a service contract with the customer, we offer to transition the customer to alternative products or services. Failure to effectively manage our product and service lifecycles could lead to customer dissatisfaction and contractual liabilities, which could adversely affect our business and operating results.
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Financial Risks
Our operating results may fluctuate significantly.
Our operating results may fluctuate due to a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control. As a result, comparing our operating results on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful, and our past results should not be relied upon as an indication of our future performance. In addition, a significant portion of our quarterly sales typically occurs during the last two weeks of the quarter, which generally reflects customer buying patterns for enterprise technology. As a result, our quarterly operating results are difficult to predict even in the near term. If our revenue or operating results fall below the expectations of investors or securities analysts or below any guidance we may provide to the market, the price of our Class A common stock would likely decline substantially.
Factors that may cause fluctuations in our operating results include, among others, the factors described elsewhere in this risk factors section and the following:
fluctuations in demand, adoption and renewal rates, sales cycles and pricing levels for our products and services;
variations in customer choices among our on-premises and subscription and SaaS offerings, which can impact our rates of total revenue and license revenue growth;
the timing of announcements or releases of new or upgraded products and services by us, our partners or competitors;
the timing of sales orders processing, which can cause fluctuations in our backlog and impact our bookings and timing of revenue recognition;
our ability to maintain scalable internal systems for reporting, order processing, license fulfillment, product delivery, purchasing, billing and general accounting, among other functions;
our ability to control costs, including our operating expenses, and the timing and amount of internal use software development costs that may be capitalized;
the credit risks associated with our distributors, who account for a significant portion of our product revenue and accounts receivable, and our customers;
the timing and size of realignment plans and restructuring charges;
seasonal factors such as end of fiscal period expenditures by our customers and the timing of holiday and vacation periods;
unplanned events that could affect market perception of the quality or cost-effectiveness of our products and solutions; and
fluctuations in the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions on business activity which may vary significantly by region.
Adverse economic conditions may harm our business.
Our business success depends in part on worldwide economic conditions. The overall demand for and spend on IT may be viewed by our current and prospective customers as discretionary and, in times of economic uncertainty, customers may delay, decrease, reduce the value and duration, or cancel purchases and upgrades of our products and services. Weak economic conditions or significant uncertainty regarding the stability of financial markets related to stock market volatility, inflation, recession, changes in tariffs, trade agreements or governmental fiscal, monetary and tax policies, among others, could adversely impact our business, financial condition and operating results. General and ongoing tightening in the credit market, lower levels of liquidity, increases in rates of default and bankruptcy and significant volatility in equity and fixed-income markets could all negatively impact our customers’ purchasing decisions. Increases in interest rates on credit and debt that would increase the cost of our borrowing could impact our ability to access the capital markets and adversely affect our ability to repay or refinance our outstanding indebtedness, fund future product development and acquisitions or conduct stock buybacks.
For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has depressed economic activity worldwide, and the timing and strength of an economic recovery is highly uncertain and likely to vary significantly by region. While the COVID-19 pandemic, including the dangers posed by COVID-19 variants, has not had a material adverse financial impact on our operations to date, we have observed negative impacts on our sales and our financial results from, and there continues to be significant uncertainty regarding, the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, during much of fiscal 2021, we saw delays in customers’ large transformative on-premises projects that we believe were largely due to COVID-19, which negatively impacted our product sales. Accordingly, should the pandemic continue to persist for an extended period of time, economic conditions globally or in particular regions may fail to recover or even worsen, which could cause material adverse impacts to our earnings and other results of operations. More recently, inflation rates in the U.S. have increased to levels not seen in
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several years, which may result in decreased demand for our products and services, increases in our operating costs, constrained credit and liquidity, reduced government spending and volatility in financial markets.
Additionally, trade tensions between the U.S. and its trading partners, like China, have caused and may continue to cause significant volatility in global financial markets. Amidst sustained economic uncertainty, many national and local governments that are current or prospective customers, including the U.S. federal government, may need to make significant changes in their spending priorities, which could reduce the amount of government spending on IT and the potential demand for our products and services from the government sector.
These adverse economic conditions can arise suddenly, have unpredictable impacts and materially adversely affect our future sales and operating results. Further, volatility due to these types of adverse economic conditions in financial and other capital markets, has and may continue to adversely impact our stock price and may in the future impact our ability to access the equity or debt capital markets on attractive terms or at all for a period of time, which could have an adverse effect on our liquidity position.
We have substantial indebtedness, and we may incur other debt in the future, which may adversely affect our financial condition and future financial results.
As of January 28, 2022, we had an aggregate of $12.7 billion of outstanding indebtedness. Additionally, we have entered into a $1.5 billion unsecured revolving credit facility, which is undrawn.
The terms of our indebtedness and revolving credit facility impose restrictions on us, including in specified and customary covenants, our compliance with which may be affected by events beyond our control, including prevailing economic, financial and industry conditions. If we fail to satisfy any of the terms or breach any of the covenants and do not obtain a waiver from the lenders or note holders, then, subject to applicable cure periods, any outstanding indebtedness may be declared immediately due and payable or, with respect to the unsecured notes, we may be required to repurchase our unsecured notes at a price equal to 101% of the aggregate principal plus any accrued and unpaid interest.
We intend to reduce our indebtedness during the next fiscal years. While we believe our remaining cash balances and cash generated by our business operations will be sufficient to fund our operations and pursue our existing stock repurchase program and strategic plans, if our business operations do not generate the cash flows we expect, then our ability to fund future stock repurchases, invest in our business and pursue strategic alternatives, including business acquisitions, will be reduced, which could reduce our ability to manage dilution of our stock and limit our future growth. If in the future we are unable to generate sufficient operating cash flows to service our debt, we may be required to, among other things, seek additional financing in the debt or equity markets, refinance or restructure all or a portion of our indebtedness, sell selected assets or reduce or delay planned expenditures. Even so, such measures may not be sufficient to enable us to service our debt.
Our current and any future debt may adversely affect our financial condition and future financial results by, among other things, increasing our vulnerability to adverse changes in general economic and industry conditions, necessitating use or dedication of our expected cash flow from operations to service our indebtedness instead of for other purposes, such as capital expenditures and acquisitions, impairing our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or other purposes, and limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, business changes.
In addition, any actual or anticipated changes to our credit ratings, including any announcement that our credit ratings are under review by any rating agency, may:
negatively impact the value and liquidity of our debt and equity securities;
result in an increase in the interest rate payable by us and the cost of borrowing under our revolving credit facility and senior unsecured term loan facility;
negatively affect the terms of and restrict our ability to obtain financing in the future; and
upon the occurrence of certain downgrades of the ratings of our unsecured notes, require us to repurchase our unsecured notes at a price equal to 101% of the aggregate principal plus any accrued and unpaid interest.
Refer to “Liquidity and Capital Resources” in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information on our outstanding indebtedness.
We have potential tax liabilities as a result of our former controlling ownership by Dell, which could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.
Membership in a consolidated tax group. We were included in EMC’s consolidated group for U.S. federal income tax purposes, as well as in certain consolidated, combined or unitary groups that include EMC or certain of its subsidiaries for state and local income tax purposes, from the time of our acquisition by EMC in 2004 through the acquisition of EMC by Dell effective September 7, 2016 (the “Dell Acquisition”), when we became included in Dell’s consolidated tax group. Each
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member of a consolidated group during any part of a consolidated return year is jointly and severally liable for tax on the consolidated return of such year and for any subsequently determined deficiency thereon. Similarly, in some jurisdictions, each member of a consolidated, combined or unitary group for state, local or foreign income tax purposes is jointly and severally liable for the state, local or foreign income tax liability of each other member of such group. Accordingly, for any period in which we were included in the Dell consolidated group for U.S. federal income tax purposes or any other consolidated, combined or unitary group of Dell and its subsidiaries, we could be liable in the event that any income tax liability was incurred, but not discharged, by any other member of any such group. Additionally, the impact of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “2017 Tax Act”) upon consolidated groups is highly complex and uncertain and its impact must be further interpreted in the context of various tax-related agreements we have agreed to with EMC and Dell (the “Tax Agreements”) to determine VMware’s related payment. As a result of the Spin-Off, we are no longer a member of Dell’s consolidated tax group, however, we are still subject to potential tax liabilities for the periods prior to the Spin-Off.
Tax Agreements. We have agreed to Tax Agreements that govern, among other things, our potential liabilities for other members of the consolidated tax groups of which we are considered members. Pursuant to the Tax Agreements, we and Dell generally will make payments to each other such that, with respect to tax returns for any taxable period in which we or any of our subsidiaries are included in Dell’s consolidated group for U.S. federal income tax purposes or any other consolidated, combined or unitary group of Dell or its subsidiaries, the amount of taxes to be paid by us will be determined, subject to certain consolidated return adjustments, as if we and each of our subsidiaries included in such consolidated, combined or unitary group filed our own consolidated, combined or unitary tax return. Although the Tax Agreements provide that our tax liability is calculated primarily as though VMware were a separate taxpayer, certain tax attributes and transactions are assessed using consolidated tax return rules as applied to the Dell consolidated tax group and are subject to other specialized terms under the Tax Agreements. In April 2019, we expanded the Tax Agreements by entering into a letter agreement with Dell and EMC that governs our portion of the one-time transition tax imposed by the 2017 Tax Act on accumulated earnings of foreign subsidiaries. Additionally, in December 2019, we amended the Tax Agreements to, subject to certain exceptions, generally limit VMware’s maximum annual tax liability to Dell to the amount VMware would owe on a separate tax return basis. Concurrent with the signing of the Separation and Distribution Agreement in April 2021, we and Dell entered into a new tax matters agreement and terminated a preceding tax sharing agreement. A substantial lack of alignment or disagreement between us and Dell regarding the applicability or interpretation of the Tax Agreements, or any unanticipated material tax liability arising pursuant to the Tax Agreements, could adversely impact our financial condition and operating results.
Pivotal. Prior to the Spin-Off, Pivotal filed a separate tax return for U.S. federal income tax purposes as it left the Dell consolidated tax group at the time of Pivotal’s initial public offering in April 2018. Pivotal continued to be included on Dell’s unitary state tax returns until the Spin-Off. Pursuant to a tax agreement between Pivotal and Dell, Pivotal may receive or owe payments from or to Dell for tax benefits or expenses that Dell realized due to Pivotal’s inclusion on such returns.
Tracking Stock. Pursuant to the Tax Agreements, if it is subsequently determined that the tracking stock issued in connection with the Dell Acquisition and which Dell subsequently eliminated through a share exchange constitutes a taxable distribution, we could be liable for all or a portion of the tax liability, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.
Spin-Off. If the Spin-Off is later determined to not be tax-free for any reason, we could be liable for all or a portion of the tax liability. Additionally, under the Tax Agreements, we are prohibited from taking or failing to take any action that prevents the Spin-Off from being tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes. We would be responsible for any taxes imposed on Dell or any of its affiliates as a result of the failure of the Spin-Off to qualify for favorable treatment under the Code if such failure is attributable to certain actions taken after the Spin-Off by or in respect of us, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition. Further, during the two-year period following the Spin-Off, without obtaining the consent of Dell, a private letter ruling from the IRS or an unqualified opinion of a nationally recognized law firm, we may be prohibited from taking certain specified actions that could impact the treatment of the Spin-Off, such as significant equity transactions that shift more than a significant portion of the value or total combined voting power of all outstanding shares of our stock. These restrictions may limit our ability to pursue strategic transactions or engage in new business or other transactions that may maximize the value of our business. These obligations may also discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of our company.
Our operating results may be adversely impacted by exposure to additional tax liabilities and higher than expected tax rates.
We are subject to income taxes as well as non-income-based taxes, such as payroll, sales and property taxes, in many of the jurisdictions in which we operate. Our tax liabilities are dependent on the allocation of revenue and expenses in different jurisdictions and the timing of recognizing revenue and expenses. Significant judgment is required to determine our worldwide provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities. For example, in the ordinary course of our global business, we execute
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intercompany transactions, including intellectual property transfers, that require us to make tax estimates because the ultimate tax determination is uncertain.
We are subject to income and indirect tax examinations and are undergoing audits in various jurisdictions. For instance, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has started its examination of fiscal years 2015 through 2019 for the Dell consolidated group, of which VMware was a member beginning in Dell’s fiscal year 2017. As a result of the Spin-Off, VMware is no longer a member of the Dell consolidated group. However, we are still subject to examination by the IRS for the periods in which we were a member of the Dell consolidated group. While we believe we have complied with all applicable income tax laws and made reasonable tax estimates, a governing tax authority could have a different legal interpretation and a final determination of tax audits or disputes may differ from what is reflected in our historical income tax provisions or benefits and accruals and we may be assessed with additional taxes. Further, the Tax Agreements between us and Dell provide that, when we become subject to federal income tax audits as a member of Dell’s consolidated group, Dell has authority to control the audit and represent Dell and our interests to the IRS. Accordingly, if we and Dell differ on appropriate responses and positions to take with respect to tax questions that may arise in the course of an audit, our ability to affect the outcome of such audits may be impaired.
In addition, regulatory guidance is still forthcoming with respect to the 2017 Tax Act and such guidance may adversely impact our tax provision. Any assessment of additional taxes could materially affect our financial condition and operating results. Further, beginning in fiscal 2023, the 2017 Tax Act eliminates the option to deduct research and development expenditures immediately in the year incurred and requires taxpayers to amortize such expenditures over five years for domestic expenses and fifteen years for certain foreign expenses. Although the U.S. Congress is considering various legislative options that would defer the amortization requirement to later years, we have no assurance that the provision will be repealed or otherwise modified. If these provisions are not deferred, modified, or repealed by Congress with retroactive effect to January 1, 2022, they will materially decrease our cash from operations beginning in fiscal 2023. We currently estimate an impact on fiscal 2023 cash from operations based on the provisions currently in effect possibly in excess of $500 million. The actual impact on fiscal 2023 cash from operations will depend on if and when these provisions are deferred, modified, or repealed by Congress, including if retroactively, and the amount of research and development expenses paid or incurred in fiscal 2023, among other factors.
Our future effective tax rate may also be affected by such factors as:
the expiration of legal statutes of limitation and settlements of audits;
the impact of accounting for stock-based compensation and for business combinations;
the recognition of excess tax benefits or deficiencies within the income tax provision or benefit in the period in which they occur;
the overall levels and proportion of our income before provision for income taxes earned in the U.S. and in jurisdictions with a tax rate lower than the U.S. statutory rate; and
other developments related to tax laws or their interpretations, in our business or statutory rates, and in our corporate structure.
For example, numerous other countries have also recently enacted or are considering enacting changes to tax laws, administrative interpretations, decisions, policies and positions. In addition, the Organization for Economic, Co-operation and Development (“OECD”), an international association of countries, including the U.S., has made changes and is contemplating additional changes to numerous long-standing tax principles.
These and any other significant developments related to U.S. or international tax laws could materially adversely affect our effective tax rate, the timing and amount of our tax liabilities and payments, our financial condition and operating results.
Security Risks
Cybersecurity breaches of our systems or the systems of our vendors, partners and suppliers could materially harm our business.
Cyber risks represent a large and growing risk to our business, as we depend upon our IT systems, internally developed and proprietary software and services, as well as the software and systems of SaaS providers, to conduct virtually all of our business operations. Some of the factors that contribute to significant cyber risks include:
We increasingly develop and maintain large data sets and rely on machine learning, artificial intelligence and analytics to provide services to our customers and partners.
Customers conduct purchase and service transactions online, and we store increasing amounts of customer data and host or manage parts of customers’ businesses in cloud-based IT environments.
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We rely on third parties and their systems for a number of our business functions and to sell our products and services as distributors, resellers, system vendors and systems integrators.
Hardware, software and applications that we produce or procure from third parties can contain defects or vulnerabilities, such as the Log4J vulnerability reported in December 2021, that have in the past and could in the future interfere with our systems and processes and introduce defects and vulnerabilities into our products and services.
Our leadership position in the enterprise security industry makes us, our employees and contractors and our products a target of hackers or other threat actors seeking to compromise product security.
Our large and globally distributed workforce may increase our exposure to internal threats and cyber-attacks.
Our products, to function as intended, often require heightened permissions within customer environments, and also serve as underlying technology infrastructure for customers’ other systems, making our products more attractive targets for threat actors.
We are considered an essential supplier in the digital supply chain for the United States government and others, including entities operating critical infrastructure, which makes us and our products a target for those seeking to threaten the confidentiality, availability and integrity of critical infrastructure globally.
Cyber-attacks, which are increasing in number and technical sophistication, threaten to misappropriate our proprietary information, cause interruptions of our IT services, introduce vulnerabilities or malicious files into our IT systems and our products and services, extract financial gain and commit fraud. Hackers and other threat actors often target company employees and contractors in an effort to compromise our IT systems and products using techniques such as email phishing and social engineering, which risk is heightened due to greater numbers of employees and contractors working remotely as a result of the “work from anywhere” movement. We may not be able to anticipate the techniques used in such attacks, as they change frequently and may not be recognized until launched or at all. If unauthorized access or sabotage remains undetected for an extended period of time, or if the source of an incident cannot be determined for an extended period of time, the effects of any such breach, incident or exploit could be exacerbated.
Unauthorized parties (which may have included nation states and individuals sponsored by them, as well as internal actors exceeding access permissions and policies) have penetrated our network security and our website in the past and may do so in the future. We are increasingly targeted for financial gain and fraud by criminal persons and groups that seek to extort or steal funds from companies and employees. Significant and increasing investments of time, resources and management and Board attention have been, and will continue to be, required to anticipate and address cyber-related risks, incidents and challenges. Accordingly, if our cybersecurity systems and those of our contractors, partners and vendors fail to protect against breaches, internal threats or other incidents, our ability to conduct our business could be damaged in a number of ways, including:
sensitive data regarding our business, including intellectual property and other proprietary data, could be stolen;
our IT systems could be disrupted, and our ability to conduct our business operations could be seriously damaged until they are restored and secured;
our supply chain may become compromised, resulting in impact to confidentiality, availability and integrity of our internal or customer-facing systems;
our ability to process and electronically deliver customer orders could be degraded, and our distribution channels could be disrupted, resulting in delays in revenue recognition; and
personally identifiable information or confidential data of our customers, employees and business partners could be stolen or lost.
Should any of the above events occur, or are perceived to have occurred, we could be subject to significant claims for liability from our customers, partners, vendors, or employees (among others); we could face regulatory actions and sanctions from governmental agencies under privacy, data protection, cybersecurity or other laws; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights could be compromised; our ability to attract and retain customers could be negatively impacted; our reputation and competitive position could be materially harmed; we could face material losses as the result of successful financial cyber-fraud schemes; and we could incur significant costs in order to upgrade our cybersecurity systems, remediate damages and defend the Company in any legal, regulatory or legislative proceedings. Consequently, our business, financial condition and operating results could be materially adversely affected.
Our products and services are highly technical and may contain, or be subject to our own or suppliers’, errors, defects or security vulnerabilities.
Our products and services are highly technical and complex and, when deployed, contain errors, defects or security vulnerabilities, some of which may not be discovered before or after a product or service has been released, installed and used
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by customers. The complexity of our technical and production environment, which involves multiple product and engineering teams working on different product initiatives, increases the risk that vulnerabilities or defects are introduced into our products and services and may delay our ability to detect or mitigate such vulnerabilities. The need to coordinate with multiple parties in the supply chain when vulnerabilities are detected can also delay mitigation, thereby increasing risks to customers. Our internal logging, alerting, and cyber incident detection mechanisms may not cover every system potentially targeted by threat actors, may not have the capability to detect certain types of incidents and may not capture and surface information sufficient to enable us to detect and take responsive action. In addition, employees or contractors have introduced vulnerabilities in, and enabled the exploitation of, our IT environments, our software products (and correspondingly our customers’ environments), and our subscription and SaaS offerings in the past and may do so in the future.
Security vulnerabilities in our IT environments, software products or customer environments, installation errors or misuse can also lead to increased cybersecurity risks for customers and partners, including unintended access to or exploitation of our products, which risks are exacerbated if customers fail to implement security recommendations and software updates that we and other IT vendors issue from time to time when significant issues have been identified. Undiscovered or unresolved vulnerabilities in our products or services could expose our customers to hackers, threat actors or other unscrupulous third parties who develop and deploy viruses, worms and other malicious software programs that could attack customers using our products or services. Further, our use of open-source software in our offerings can make our products and services vulnerable to additional security risks not posed by proprietary products.
In the past, VMware has been made aware of public postings by hackers of portions of our source code. It is possible that the released source code could expose unknown security vulnerabilities in our products and services that could be exploited by hackers or others. In addition, public exposure, or exploitation of vulnerabilities in our products by threat actors, could result in reputational damage and lost customers and could negatively affect our operating results and those of our customers.
VMware products and services are also subject to known and unknown security vulnerabilities resulting from integration with products or services of other companies (such as applications, operating systems or semiconductors).
Actual or perceived errors, defects or security vulnerabilities in our products or services could harm our reputation, result in litigation or regulatory actions or lead some customers to return products or services or cancel subscriptions, reduce or delay future purchases or use competitive products or services, any of which could materially negatively impact our business, operating results and stock price.
Problems with our information systems could interfere with our business and could adversely impact our operations.
We rely on our information systems and those of third parties for fulfilling contractual obligations, including processing customer orders, delivering products and providing services, performing accounting operations, supporting our employees, managing employee data and otherwise running our business. If our systems fail, our disaster and data recovery planning and capacity may prove insufficient to enable timely recovery of important functions and business records. Additionally, our information systems may not efficiently support new business models and initiatives, and significant investments could be required in order to upgrade existing or implement new systems. Business requirements may require additional capabilities including implementation of a new information system. In particular, our systems and operations were built to support a perpetual software licensing model, and significant enhancements are required to support our transition to subscription and SaaS products and services. Further, we continuously work to enhance our information systems, such as our enterprise resource planning software, and the implementation of such enhancements is frequently disruptive to the underlying enterprise, which may especially be the case for us due to the size and complexity of our business, and may disrupt internal controls and business processes that could introduce unintended vulnerability to error. Any such disruption to our information systems and those of the third parties upon whom we rely could have a material impact on our business.
Legal and Compliance Risks
We are involved in litigation, investigations and regulatory inquiries and proceedings that could negatively affect us.
As described in Note E (Litigation) to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we are, and may become, involved in various legal and regulatory proceedings, and investigations relating to our business, including with respect to antitrust and competition, breach of contract, class action, commercial, corporate governance, cybersecurity, employment, intellectual property, privacy, securities, and whistleblower matters. Matters such as these may impact our business in different ways. Intellectual property infringement claims, for example, may seek injunctive relief or other court orders that could prevent us from offering our products. As a result, we might be required to seek a license for the use of such intellectual property, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or we may be required to develop non-infringing technology, which could require significant effort and expense and may ultimately not be successful. Because we generally indemnify our customers and partners from intellectual property infringement claims in connection with the use of our products, we may be called on to defend these customers and partners in litigation. From time to time, we also receive inquiries from and have discussions with government entities regarding our compliance with laws and
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regulations. Such litigation, investigations, regulatory inquiries, and proceedings can be unpredictable and time-consuming, divert management’s attention and resources, and cause us to incur significant expenses. Allegations made in connection with these matters may harm our reputation, regardless of their merit and could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, cash flows or results of operations if decided adversely to or settled by us.
We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property rights.
We depend on our ability to protect our proprietary technology. We rely on trade secret, patent, copyright and trademark laws and confidentiality agreements with employees and third parties, all of which offer only limited protection. As such, despite our efforts, the steps we have taken to protect our proprietary rights may not be adequate to prevent misappropriation of our proprietary information or infringement of our intellectual property rights, and our ability to police such misappropriation or infringement is uncertain, particularly in countries outside of the U.S. In addition, we rely on confidentiality and license agreements with third parties in connection with their use of our products and technology. There is no guarantee that such parties will abide by the terms of such agreements or that we will be able to adequately enforce our rights, in part because we rely on “click-wrap” and “shrink-wrap” licenses in some instances.
Detecting and protecting against the unauthorized use of our products, technology proprietary rights and intellectual property rights is expensive, difficult, uncertain and, in some cases, impossible. Litigation is necessary from time to time to enforce or defend our intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets or to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others. Despite our efforts, we may not be able to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating our intellectual property, which could result in a substantial loss of our market share.
Actual or perceived non-compliance with privacy and data protection laws, regulations and standards could adversely impact our business.
Our business is subject to laws and regulations by various federal, state and international legislative and governmental agencies responsible for legislating, monitoring and enforcing privacy and data protection laws (“Data Privacy Laws”). The regulatory framework regarding the collection, protection, use, transfer and disclosure of personal information is rapidly evolving, and Data Privacy Laws are subject to new and changing interpretations and amendments, creating uncertainty and additional legal obligations for ourselves, our partners, vendors and customers. We expect that there will continue to be newly proposed or changes to interpretations of existing Data Privacy Laws and industry standards, including self-regulatory standards advocated by industry groups, in various jurisdictions globally, and we may not be able to appropriately anticipate or timely respond to the impacts such and similar developments may have on our business or the businesses of our partners, vendors and customers.
We continue to regularly enhance our policies and controls across our business relating to how we and our business partners collect, protect and use customer and employee personal information. Ongoing changes to the regulatory landscape will likely increase the cost and complexity of our business relationships, internal operations and the delivery of our products and services. In addition, this may affect our ability to run promotions and effectively market our offerings and could subsequently impact the demand for our products and services.
Any actual or perceived failure by us or our business partners to comply with Data Privacy Laws, the privacy commitments contained in our contracts, or the privacy notices we have posted on our website could subject us to investigations, sanctions, enforcement actions, negative financial consequences, civil and criminal liability or injunctions. For example, failure to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation requirements may lead to fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the annual global revenues of the infringer, whichever is greater. Additionally, as a technology provider, our customers expect us to demonstrate compliance with current Data Privacy Laws and further make contractual commitments and implement processes to enable the customer to comply with their own obligations under Data Protection Laws, and our actual or perceived inability to do so may adversely impact sales of our products and services, particularly to customers in highly regulated industries. As a result, our reputation and brand may be harmed, we could incur significant costs, and our financial and operating results could be materially adversely affected.
Our use of “open source” software in our products could negatively affect our ability to sell our products and subject us to litigation.
Many of our products and services incorporate so-called “open source” software, and we may incorporate open source software into other products and services in the future. Open source software is generally licensed by its authors or other third parties under open source licenses. Open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or assurance of title or controls on origin of the software, which exposes us to potential liability if the software fails to work or infringes the intellectual property of a third party.
We monitor our use of open source software in an effort to avoid subjecting our products to conditions we do not intend and avoid exposing us to unacceptable financial risk. However, the processes we follow to monitor our use of open source
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software could fail to achieve their intended result. In addition, although we believe that we have complied with our obligations under the various applicable licenses for open source software that we use, there is little or no legal precedent governing the interpretation of terms in most of these licenses, which increases the risk that a court could interpret the licenses differently than we do.
From time to time, we receive inquiries or claims from authors or distributors of open source software included in our products regarding our compliance with the conditions of one or more open source licenses. An adverse outcome to a claim could require us to:
pay significant damages;
stop distributing our products that contain the open source software;
revise or modify our product code to remove alleged infringing code;
release the source code of our proprietary software; or
take other steps to avoid or remedy an alleged infringement.
We have faced and successfully defended against allegations of copyright infringement and failing to comply with the terms of an open source license, but we can provide no assurances that we will not face similar lawsuits with respect to our use of open source software in the future, nor what the outcome of any such lawsuits may be.

If we fail to comply with government contracting regulations, our business could be adversely affected.
Our contracts with federal, state, local and non-U.S. governmental customers and our arrangements with distributors and resellers who may sell directly to governmental customers are subject to various procurement regulations, contract provisions and other requirements relating to their formation, administration and performance. Any failure by us to comply with government contracting regulations (such as cybersecurity- and COVID-19-related requirements) could result in the imposition of various civil and criminal penalties, which may include termination of contracts, forfeiture of profits, suspension of payments, fines and suspension from future government contracting, any of which could adversely affect our business, operating results or financial condition. Further, any negative publicity related to our government contracts or any proceedings surrounding them, regardless of accuracy, may damage our business and affect our ability to compete for new contracts.
Some of our directors have potential conflicts of interest with Dell.
The Chairman of our Board of Directors, Michael Dell, is also Chairman and CEO of Dell and is a significant stockholder of Dell, and one of our directors, Egon Durban, serves on the Dell board of directors and as managing partner of Silver Lake Partners, a significant stockholder of Dell. Ownership of Dell common stock by our directors and the presence of executive officers or directors of Dell on our board of directors could create, or appear to create, conflicts of interest with respect to matters involving both us and Dell that could have different implications for Dell than they do for us. Our Board has approved resolutions that address corporate opportunities that are presented to Messrs. Dell and Durban. These provisions may not adequately address potential conflicts of interest or ensure that potential conflicts of interest will be resolved in our favor. As a result, we may not be able to take advantage of corporate opportunities presented to individuals who are directors of both us and Dell and we may be precluded from pursuing certain growth initiatives.
Risks Related to Owning Our Class A Common Stock
The MSD Stockholders and the SLP Stockholders have significant influence over us, and their interests may conflict with our interests and the interests of our other stockholders.
As a result of the Spin-Off, the MSD Stockholders and SLP Stockholders became direct beneficial holders of VMware with interests representing 40.2% and 10.0%, respectively, of our outstanding stock, based on the number of shares outstanding as of March 15, 2022. As a result, the MSD Stockholders and the SLP Stockholders have significant influence over all matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors and significant corporate transactions, such as a merger or other sale of our company or our assets. The interests of the MSD Stockholders or the SLP Stockholders could conflict with or differ from our interests or the interests of our other stockholders. For example, the concentration of voting power held by the MSD Stockholders and SLP Stockholders could delay, defer or prevent a change of control of us or impede a merger, takeover or other business combination which we or others of our stockholders may view favorably. Effective upon the consummation of the Spin-Off, we entered into a stockholders agreement pursuant to which the MSD Stockholders have the right to nominate up to two members of our Board and the SLP Stockholders have the right to nominate one member of our Board, subject to maintaining certain ownership thresholds. Michael Dell, the Chairman of our Board, is the first MSD Stockholders nominee; the MSD Stockholders have the right to nominate a second member of the Board. Egon Durban is the SLP Stockholders’ nominee. This concentrated control may negatively impact other stockholders’ ability to influence corporate matters and may also adversely affect our stock price. The MSD Stockholders and SLP Stockholders collectively beneficially own 62.9% of
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Dell’s outstanding stock as of March 15, 2022. Accordingly, their interests may not be aligned with other VMware stockholders with respect to actions involving or impacting Dell.
The price of our Class A common stock has fluctuated significantly in recent years and may fluctuate significantly in the future.
The trading price of our Class A common stock has fluctuated significantly in the past and could fluctuate substantially in the future, and stockholders’ investments in our stock could lose some or all of their value. The stock market in general and technology companies in particular have often experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations. Neither the MSD Stockholders nor the SLP Stockholders are restricted from selling their respective shares, and each is entitled to certain registration rights. If a significant number of these shares enters the public trading markets in a short period of time, the market price of our Class A common stock may decline. Broad market and industry factors may also decrease the market price of our Class A common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance. Additionally, fluctuations and declines in our stock price have been, and in the future may be, due to, among other reasons, the factors discussed in this Risk Factors section and elsewhere in this report, as well as:
our ability to meet or exceed the forward-looking guidance we have given, to give forward-looking guidance consistent with past practice and any changes to or withdrawal of previous guidance or long-range targets;
trading activity by directors, executive officers, significant stockholders or a limited number of stockholders who together beneficially own a significant portion of our outstanding common stock, or the market’s perception that such holders intend to sell;
the inclusion or exclusion of our stock from any trading indices, such as the S&P 500 Index;
speculation in the press and on social media; and
changes in recommendations regarding our stock or more favorable relative recommendations about our competitors by the industry or securities analysts who cover and publish about us, our business, our competitors, or the markets in which we compete.
In addition, to direct value lost, volatility or declines in our stock price may adversely affect our ability to retain key employees, most of whom are compensated, in part, based on the performance of our stock price. In the past, following periods of volatility in the overall market and the market price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted, including against us, and, if not resolved swiftly, can result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources.
Anti-takeover provisions in Delaware law and our charter documents could discourage takeover attempts.
Certain provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. These provisions include the following:
the division of our board of directors into three classes, with each class serving for a staggered three-year term, which prevents stockholders from electing an entirely new board of directors at any annual meeting;
that any director may only be removed for cause and only by the affirmative vote of holders of at least a majority of the votes entitled to be cast to elect any such director;
the right of the board of directors to elect a director to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of the board of directors;
the prohibition of cumulative voting in the election of directors or any other matters, which would otherwise allow less than a majority of stockholders to elect director candidates;
the requirement for advance notice for nominations for election to the board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon at a stockholders’ meeting;
the ability of the board of directors to issue, without stockholder approval, up to 100,000,000 shares of preferred stock with terms set by the board of directors, which rights could be senior to those of common stock; and
stockholders may not act by written consent and may not call special meetings of the stockholders.
In addition, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company and could reduce the price that investors may be willing to pay for shares of our common stock. Section 203 imposes certain restrictions on merger, business combinations and other transactions between us and large stockholders, in particular those owning 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock.
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Our bylaws provide for an exclusive forum for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.
Our bylaws include a provision providing that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum for the following types of actions or proceedings under Delaware statutory or common law:
any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf;
any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by, or other wrongdoing by, any of our directors, officers, employees or stockholders to us or to our stockholders;
any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law or as to which the Delaware General Corporation Law confers jurisdiction on the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware; or
any action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine.
This provision would not apply to suits brought to enforce any duty or liability created by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). Furthermore, Section 22 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) creates concurrent jurisdiction for federal and state courts over all such Securities Act actions.
While the Delaware courts have determined that exclusive forum provisions are facially valid, a stockholder may nevertheless seek to bring a claim in a venue other than the one we have designated. In such instance, we would expect to vigorously assert the validity and enforceability of the exclusive forum provision of our bylaws, which may require significant expenditures of resources, and, ultimately, there can be no assurance that the provisions would be enforced by a court in those other jurisdictions. This exclusive forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or other employees and may discourage these types of lawsuits. If a court were to find the exclusive forum provision contained in our bylaws to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs to resolve such action in other jurisdictions.
General Risks
We are exposed to foreign exchange risks.
We conduct a meaningful portion of our business in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, but report our operating results in U.S. dollars. Accordingly, our operating results are subject to fluctuations in currency exchange rates. The realized gain or loss on foreign currency transactions is dependent upon the types of foreign currency transactions into which we enter, the exchange rates associated with these transactions and changes in those rates, the net realized gain or loss on our foreign currency forward contracts, among other factors. Although we hedge a portion of our foreign currency exposure, significant fluctuations in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies have adversely affected, and may adversely affect in the future, our operating results. For example, the economic uncertainty introduced by Brexit resulted in significant volatility in the value of the British pound and other currencies, and the COVID-19 pandemic may make it more difficult for us to accurately forecast future transactions in foreign currencies and cause us to have to modify hedging positions, thereby adversely impacting the efficacy of our foreign currency hedging strategy and our operating results. Any future weakening of foreign currency exchange rates against the U.S. dollar would likely result in additional adverse impacts on our revenue.
If our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets become impaired, we may be required to record a significant charge to earnings.
We may not realize all the economic benefit from our business acquisitions, which could result in an impairment of goodwill or intangibles. As of January 28, 2022, goodwill and amortizable intangible assets were $9.6 billion and $714 million, respectively. We review our goodwill and amortizable intangible assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. We test goodwill for impairment at least annually. Factors that may lead to impairment include a substantial decline in stock price and market capitalization or cash flows, reduced future cash flow estimates related to the assets and slower growth rates in our industry. We may be required to record a significant charge in our financial statements during the period in which any impairment of our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets is determined, which would negatively impact our operating results.
Changes in accounting principles and guidance could result in unfavorable accounting charges or effects.
We prepare our consolidated financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. These principles are subject to interpretation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and various bodies formed to create and interpret appropriate accounting principles and guidance. A change in these principles or guidance, or in their interpretations, may have a material effect on our reported results, as well as our processes and related controls, and may retroactively affect previously reported results.
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Natural disasters, catastrophic events or geo-political conditions could disrupt our business.
A significant natural disaster, such as an earthquake, fire, flood or other act of God, catastrophic event or pandemic, abrupt political change, terrorist activity and armed conflict, and any similar disruption, as well as any derivative disruption, such as those to services provided through localized physical infrastructure, including utility or telecommunication outages, or any to the continuity of our, our partners’ and our customers’ workforce, could have a material adverse impact on our business and operating results. Our worldwide operations are dependent on our network infrastructure, internal technology systems and website, as well as our intellectual property and personnel, significant portions of which, including our corporate headquarters, are located in California, a region known for seismic activity, fires and floods. Disruption to these dependencies may negatively impact our ability to respond to customer requests, process orders, provide services and maintain local and global business continuity. Delays or cancellations of customer orders or the deployment or availability of our products and services, for example, could materially impact our revenue. Furthermore, some of our newer product initiatives, offerings and business functions are hosted or carried out by third parties that may be vulnerable to these same types of disruptions, the response to or resolution of which may be beyond our control. Additionally, any such disruption could cause us to incur significant costs to repair damages to our facilities, equipment, infrastructure and business relationships.
Climate change may have a long-term negative impact on our business.
Risks related to rapid climate change, such as extreme weather conditions, sea-level rise, drought, flooding and wildfires, may have an increasingly adverse impact on our business and those of our customers, partners and vendors in the longer term. While we seek to mitigate the business risks associated with climate change for our operations, there are inherent climate-related risks wherever business is conducted. Access to clean water and reliable energy in the communities where we conduct our business, whether for our offices, data centers, vendors, customers or other stakeholders, is a priority. Any of our primary locations may be vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and the impacts of extreme weather events, which have caused regional short-term systemic failures in the U.S. and elsewhere. For example, our California headquarters are projected to be vulnerable to future water scarcity due to climate change, and unanticipated extreme cold weather has resulted in electrical grid outages in Texas where many of our U.S. employees are located. While this danger currently has a low-assessed risk of disrupting normal business operations in the near term, it has the potential to impact employees’ abilities to commute to work or to work from home and stay connected effectively. Climate-related events, including the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, their impact on critical infrastructure in the U.S. and internationally and their potential to increase political instability in regions where we, our customers, partners and our vendors do business, have the potential to disrupt our business, our third-party suppliers, or the business of our customers and partners, and may cause us to experience higher attrition and additional costs to maintain or resume operations. Climate change and environmental regulations may result in changes in the supply, demand or available sources of energy or other resources that could adversely impact the availability or cost of goods and services, including natural resources necessary to run our business. Additionally, changes in climate in the locations where we operate may increase the costs of powering and cooling the computer hardware we use to develop software and deliver our subscription and SaaS-based offerings as well as the costs of carbon offsets that we may procure from time to time as we pursue our carbon-neutral objectives.
Social and ethical issues, including our ability to make progress on our ESG goals and commitments, may result in reputational harm and liability.
In December 2020, we announced our 2030 Agenda, which represents our ESG strategy focused on sustainability, equity and trust. Our public commitments include promoting environmental sustainability and decarbonization; human capital development and diversity, equity and inclusion; and cybersecurity, privacy, digital ethics and transparent business practices. Each of these are areas of increasing scrutiny from the investment community, customers, employees, partners, suppliers and communities who expect us to report transparently on our progress. In order to meet expectations from our stakeholders, we are working to align our reporting with emerging disclosure and accounting standards such as the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (“TCFD”), the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) and the Global Reporting Initiative as well as potential new disclosure requirements from regulators such as the SEC while we also seek to report timely on progress toward our 2030 Agenda objectives. In order to do so, we are working to develop internal operational, information and data assurance systems that will enable us to accurately report on these matters on a timely basis. If we fail to report accurately or on a timely basis or fail to anticipate reporting requirements and expectations in this emerging area, our reputation may be adversely affected, and we could be exposed to increased risk of litigation. Additionally, if we are perceived as failing to make or accurately report on our progress on our ESG goals or to follow through on our commitments, our brand and our reputation may be harmed, we may be exposed to increased risk of litigation, our ability to attract and retain employees may be damaged and our financial performance and stock price may be adversely affected.
ITEM 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
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ITEM 2.PROPERTIES
As of January 28, 2022, we owned or leased the facilities described below:
LocationApproximate
Sq. Ft.
Principal Use(s)
Palo Alto, CAowned:1,604,769 (1)Executive and administrative offices, sales and marketing and R&D
North and Latin American regionleased:1,851,268 Administrative offices, sales and marketing, R&D and data center
Asia Pacific regionleased:2,370,984 Administrative offices, sales and marketing, R&D and data center
Europe, Middle East and Africa regionleased:838,623 Administrative offices, sales and marketing, R&D and data center
(1) Represents all of the right, title and interest purchased in ground leases, which expire in fiscal 2047, covering the property and improvements located at VMware’s Palo Alto, California campus.
We believe that our current facilities will support our employee headcount through fiscal 2023 while working in a distributed manner that empowers our people to work from any location, consistent with business requirements. We review our real estate on an ongoing basis to support our growing employee base and operational excellence.
ITEM 3.LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
Refer to Note E to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a description of legal proceedings. See also the risk factor entitled “We are involved in litigation, investigations and regulatory inquiries and proceedings that could negatively affect us” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of potential risks to our results of operations and financial condition that may arise from legal proceedings.
ITEM 4.MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.
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PART II
ITEM 5.     MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Market Information
Our Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share (“Class A Stock”), trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VMW.
Holders
On November 1, 2021, our spin-off from Dell Technologies Inc. (“Dell”) (the “Spin-Off”) was completed. Automatically as a result of the Spin-Off, each share of our Class B convertible common Stock (“Class B Stock”) converted into one fully paid and non-assessable share of Class A Stock. As of March 15, 2022, we had 3,809 holders of record of our Class A Stock.
Dividends
Subsequent to our initial public offering in August 2007, we have not declared or paid regular cash dividends on our common stock.
On November 1, 2021, in accordance with the Separation and Distribution Agreement entered into with Dell, effective as of April 14, 2021 (the “Separation Agreement”), upon the satisfaction of all conditions and immediately prior to the Spin-Off, we paid an $11.5 billion cash dividend, pro rata, to each of the holders of Class A Stock and Class B Stock, including Dell (the “Special Dividend”) as of October 29, 2021 (the “Record Date”).
We currently do not anticipate declaring any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to declare cash dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
    None.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Issuer purchases of Class A common stock during the three months ended January 28, 2022 were as follows:
Total Number of Shares Purchased
Average Price Paid Per Share(1)
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Publicly Announced Plans or Programs(2)
October 30 – November 26, 2021— $— — $2,000,000,000 
November 27 – December 24, 2021690,097 114.63 690,097 1,920,892,141 
December 25, 2021 – January 28, 20221,807,869 120.29 1,807,869 1,703,415,827 
2,497,966 $118.73 2,497,966 1,703,415,827 
(1)The average price paid per share excludes commissions.
(2) On October 7, 2021, VMware authorized the termination of the existing stock repurchase program authorized in July 2020 and authorized a new repurchase program of up to $2.0 billion of Class A common stock through the end of fiscal 2024, effective upon the consummation of the Spin-Off from Dell on November 1, 2021Amounts remaining exclude commissions. Refer to Note Q to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information.
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Stock Performance Graph
The graph below compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our Class A common stock with the cumulative total return on the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Systems Software index for the period beginning on February 3, 2017 through January 28, 2022, assuming an initial investment of $100. The stockholder return assumes reinvestment of dividends.vmw-20220128_g1.jpg
Base Period
2/3/2017
2/2/20182/1/20191/31/20201/29/20211/28/2022
VMware, Inc.$100.00 $137.97 $203.69 $200.37 $186.55 $213.06 
S&P 500 Index100.00 122.64 122.57 148.99 174.69 211.38 
S&P 500 Systems Software Index100.00 141.76 158.98 251.76 345.14 459.29 
Note: The stock price performance shown on the graph above is not necessarily indicative of future price performance. This graph shall not be deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Exchange Act or otherwise subject to the liabilities of that section nor shall it be deemed incorporated by reference in any filing under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, regardless of any general incorporation language in such filing.
ITEM 6.[Reserved]
ITEM 7.    MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following management’s discussion and analysis is provided in addition to the accompanying consolidated financial statements and notes to assist in understanding our results of operations and financial condition.
Our fiscal year is the 52 or 53 weeks ending on the Friday nearest to January 31 of each year. We refer to our fiscal year ending February 3, 2023 and fiscal years ended January 28, 2022, January 29, 2021 and January 31, 2020 as “fiscal 2023,” “fiscal 2022,” “fiscal 2021,” and “fiscal 2020,” respectively. Fiscal 2023 is a 53-week fiscal year, while fiscal 2022, fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2020 were each 52-week fiscal years.
Period-over-period changes are calculated based upon the respective underlying non-rounded data. Unless the context requires otherwise, we are referring to VMware, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries when we use the terms “VMware,” the “Company,” “we,” “our” or “us.”
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Discussion regarding our financial condition and results of operations for fiscal 2021 as compared to fiscal 2020 that are not included in this Form 10-K can be found in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 29, 2021, filed with the SEC on March 26, 2021.
Overview
We originally pioneered the development and application of virtualization technologies with x86 server-based computing, separating application software from the underlying hardware, and then evolved to become the private cloud and mobility management leader. Building upon that leadership, we are focused on becoming the multi-cloud leader. Information technology (“IT”) driven innovation continues to disrupt markets and industries. Technologies emerge faster than organizations can absorb, creating increasingly complex environments. Organizations’ IT departments and corporate divisions are working at an accelerated pace to harness new technologies, platforms and cloud models, ultimately guiding businesses and their product teams through a digital transformation. To take on these challenges, we are helping customers drive their multi-cloud strategy by providing the multi-cloud platform for all applications, enabling digital innovation and enterprise control.
Our portfolio supports and addresses our customers’ key priorities, including modernizing their applications, managing multi-cloud environments, accelerating their cloud journey, modernizing the network using commodity hardware, embracing zero-trust security and empowering anywhere workspaces. We enable digital transformation of customers’ applications, infrastructure and operations for their constantly evolving business and employee needs.
End users can purchase the full breadth of our subscription, SaaS, license and services portfolio through discrete purchases or through enterprise agreements (“EAs”). EAs are sold to our direct customers and through channel partners and can include our license, multi-year maintenance and support, subscription and SaaS offerings. We continue to experience strong renewals resulting in additional sales of both our existing and newer products and solutions.
During fiscal 2022, we continued to see an increase in the portion of our sales occurring through our subscription and SaaS offerings compared to the portion of our on-premises solutions sold as perpetual licenses. We expect this trend to continue and as a result, a greater portion of our revenue will be recognized over time as subscription and SaaS revenue rather than license revenue, which is typically recognized in the fiscal period in which sales occur. As this trend continues, the rate of growth in our license revenue, which has historically been viewed as a leading indicator of our business performance, may be less relevant on a standalone basis, and we believe that the overall growth rate of our combined license and subscription and SaaS revenue and annual recurring revenue for subscription and SaaS, as well as the growth in the current portion of our remaining performance obligations, will become better indicators of our future growth prospects. In addition, we expect our operating margin to be negatively impacted in fiscal 2023 as a result of our incremental investment in our subscription and SaaS portfolio.
Global Events
Suspension of Business Operations in Russia
In response to Russian military actions in Ukraine occurring subsequent to fiscal 2022, we suspended business operations in Russia and Belarus, including suspension of sales, support on existing contracts and professional services in both countries. Furthermore, the U.S. and other countries have imposed sanctions on Russia that could impact the fulfillment of our existing orders and our future revenue streams from impacted customers. The impact to our fiscal 2022 financial statements was not material, and we are unable to estimate the financial impact of these events on our operations in future periods. We will closely monitor the impact of these events on all aspects of our business.
COVID-19 Impact
The worldwide spread of COVID-19 resulted in a global slowdown of economic activity while also disrupting sales channels and marketing activities and the COVID-19 pandemic may cause economic disruption and market volatility in future periods. Although the pandemic has not had the level of financial impact on our business we initially expected, we did experience negative impacts on our sales and certain of our financial results and there continues to be uncertainty regarding the magnitude and duration of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the extent to which it will have a negative impact on our sales and our financial results into fiscal 2023. We continue to closely monitor the impact of the pandemic on all aspects of our business.
Spin-Off and Special Dividend
On November 1, 2021, the Spin-Off from Dell was completed, and, in accordance with the Separation Agreement, upon the satisfaction of all conditions and immediately prior to the Spin-Off, we paid an $11.5 billion cash dividend, pro rata, to each of the holders of Common Stock, including Dell (the “Special Dividend”), as of the close of business on October 29, 2021 (the “Record Date”). Based upon the number of shares of Common Stock held by Dell as of the Record Date, approximately $9.3 billion in cash was paid to Dell. Automatically as a result of the Spin-Off, each share of Class B Stock converted into one
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fully paid and non-assessable share of Class A Stock. Refer to Note A to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for more information regarding the Spin-Off and Special Dividend.
As we were a majority-owned and controlled subsidiary of Dell through October 29, 2021, our results of operations and financial position through October 29, 2021 were consolidated with Dell’s financial statements.
Results of Operations
Approximately 70% of our sales are denominated in the United States (“U.S.”) dollar. In certain countries, however, we also invoice and collect in various foreign currencies, principally euro, British pound, Japanese yen, Australian dollar and Chinese renminbi. In addition, we incur and pay operating expenses in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. As a result, our financial statements, including our revenue, operating expenses, unearned revenue and the resulting cash flows derived from the U.S. dollar equivalent of foreign currency transactions, are affected by foreign exchange fluctuations.
Revenue
Our revenue during the periods presented was as follows (dollars in millions): 
For the Year EndedFiscal YearFiscal Year
January 28,January 29,January 31,2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
 202220212020$ Change% Change$ Change% Change
Revenue:
License$3,128 $3,033 $3,181 $95 %$(149)(5)%
Subscription and SaaS3,205 2,587 1,877 617 24 711 38 
Total license and subscription and SaaS6,333 5,620 5,058 713 13 562 11 
Services:
Software maintenance5,356 5,105 4,754 252 351 
Professional services1,162 1,042 999 120 11 43 
Total services6,518 6,147 5,753 371 394 
Total revenue$12,851 $11,767 $10,811 $1,084 $956 
Revenue:
United States$6,232 $5,878 $5,405 $354 %$473 %
International6,619 5,889 5,406 730 12 483 
Total revenue$12,851 $11,767 $10,811 $1,084 $956 
Revenue from our subscription offerings consisted primarily of our VCPP cloud-based offerings that are billed to customers on a consumption basis and revenue from VMware Tanzu and other offerings that are billed on a subscription basis. Revenue from our SaaS offerings consisted primarily of our Workspace ONE Unified Endpoint Management, VMware Carbon Black Cloud, VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud and CloudHealth by VMware.
License revenue relating to the sale of on-premises licenses that are part of a multi-year contract is generally recognized upon delivery of the underlying license, whereas revenue derived from our subscription and SaaS offerings is generally recognized over time as customers consume the services or ratably over the term of the subscription, commencing upon provisioning of the service.
As customers adopt our subscription and SaaS offerings, license and software maintenance revenue may be lower and subject to greater fluctuation in the future, driven by a higher proportion of our sales occurring through our subscription and SaaS offerings as well as the variability of large deals between fiscal quarters, which deals historically have had a large license revenue impact.
License Revenue
License revenue increased during fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021, primarily driven by an increase in term license revenue, which was $442 million during fiscal 2022 compared to $119 million during fiscal 2021. The growth in term license was primarily due to certain customers moving from perpetual license to term license.
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Subscription and SaaS Revenue
Subscription and SaaS revenue increased during fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021, primarily due to increased sales of our VCPP, Workspace ONE, VMware Tanzu, VMware Carbon Black Cloud, vRealize Cloud Management and VMware Cloud on AWS offerings.
Annual recurring revenue (“ARR”) represents the annualized value of our committed customer subscription and SaaS contracts as of the end of the reporting period, assuming any contract that expires during the next 12 months is renewed on its existing terms, except that, for consumption-based subscription and SaaS offerings, ARR represents the annualized quarterly revenue based on revenue recognized for the current reporting period. ARR is an operating measure we use to assess the strength of our subscription and SaaS offerings. ARR is a performance metric and should be viewed independently of, and not as a substitute for or combined with, revenue and unearned revenue. ARR was $3.6 billion as of January 28, 2022 and $2.9 billion as of January 29, 2021.
Services Revenue
During fiscal 2022 and fiscal 2021, software maintenance revenue continued to benefit from maintenance contracts sold in previous periods. In each period presented, customers purchased, on a weighted-average basis, greater than three years of support and maintenance with each new license purchased.
Professional services revenue increased during fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021. Services we provide through our consultants and technical account managers and our continued focus on solution deployments, including our networking, security, cloud management and digital workspace offerings, contributed to the increase in professional services revenue. We continue to also focus on enabling our partners to deliver professional services for our solutions, and as such, our professional services revenue may vary as we continue to leverage our partners. The timing of services rendered will also impact the amount of professional services revenue we recognize during a period.
Unearned Revenue
Unearned revenue as of the periods presented consisted of the following (table in millions): 
January 28,January 29,
20222021
Unearned license revenue$19 $15 
Unearned subscription and SaaS revenue2,669 1,998 
Unearned software maintenance revenue7,208 7,092 
Unearned professional services revenue1,326 1,209 
Total unearned revenue$11,222 $10,314 
Unearned subscription and SaaS revenue is generally recognized over time as customers consume the services or ratably over the term of the subscription, commencing upon provisioning of the service.
Unearned software maintenance revenue is attributable to our maintenance contracts and is generally recognized ratably over the contract duration. The weighted-average remaining contractual term as of January 28, 2022 was approximately two years. Unearned professional services revenue results primarily from prepaid professional services and is generally recognized as the services are performed.
Remaining Performance Obligations and Backlog
Remaining Performance Obligations
Remaining performance obligations represent the aggregate amount of the transaction price in contracts allocated to performance obligations not delivered, or partially undelivered, as of the end of the reporting period. Remaining performance obligations include unearned revenue, multi-year contracts with future installment payments and certain unfulfilled orders against accepted non-cancellable customer contracts at the end of any given period.
As of January 28, 2022, the aggregate transaction price allocated to remaining performance obligations was $12.0 billion, of which approximately 57% is expected to be recognized as revenue over the next twelve months and the remainder thereafter. As of January 29, 2021, the aggregate transaction price allocated to remaining performance obligations was $11.3 billion, of which approximately 55% was expected to be recognized as revenue during fiscal 2022 and the remainder thereafter.
Backlog
Backlog is comprised of unfulfilled purchase orders or unfulfilled executed agreements at the end of a given period and is net of related estimated rebates and marketing development funds. Backlog consists of licenses, subscription and SaaS and
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services. As of January 28, 2022, our total backlog was $88 million and our backlog related to licenses was $14 million. For our backlog related to licenses, we generally expect to deliver and recognize revenue during the following quarter. Backlog totaling $36 million as of January 28, 2022 was excluded from the remaining performance obligations because such contracts are subject to cancellation until the performance obligation is fulfilled.
As of January 29, 2021, our total backlog was $93 million and our backlog related to licenses was $23 million. Backlog totaling $18 million as of January 29, 2021 was excluded from the remaining performance obligations because such contracts are subject to cancellation until the performance obligation is fulfilled.
The amount and composition of backlog will fluctuate period to period and backlog is managed based upon multiple considerations, including product and geography. We do not believe the amount of backlog is indicative of future sales or revenue or that the mix of backlog at the end of any given period correlates with actual sales performance of a particular geography or particular products and services.
Cost of License Revenue, Cost of Subscription and SaaS Revenue, Cost of Services Revenue and Operating Expenses
Collectively, our cost of license revenue, cost of subscription and SaaS revenue, cost of services revenue and operating expenses primarily reflected increasing cash-based employee-related expenses, driven by incremental growth in headcount and salaries across most of our income statement expense categories during fiscal 2022.
Cost of License Revenue
Cost of license revenue primarily consists of the cost of fulfillment of our SD-WAN offerings, royalty costs in connection with technology licensed from third-party providers and amortization of intangible assets. The cost of fulfillment of our software and hardware SD-WAN offerings includes personnel costs and related overhead associated with delivery of our products.
Cost of license revenue during the periods presented was as follows (dollars in millions):
For the Year EndedFiscal YearFiscal Year
January 28,January 29,January 31,2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
 202220212020$ Change% Change$ Change% Change
Cost of license revenue$151 $162 $165 $(11)(7)%$(3)(2)%
Stock-based compensation— (14)— 
Total expenses$152 $163 $166 $(11)(7)$(3)(2)
% of License revenue%%%
Cost of license revenue decreased slightly in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021.
Cost of Subscription and SaaS Revenue
Cost of subscription and SaaS revenue primarily includes personnel costs and related overhead associated with hosted services supporting our SaaS offerings. Additionally, cost of subscription and SaaS revenue also includes depreciation of equipment supporting our subscription and SaaS offerings.
Cost of subscription and SaaS revenue during the periods presented was as follows (dollars in millions):
For the Year EndedFiscal YearFiscal Year
January 28,January 29,January 31,2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
202220212020$ Change% Change$ Change% Change
Cost of subscription and SaaS revenue$669 $569 $387 $100 18 %$182 47 %
Stock-based compensation21 19 13 45 
Total expenses$690 $588 $400 $102 17 $188 47 
% of Subscription and SaaS revenue22 %23 %21 %
Cost of subscription and SaaS revenue increased in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021. The increase was primarily driven by growth in costs associated with hosted services to support our SaaS offerings of $53 million and growth in cash-based employee-related costs of $43 million, which was primarily driven by incremental growth in headcount. These increases were partially offset by decreased amortization of intangible assets of $15 million.
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Cost of Services Revenue
Cost of services revenue primarily includes the costs of personnel and related overhead to deliver technical support for our products and costs to deliver professional services. Additionally, cost of services revenue includes depreciation of equipment supporting our service offerings.
Cost of services revenue during the periods presented was as follows (dollars in millions):
For the Year EndedFiscal YearFiscal Year
January 28,January 29,January 31,2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
202220212020$ Change% Change$ Change% Change
Cost of services revenue$1,337 $1,193 $1,150 $143 12 %$42 %
Stock-based compensation92 99 83 (7)(7)16 20 
Total expenses$1,429 $1,292 $1,233 $137 11 $59 
% of Services revenue22 %21 %21 %
Cost of services revenue increased in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021. The increase was primarily due to growth in cash-based employee-related expenses of $110 million, primarily driven by incremental growth in headcount and salaries. The increase was also driven by increased third-party professional services costs of $26 million.
Research and Development Expenses
Research and development expenses include the personnel and related overhead associated with the development of our products and services offerings. We continue to invest in and focus on expanding our subscription and SaaS offerings.
Research and development expenses during the periods presented were as follows (dollars in millions):
For the Year EndedFiscal YearFiscal Year
January 28,January 29,January 31,2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
202220212020$ Change% Change$ Change% Change
Research and development$2,529 $2,292 $2,063 $237 10 %$228 11 %
Stock-based compensation528 524 459 65 14 
Total expenses$3,057 $2,816 $2,522 $241 $294 12 
% of Total revenue24 %24 %23 %
Research and development expenses increased in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021. The increase was primarily due to growth in cash-based employee-related expenses of $229 million, primarily driven by incremental growth in headcount and salaries, as well as increased equipment and depreciation of $42 million and increased third-party professional services cost of $16 million. These increases were partially offset by increased capitalized internal-use software development costs of $63 million.
Sales and Marketing Expenses
Sales and marketing expenses include personnel costs, sales commissions and related overhead associated with the sale and marketing of our license, subscription and SaaS and services offerings, as well as the cost of product launches and marketing initiatives. A significant portion of our sales commissions are deferred and recognized over the expected period of benefit.
Sales and marketing expenses during the periods presented were as follows (dollars in millions):
For the Year EndedFiscal YearFiscal Year
January 28,January 29,January 31,2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
202220212020$ Change% Change$ Change% Change
Sales and marketing$3,765 $3,389 $3,384 $375 11 %$— %
Stock-based compensation302 322 293 (20)(6)28 
Total expenses$4,067 $3,711 $3,677 $356 10 $34 
% of Total revenue32 %32 %34 %
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Sales and marketing expenses increased in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021. The increase was primarily due to growth in cash-based employee-related expenses of $264 million, primarily driven by incremental growth in headcount and salaries, as well as higher commission costs of $106 million resulting from increased sales volume. The increase was also driven by increased equipment and depreciation of $17 million. These increases were partially offset by decreased stock-based compensation of $20 million, primarily due to the vesting of awards associated with prior acquisitions, offset in part by an increase in restricted stock unit awards granted to our employees.
General and Administrative Expenses
General and administrative expenses include personnel and related overhead costs to support the business. These expenses include the costs associated with finance, human resources, IT infrastructure and legal, as well as expenses related to corporate costs and initiatives.
General and administrative expenses during the periods presented were as follows (dollars in millions):
For the Year EndedFiscal YearFiscal Year
January 28,January 29,January 31,2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
202220212020$ Change% Change$ Change% Change
General and administrative$937 $610 $1,125 $327 54 %$(515)(46)%
Stock-based compensation131 157 168 (26)(17)(11)(6)
Total expenses$1,068 $767 $1,293 $301 39 $(526)(41)
% of Total revenue%%12 %
General and administrative expenses increased in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021. The increase was primarily driven by the absence of the $237 million accrued litigation loss derecognized in fiscal 2021 in connection with certain patent litigation. The increase was also driven by certain costs incurred during fiscal 2022 related to the Spin-Off, such as legal and advisory fees, of $73 million. Additionally, cash-based employee-related expenses increased by $51 million, primarily driven by incremental growth in headcount and salaries.
These increases were partially offset by a decrease in acquisition-related costs of $63 million and decreased stock-based compensation of $26 million, which was primarily due to the vesting of awards associated with prior acquisitions.
Refer to Note E to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for
a description of certain claims and litigation.
Realignment
Realignment expenses during the periods presented were as follows (dollars in millions):
For the Year EndedFiscal YearFiscal Year
January 28,January 29,January 31,2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
202220212020$ Change% Change$ Change% Change
Realignment$$42 $79 $(41)(97)%$(36)(46)%
% of Total revenue— %— %%
During the third quarter of fiscal 2021, we approved a plan to streamline our operations and better align resources with our business priorities. As a result of this action, approximately 280 positions were eliminated in fiscal 2021. We recognized $42 million of severance-related realignment expenses in fiscal 2021 on the consolidated statements of income. Actions associated with this plan were substantially complete by the end of fiscal 2021.
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Interest Expense
Interest expense during the periods presented was as follows (dollars in millions):
For the Year EndedFiscal YearFiscal Year
January 28,January 29,January 31,2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
202220212020$ Change% Change$ Change% Change
Interest expense$252 $204 $149 $48 24 %$56 38 %
% of Total revenue%%%
Interest expense increased in fiscal 2022 compared to fiscal 2021. The increase was primarily driven by the five series of unsecured senior notes issued during the third quarter of fiscal 2022 in the aggregate principal amount of $6.0 billion. We expect the annual interest expense associated with these senior notes to be approximately $100 million.
Other Income (Expense), net
Other income (expense), net during the periods presented was as follows (dollars in millions):
For the Year EndedFiscal YearFiscal Year
January 28,January 29,January 31,2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
2022