I Am Downtown Boston: Eric Bart – Senior Director, R & D, VMware

Posted February 22, 2018 by Cheryl Fenton in Business
Eric Bart

When we say VMware is a leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, we aren’t playing.

For context: Every single company on the Fortune 100 list uses their solutions. With more than 75,000 partners and upward of 500,000 customers, they help organizations keep pace with the technological innovations that are changing their industries. Joining VMware’s 140 offices throughout the world, this powerhouse just moved its second Massachusetts location from Cambridge to downtown Boston’s 2 Avenue de Lafayette on November 13, 2017. Roughly 38,000 square feet, it’s now a funky working space for 120 employees with room to grow. We caught up with Eric Bart, Senior Director, R & D to learn more about VMware and its move.

TheVoiceofDowntownBoston.com: The building has some pretty note-worthy amenities.
Eric Bart: The Lafayette City Center building itself is so modern, with glass stairs, couches, and funky lighting. The VMware space has artwork from the Cambridge Art Association, ergonomic desks, a cafe that overlooks the Opera House, and lots of collaboration equipment like Surface hubs.  While designing the space we paid particular attention to implementing technology and to spaces that would facilitate teaming with local and remote team members. This is an important aspect of how we develop our products and really drove an important aspect of our site design.

VM Ware Office

The new VMware office is in the heart of DTX. Photo courtesy of VMware.

How were you received by local businesses?
Great! We’ve been working with new restaurants for our social events, and were even welcomed by our neighbors upstairs, Sonos, with a cake!

Will VMware be involved in any local community programs or business relationships?
Yes! We have been working with a few local nonprofits as part of our Service Learning program, hosting technical meetup groups (C++, Rust, etc.) and are working on social events with other companies. We want to become an integral part of our new community and are looking to use our corporate philosophy of giving back to do as much good as possible.

Why did VMware choose the DTX location for its second Massachusetts location?
When our lease was up in Cambridge we were looking for a centrally located, urban location that would be easy for commuters. DTX fit the bill as an up-and-coming vibrant urban center.

What does the downtown area offer for growing businesses and their employees?
The proximity to public transit is huge and it allows us to attract employees and host events. Our Boston office is a short walk to the Green, Orange, Red, and Silver lines on the T, as well as the commuter rail. And even though we’re downtown, we’re close to green spaces such as the Common and Public Garden.

How do you feel the tech industry has dominated downtown lately?
Downtown really is the place to be. There are three tech companies in this building alone and a large number within a few blocks of us. You can really feel the energy in the neighborhood. Cafés, shops, new hotels, and condo and apartment buildings. The new development, particularly in the Downtown Crossing neighborhood, has made the area attractive for urban professionals and millennials who largely make up the high-tech industry.

What’s your favorite thing about the location?
We are in the middle of everything! Lots of places to go for lunch, theaters across the street, close to the T, shopping. We are on the second floor and can see (and hear) the vibe of the city. The office itself is all on one floor vs. our four-floor layout in Cambridge, so we feel more connected with people in other groups.