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VMware increases partner rewards for software-defined enterprise

Dave O'Callaghan is the channel chief at VMware

SAN FRANCISCO – To say VMware senior executives overused the term “software-defined enterprise” (SDE) at the opening day of its Partner Exchange 2014 conference, held here, would be a huge underestimation.

SDE was used over and over by VMware president and COO Carl Eschenbach, company channel chief Dave O’Callaghan, and CTO Ben Fathi to the more than 4,000 channel partners in attendance making it clear this is the path VMware is asking its partner ecosystem to follow.

The market opportunity alone with SDE is pegged at $50 billion, according to Eschenbach.

To support this direction for VMware, O’Callaghan announced several new channel program enhancements, new competencies and partner rewards for building profitability with SDE for the solution provider community, the service providers and distributors.

O’Callaghan introduced the Elite Partner Initiative, which is slated for qualified VMware channel partners who are early adopters of VMware products such as NSX and Virtual SAN.

“VSAN changes the way storage is done,” he said. With Elite solution providers will receive an additional 10 per cent of margin inside the Advantage+ deal registration program. Also the top sales person in the channel for VSAN will win a brand new Tesla Model S roadster.

For channel partners to qualify for the Elite program, they have to provide deep technical skills, already have an established practice with SDE, be able to provide resources that can augment VMware’s new product strategy, and submit a list of customer wins and deployments.

VMware alliance partner Fujitsu is part of the program and Cameron McNaught, the executive vice president of solutions for Fujitsu, said the ability to extend solutions and geographic choices with SDE was a key benefit for joining the VMware program.

“Partnering with VMware drives innovation in helping make customers differentiate themselves in the market. The second one is the cloud business. For the past four year’s customers wanted integration and we announced a cloud integration platform that can take any cloud service and aggregate for them. VMware has helped us with that,” McNaught said.

In addition, Elite channel partners on the professional level inside Advantage+ program will receive two per cent extra margin. In the enterprise level it gets up to 10 per cent and Premier partners can get both and claim 12 per cent off deal registration once they grow their practice and are able to sell all three areas of SDE solution, O’Callaghan said.

One of the new enhancements addresses VMware’s partner engagement challenges. Channel partners with an interest in joining the company’s partner network will now be able to do so without identifying a specific program they want to join. There is also an enrollment tier for new solution provider partners to join the VMware Partner Network. This new Enrolled Tier enables channel partners to be trained on VMware solutions, and then select the program that best fits their business mandates. The Enrolled tier replaces the Registered tier.