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VMware's message to the channel goes beyond virtualisation

Although well known for its virtualisation roots VMware is able to offer a much wider portfolio these days and is hoping its channel will back more products

The curse of being well known for one technology is that the other areas of expertise tend to get overlooked, causing vendors to up the education efforts to get the message out to partners.

This is a situation that nearly all large vendors that have extended their portfolios through both organic developments and acquisitions are wrestling with and is one of the current challenges for VMware's partner organisation director for UK and Ireland Alanzo Blackstock.

"VMware was seen as this virtualisation company but when I looked at the portfolio I saw a company that has far more capabilities than what we have been typecast for. It is a real opportunity to execute on the vision we have through the channel because in the end VMware is only going to be successful in the market through the channel," he said.

"Our channel needed to see we had a capability that could do much more for our customers," he added "If you look at the business with the channel today we have over 3,000 channel partners and at the top end we see a lot of partners get it and are seeing the benefits of that but when we look at the bottom end of the channel we are not seeing that and still seeing behaviour specifically around virtualisation products."

"The challenge for me is how do I scale out that capability to a broader set of partners, which is one of the biggest challenges we have in VMware," he said.

Blackstock has been in the channel role at VMware since January and has been encouraged by the strength of the channel and the recognition from partners that the technology is relevant but he believes there is still more room for the vendor to gain more mindshare.

The other challenge that Blackstock is dealing with is how cloud is changing the channel model and he said that was progressing quickly and meant that the vendor needed to keep an eye on its partner mix, "to deliver on today's capabilities as well as tomorrow's cloud".

More workloads are going onto the cloud so by 2030 the total will be 80% and that progress can be seen in customer orders and the pipeline.

"We have to ensure we have the right mix of partners that are able to deliver the traditional solutions and capabilities as well as help customers with the transition to the cloud," he said.

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