Friday Five: VMware’s Paul Harapin


Every Friday we’ll profile a prominent figure from Australia’s IT, telecommunications or video gaming industries in the Friday Five.

Whenever we see VMware’s Paul Harapin, we can’t help but feel that he’s one of the most relaxed souls in Australia’s IT industry. He loves his sport, has a clutch of kids and smiles a lot. He even forgives Delimiter when we poke fun at him. The VMware chief is this week’s guest for the Friday Five.

1. What was your first job ever?

Child care assistant at 10 years’ old. I’m not sure how qualified I was, but I enjoyed my $20 per week! My first IT job was at IBM, straight out of university, as a network systems engineer on the Commonwealth Bank’s old SNA environment.

2. What do most like about working in the IT industry?

The people, especially the VMware team. VMware is a multi-faceted business and it is exciting to oversee tremendous growth in Australia/New Zealand. I get a thrill from selling a solution which enables customers to reduce their environmental impact.

The large ecosystem that has sprung up around VMware inspires me daily. It’s a great learning experience and very intellectually stimulating meeting and working with some of the best brains in the business in my colleagues and customers. It’s also great working with huge range of people from all areas of the IT Industry, especially customers in totally different industries and sectors who are working with innovative technology to drive business success.

3. What’s your hobby?

My family! I manage many of the activities and sport of four young children which is almost full-time in itself! I’m also active in community affairs, as well as managing the family IT problems (I am moving to the Mac to cut the pains of Windows). Also, watching the Mighty Sydney Roosters and Swans as much as possible given the above demands , playing guitar and coaching two of my sons’ football teams.

4. Where do you think the Australian IT industry will be in five years?

I believe Australia will continue to lead in the adoption of new technologies. We are in a generational transformation in the way IT is used, how it will be delivered as a service both internally provided and externally consumed, and this will disrupt many existing business models from vendors, and drive innovative uses in by customers, in how they utilise technology to enhance their business. I believe also that Australian business via the use of these globally accessible technological platforms, whether you call it Cloud or something else, will make an even larger impact due to our innovative nature.

5. What/who has been the biggest inspiration in your career?

I take inspiration from around me — my family, my colleagues and my peers. I try to spend time with many people who have varied experiences, run different or similar businesses to mine, and try to be open in learning as much as I can. Many of the people I have worked have had a huge impact on me, but if I had to narrow it down to one person it would be my boss at Tivoli in the 90’s who took a chance on a young kid and later brought me into a small start-up called VMware.

Image credit: VMware