With that in mind, VMware introduced the following three new solution competencies to its partners:
The first is Virtualization of Business-Critical Applications (VBCA), designed by VMware to enable partners to provide guidance and solutions to help customers virtualize mission-critical applications such as Exchange, SQL, Oracle, or SAP. The new competency recognizes the extra challenges and efforts that are required to move a tier-one application into a virtualized or cloud environment. But this ability will help further differentiate one partner from another that doesn't yet also have this competency.
The second is infrastructure as a service (IaaS), a new competency designed to accelerate partner delivery of and extend expertise in VMware hybrid cloud solutions and services. VMware is making a huge push into the growing public and hybrid cloud markets, and it will need channel partners to help it expand within those markets.
The third competency is Management, and it is designed by VMware to enable and reward partners that help customers simplify and automate the operations of virtual and cloud environments with the VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite.
The VBCA and IaaS competencies are both currently available, but VMware said the Management competency wouldn't be made available until sometime later this quarter. These three new competencies will join VMware's existing set, which includes Infrastructure Virtualization, Business Continuity, and Desktop Virtualization.
Enhancements made to VMware's advantage+ and Solution Rewards incentive programs give partners the ability to double their existing incentives in 2012. VMware added that when partners register deals through advantage+ for net-new VMware customers, they will also be eligible for a new back-end bonus rebate. With the new Solution Rewards, partners with solution competencies will be eligible for a first-time sale bonus rebate when they sell a new solution outside the Infrastructure Virtualization solution competency to an existing customer for the first time.
Smaller partners may have a tougher time branching out in solution competencies. However, VMware, now more than ever before, realizes the importance of the small-business market for expanding the company's long-term revenue.
Because of that, VMware is also offering new tools and incentives designed to help speed the delivery of solutions for small businesses. These enhanced programs provide new demand creation tools, customer offers, on-demand access to free training videos, and increased incentives for small business-related sales -- all designed to enhance partner expertise in and delivery of small business solutions.
VMware also recently launched Solutions Exchange, a partner-to-partner and customer-to-partner online collaboration tool that can help smaller partners find the missing skills needed to help them close more deals.
Are you a partner? What do you think of the new competencies and requirements?
This article, "VMware offers incentives, specializations for channel partners," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.