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VMware nudging partners towards SaaS model

Software and services is the way that the vendor is expecting more of its partners to go

VMware is looking to ramp up its SaaS activity and that has implications for channel, with the vendor encouraging more to embrace the subscription and services approach.

The firm has been talking about its future strategy at the VMWorld shindig in Barcelona this week and has been talking about SaaS along with the increased focus on security with the acquisition of Carbon Black.

Speaking to a colleague from ComputerWeekly, Jean-Pierre Brulard, senior vice president and GM VMware Emea, said that it had to continue to give users the choice to consume services by either capex or opex.

“We have a significant on-prem business that is capex,” but he added that its business was to move more applications into the cloud and that would involve more of an opex approach.

“We have developed an important network of solutions providers, 2500 in Europe,” he added “We have transferred some IP to them and have launched out the cloud director multi-tenancy offering to help them.”

“Service providers have continued to grow significantly so we are very happy with the growth rate and they have expanded the portfolio as well,” he said.

“Act one was vSphere, which was a €5bn business,” he said. This business has remained flat, he added, but VMware grew the business by €5bn in its “second act”, by offering user computing NFX and software-defined datacentre products.

The third act is associated with the acquisition of Carbon Black, which provides enterprise security, and the planned acquisition of Pivotal. Brulard said that while VMware would continue to offer on-premise licensing, the products it acquires will be delivered to customers as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product.

“More and more they are shifting to have more software in the value chain when they are selling,” he added that cloud providers understood that the margin was increasingly on that side of the market.

“We continue to expand and are very happy with our 2,500 service providers across Europe, the bigger ones and the smaller ones as well,” he said.

He said that it had tried to adapt and grow its share of wallet with resellers and move them beyond its traditional virtualization products and take on more of the portfolio. The vendor has been using master competencies to try to get more partners up to speed with the technology.

But at the same time he acknowledged there was a need to help partners move to a subscription-based approach and it was also working on that front: “As far as we are going to SaaS we are moving some of them to the subscription model and at the same time we are recruiting a new type of partner, service-led partners.”

VMware has rolled out a fresh channel programme this year with a view to use competencies and rewards to encourage and hand benefits to those that invest in the firm’s portfolio.

 “Still today 95% of our go-to-market is channel driven, which is quite significant,” he added “We are giving our partners the capability to expand on solutions and SaaS.”

He said that the likes of Softcat and Computacenter were actively reaping the rewards of helping customers with hybrid cloud environments and it was clear that those that embraced a wider range of products would benefit.

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