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VMware exec speaks out on immigration: ‘Software is our birth right’

As the transformation of technology continues to span the globe, VMware COO Sanjay Poonen told Jim Cramer on Monday that the company is watching the "America First" stance of immigration in U.S. very closely.

"Our general philosophy is software changes the world … software is our birthright — Silicon Valley, and the United States — it is the reason people like me are here," Poonen told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer on Monday.

Poonen immigrated to the United States from India in 1987 to attend Dartmouth College on a scholarship, and moved to Silicon Valley in 1991. As VMware continues to be the global leader in cloud infrastructure and virtualization, Poonen considers the opportunity for immigration to the U.S. to be very important.

"I grew up in a poor middle-class Indian family. There is no way I could have afforded this type of opportunity," Poonen said.

Sanjay Poonen, the COO of VMWare
Abby Stevenson | CNBC
Sanjay Poonen, the COO of VMWare

VMware is the Palo Alto based company that pioneered a technology called virtualization, which allows companies to create many "virtual" (software-only) machines on a single physical server. Virtualization made data centers much more efficient, and has become a crucial part of cloud computing, where companies outsource their computing loads to companies like Amazon or Microsoft. VMware's parent, EMC, was acquired by Dell last year.

The company also recently announced a partnership with Amazon that will allow users to manage VMware workloads on Amazon Web Services. VMware has long viewed Amazon as a competitor -- if companies are moving their workloads to AWS, they have less reason to use VMware's software for their own data centers.

But VMware's CEO Pat Gelsinger thinks there's plenty of room for both, explaining that while many workloads are being built in the cloud, there are still existing workloads that are hard to manage when it comes to security, provisioning, and management.

"The idea that we came together, the best-of-breed in both, to deliver a seamless experience for customers has been absolutely game changing in the industry," Gelsinger said.

Gelsinger also has his eye on the expansion of technology and how its transformation touches people around the globe.

"Software is taking over but also digital transformation is as I say, tech is breaking out of tech. It's touching every aspect of the business, and that impact on a world basis says we are not just the leader today, we could be the leader for decades to come," Gelsinger said.

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