VMware has had a big year. From a partnership on hybrid cloud with Avaya, the launch of a new professional services partner program and a move to a regional structure followed by the departure of Eric Gales, the virtualization company did not close the year without making some headlines of its own.
CDN sat down with Donna Wittmann, VMware Canada’s executive director of commercial and partner sales to discuss her highlights from the past year and outlook on 2016.
CDN: What were some announcements from the past year that stood out to you?
DW: One that stands out to me is the launch this week of the VMware Professional Services Partner Program. The program has three tiers and partners can participate on any level based on their investment in services. The screen is separate from their resell program and it doesn’t have any clip levels in terms of revenue.
We’ve invested significantly in dedicated partner-facing delivery architects to assist partners in practice development, we’re providing access to services delivery enablement including VMware IP, extensive trainings and bootcamps, statement of work validation and VMware Validated Design. We’re providing customer sales support, things like POCs and workshops, and delivery assistance and support for partners to shadow VMware or vice versa on service engagement.
CDN: What are some main trends that you would identify for 2015 going into 2016?
DW: One is the shift from the client server to the mobile cloud. The second is calling on the Line of Business versus IT only. The third would be the shift towards the software-defined enterprise. I would say cloud, big data, mobile computing, and social are the next-gen IP software platforms that are very rapidly transforming the way that businesses relate to technology. Those are the things that are on the minds of our customers and partners.
Transforming your whole sales motion to call upon the line of business. The selling outcomes that solve business issues versus selling products or solutions is a definite trend. Another one is all around applications. Training our sales people to understand how to look for existing critical applications and to enable customers to deliver new applications quickly and securely in the market is a key trend.
CDN: Has Canada’s appetite for cloud grown in 2015?
DW: The Canadian market is absolutely adopting cloud at an increased rate. This is a rapidly growing area for VMware. There are a lot of cool models that are emerging such as white labeling. There’s also a trend towards technology-specific and industry-specific offerings, so I believe the VARs are going to become more specialized to deliver a solution.
CDN: Has the subscription-based revenue model become the standard in 2015?
DW: I would say that in 2015 the recurring revenue model was gaining momentum. I think partners were in the middle of looking at which offerings they would take to market and to operationalize that in their company. I think it’s far from being completely mainstream within most partners. Most partners determined that they need a strategy and a cloud-based model, and in 2016, they will operationalize that.
CDN: What will help solution providers specialize in 2016?
DW: There’s a trend towards partner-to-partner collaboration and not trying to do everything themselves. We see more partners collaborating to get the extra set of teeth that’s required. I think that will continue.