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VMware: Sell more than just virtualisation

VMware now does a lot more than just its traditional virtualisation and it wants resellers to take advantage of its wider portfolio

Most of the channel has come to VMware through a relationship with its vSphere product and the classic virtualisation pitch to customers.

But this is a business that is changing and looking to encourage resellers to operate in its current three areas of focus: cloud. mobility and security.

VMworld in Barcelona included various product announcements to back up the activities in security and mobility and also gave a platform for AWS to outline the benefits of the partnership it has made with VMware, which launches next year.

There was a sense that the ground work has been done and now the channel is going to be encouraged and expected to respond to that with positive action.

Jean-Phillipe Barleaza, vice president partners and alliances and general business in EMEA at VMware, said that it was expecting to see a difference in the behaviour of channel partners next year.

“Digital disruption is getting to a tipping point and our customers and our partners are going through a transformation,” he added “What we are doing with our partners is to build those solutions that can bring the innovation back to the customer and help them going through that digital transformation.”

“What we have been doing over the past 12 months is really working with our partners to broaden their product portfolio and solution portolfio that we are working on together. We have seen a very strong adoption from our partners,” he said.

He added that each partner was working out which path to take as they went through their own transformation towards a services model but there had been movement to sell more of the available solutions.

“Now we are ready and have enablement and common understanding of our objectives and 2017 is going to be an execution year,” he said.

That groundwork has been fairly extensive and included not just bringing out different products, forming partnerships with the likes of AWS but also rolling out changes to the partner programmes.

Henry Godwin, manager, distribution UK&I at VMware, said that over the last three years the company had expanded to make sure it was positioned as a software defined data center leader but many partners still knew the firm for its virtualisation products.

"A significant amount of our business is not vSphere," he added "We can go right through from the data centre out to the mobile user and we can offer secure private cloud and secure pulic cloud and elasicity between the two."

He said that the vendor was rolling out a series of roadshows to get out to more resellers across the country and was leaning on distribution to make sure as many partners as possible understood its message and offering.

One of the changes is that in the mobile space the firm has waived its former requirement to have vSphere accreditation, so those without that background can work with the vendor in their area of expertise.

In addition from the start of August this year the discounts on the deal registration system for those selling storage, networking, security, mobile or management options were also increased to make sure it became attractive for resellers to move into those areas.

"We are supporting our partners to be successful and they need us to be flexible. It just demonstrates just how much we are focused on our channel," he said.

There have also been efforts made internally at VMware UK to make sure that the staff are aligned with the channel ambitions.

David Phull, vice president & general manager UK&I at VMware, said that it had it had undertaken several things to make sure that the organization was able to drive the conversation beyond the core virtualization message.

“One is re-eduaction of our salesforce, secondly it is extending our salesforce to have specific sales people that specialize in some of the other technologies so you have your corse sellers but you do need specific sales people,” he said.

“Some partners are more traditional on our core technologies but some are niche and can see opportunities with other technologies [networking, security and cloud products],” he added “Some want to do everything and some want to do very specific things and we work out what is best for the customer needs.”
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This was last published in October 2016

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