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VMware getting UK partners ready for Connect

The vendor is rolling out a revised partner programme next year and efforts are already under way to make sure the channel is ready for that development

VMware's UK partners have welcomed the moves the vendor is taking to simplify its channel programmes as they gear up for the introduction of the revised scheme next year.

The firm indicated last month that it was making changes with it clear that the emphasis will be on gaining specialisations as part of the master services programme, with partners able to gain skills in VMware Cloud on AWS Master Services Competency, network virtualisation, cloud management and automation, data centre virtualisation and desktop and mobility options.

Alanzo Blackstock, director, partner organisation (UK&I), VMware, said that there was plenty of time for partners to get ready for the launch next year. Most of the components in Partner Connect would include a great deal of continuity, so the channel can build on the efforts they have already made with the vendor.

"It will not change much of the behaviours they have. Partner Connect is an evolution of our programme we are not changing all of the components and not changing all of the systems or the tools. What we are doing is making it easier for our partners to engage with us," he said.

"A lot of our partners are already taking their certifications to get their master services accreditations and what will happen with Partner Connect is that they will get much more reward for that investment than they do with the current programme," he added.

Blackstock said that partners had welcomed the vendor's move to unify all of its programmes with that being seen as a development that would improve simplicity.

"We have a number of partners that have to join multiple partner programmes, multiple certifications for those programmes and they were very siloed. So if you were on more than one programme you had to do things twice or three times in order to get access to the incentives for that particular programme. That's a pain for the partner," he added "It gives the partner a chance to have multiple models under one programme, rather than one programme per business model."

Echoing one of the themes in the channel at the moment, around vendors looking to get more out of their relationships with their top partners, there are also signs that the reward structure will give more to those that make the greatest effort.

"One of the things that we will be doing is moving our incentives and rewards to those that deliver the most outcomes. Much more significantly than we do with our current programme," said Blackstock.

"There is a kind of challenge to our partners because there is a potential for a number to get left behind. We have really centred the programme around our IT priorities, the datacentre and the digital workspace, network and security and cloud. If partners have not adopted that they are going to be left behind. If they are not investing in solving the customer’s broader problems they will get left behind with this programme," he added.

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