VMware “redefines” the distribution strategy with the Partner Connect program

In what Jenni Flinders, VMware’s Global Channel Head, calls a “game changer,” VMware has created an all-new Partner Program that will redefine the way the vendor interacts and does business with the channel.

“The new program redefines the way VMware builds partnerships,” said Flinders, vice president and global channel head of VMware in an interview with CRN. “It gives partners flexibility. It really is a game-changer for us. We have something quite unique here that we are very excited about.

VMware Partner Connect aims to dramatically simplify the company’s current channel programs by replacing them with a single program and single agreement with a common incentive model, fee structure and requirements. Additionally, the new program targets partners who achieve core service competencies by offering them the most rewards, including deployment and consumption incentives, co-sell opportunities, and business planning prioritization. joint with VMware.

[Related: 5 Things To Know About The New VMware Partner Connect Program]

Partner Connect has three levels: Partner, Advanced Partner, and Principal Partner, which are primarily based on achieving Master Services and VMware Solutions competencies.

“The senior partner is kind of where it’s at,” Flinders said. “It’s easier for us to promote you as the best of the best in a specific category. The more you invest and become a Premier Partner, the more benefits you get from the program. »

At a high level, the new program – which will not be officially implemented until early 2020 – has been designed from the outset to align with each partner’s individual business model. The program allows solution providers to specialize in certain aspects of VMware, such as hybrid cloud, networking and security, or the digital workspace, instead of having to meet VMware requirements that don’t match not to the commercial strategy of the partners.

“This new program supports our partner’s business model, so we don’t assume for them that they have to check some boxes that aren’t relevant to their business model,” said Flinders, who has been working on the program since. he joined the company last year. “Whether you want to specialize in hybrid cloud, network and security, digital workspace, multi-cloud, or you can choose to do more than one, you can choose your path and invest in what you specifically want to invest in. We’re no longer going to force you to choose other boxes and things that are irrelevant, so now more than ever you have a clear path to investing in acquiring the abilities and skills. skills that then help us initiate the co-selling model.

In terms of simplification, VMware Partner Connect will become the company’s single channel program with a common agreement. “So whether you are a born-in-the-cloud partner, a reseller, provide various services, or are a partner who offers integrated solutions with us, it is one agreement. We have created a unique program where partners sign a unique agreement with us,” she said.

David Klee, founder and chief architect at Heraflux Technologies, a Nebraska-based solutions provider and VMware partner, said the simplicity of VMware Partner Connect is a “great welcome.”

“For partners like us, it is difficult to manage the program that is currently in place. When VMware got rid of CIPP (Consulting and Integration Partner Program) last year, it kind of threw us into that general bucket. There were new requirements, a new fee structure, a different schedule, etc. We had to overcome a number of hurdles,” Klee said.

Klee said the new program will streamline the channel’s ability to earn money and align with new market trends. “It makes it easier to manage and change the direction of the program as your own business changes and the world changes around it,” he said. “It’s going to make the overhead a lot easier for companies to develop different skills and really explore different [market] areas. It also means you don’t have to pay for additional programs, there’s less paperwork and things like that. It’s a good change.

As part of the unveiling of VMware Partner Connect on Tuesday, the company launched its new VMware Cloud on AWS Master Services competency, bringing the total number of VMware Master Services competencies to five.

VMware Partner Connect will not go into effect until early 2020 to give partners enough time to transition to the new channel model and find out which tier they belong to.

“Partners have asked us to be more predictable and create a clear path to profitability for them. This is the basis for the redesign of the partner program,” Flinders said. “We are very excited about our future with our partners. »

Tanya J. Hill