VMware offers incentives, specializations for channel partners

Partner Exchange introduces three new solution competencies to help partners sell more and expand into the cloud

Last week, VMware welcomed a record number of resellers, integrators, and business partners to the VMware Partners Exchange (PEX) 2012 conference in Las Vegas, where an impressive 4,300 people made the journey to hear what the virtualization giant had to say. With so many partners gathered together in one place, VMware took the opportunity to unveil new programs, solution competencies, and rewards designed to help those very partners prepare for the arrival of the cloud era while simplifying the experience of doing business with VMware.

While the keynote from Scott Aronson, VMware's senior vice president of global channels and alliances, didn't make any specific mention of new products or services, it did attempt to inspire the channel and provide a vision as to what was to come in 2012.

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Aronson recapped the company's successful 2011 year findings, stating that it took in $3.77 billion in revenue for 2011, an increase of 32 percent from 2010; achieved 350,000 customers with the help of its 50,000 partners; had 32 percent growth year over year, with 85 percent of sales coming from VMware partners; and noted that 95 percent of enterprise data centers have at least one instance of a VMware software product, while small businesses remained somewhere between 20 percent to 30 percent virtualized.

If those numbers don't seem impressive on their own, consider the fact that analysts are projecting that the global private cloud market will reach a whopping $41.5 billion by 2015. VMware intends to own the lion's share of that market over the next three years. To help them achieve that goal, VMware is going to be looking to its partner channel.

VMware is asking partners to broaden the scope of their traditional areas of technological expertise. For doing so, VMware will offer a variety of new incentives to those partners that make the investment.

Aronson said that at a time when other technology companies are pulling money out of the channel, VMware is doubling down. But in doing so, VMware is asking partners to double down as well.

VMware is now requiring its premier and enterprise-level partners to invest in at least two solution competencies within the next year. To back up this request, the virtualization giant argues that research shows the investment is well worth it, since partners with at least one solution competency currently sellson average 3.5 times more than those without a competency.

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