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Uncover 5 Powerful Tips to Improve Your Partner Marketing

As seen on The VAR Guy:

From Sherlock Holmes’ age-old tales of intrigue to today’s fascination with television dramas like CSI:  Crime Scene Investigation, we are drawn to solving mysteries – of following the clues to determine, “Who Done It.” We’ve also seen this love affair of detective work spill over into the tech space. When customers are choosing a vendor, they are following online bread crumbs to see if you are the right partner for them. They scour your website, blog, LinkedIn profiles, and even customer reviews. In fact, according to a 2014 study of B2B commerce, 94% of buyers do research online before making their purchasing decision.  The study also revealed that 71% of B2B buyers prefer to conduct research on their own – without ever meeting a sales representative. These staggering statistics reinforce the need to ramp up and promote your business across the channel.

breadcrumbs

So, are you leaving the right bread crumbs for your customers?

Here are 5 powerful tips to improve your online marketing:

  1. Evaluate your brand.  With so many vendors to choose from, potential customers will surely be weighing your brand, services, and support against the competition. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes.  Would you want to do business with you? Why or why not? What brand decisions or online improvements could you make to ensure that your prospects decide they want to reach out to you? Is your site too busy or too blank? Make sure it’s designed with your potential customer in mind.
  2. Put your best foot forward on social media.  LinkedIn is largely accepted in B2B as the go-to place for first impressions. So, if you’re meeting with a customer for the first time, chances are good that they’re going to look at your profile before your meeting. Keep that in mind and view your profile with a critical eye.  Make sure you, your executives and sales team have a professional headshot, updated/edited profile links, complete contact information (IE Skype and Twitter), as well as short descriptions with keywords for each of your past positions. People are always looking for things you have in common, so the more you tell them, the more opportunities for discussion topics. Make sure that these same underlying principles are applied with 100% consistency across social media -- from your Twitter profile, website, Facebook page, Google+ account, and YouTube channel.
  3. Rally the troops.  Getting your employees involved is a great way to cast a wider marketing net. Encourage employees to update their profiles and write blogs on topics that matter to them. You can also create content on a weekly or monthly basis for your employees to post out across their social sites. This way, you have a unified message that has a much further reach. Just think of the possible retweets and click-throughs you can generate. Did you know that Google monitors this newfound traction and gives you higher search ranking as a result? Ultimately, employee involvement can be the key to making your company significantly easier to find online.
  4. Make your website a lead generating machine
    All of your marketing activities, whether it’s an email campaign or a post on LinkedIn, should highlight your business and give a clear route via links to your website.  But, is your website ready for those visits? In order to make your website a lead generation machine, you need to ensure that when prospects arrive they intrinsically know how to navigate your site, understand how you can solve their pain points and, finally, quickly see how to contact you. Also, today’s B2B consumers are tired of stock photography on vendor sites; they’d much rather see the real people they’ll be working with. It’s a little detail, but it can impact their evaluation of your site and your company.
  5. Continue to leave bread crumbs to gated content
    Use gated content (white papers, e-Books or videos) in exchange for visitors giving you their email address and contact information. Gating some of your information will allow you to capture user data. You can then use that data to generate demand with lead nurturing newsletters and other email correspondence. Through our Partner Demand Center, VMware partners can use highly-customizable email campaigns with landing pages for demand gen while also driving traffic to their site.  And, through website content syndication, partners can use high quality assets as additional sources of gated content for capturing emails or free product trials to generate leads. Just think of the time these resources can save your company.

Feel like there are still more clues to discover?  VMware has partnered with Channel Maven Consulting to create 15 bite-sized videos to help you navigate your social demand roadmap. Visit the Marketing Resources section of the Partner Demand Center to view these insightful videos, learn marketing best practices and download toolkits to help build your business.

The VMware Partner Network Team

The VMworld 2015 Content Catalog Is At Your Service

Consider the VMworld 2015 Content Catalog your sneak peek into the event that is sure to blow your technical socks off. Browse through the site and decide which breakout sessions, labs, boot camps, group discussions, quick talks and expert speakers you would like to add to your conference agenda.

You can search by fields such as track, session title, speaker names, or location, (US or Europe), or you can filter with a variety of tags or key words.
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Are you ready for a brave new model of IT? Is your company?  If so you must join us at VMworld 2015 August 30 – September 3 in San Francisco as our extended VMware community comes together with our One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device™ architecture, which lets you develop, deploy, and consume all applications. Get ready for a unified hybrid cloud that helps you innovate like a startup and execute like an enterprise. Visit the Content Catalog and get registered today.

We will see you at VMworld 2015 US and Europe!

The VMware Partner Network Team

VPN Spotlight – How to Partner with VMware

We’re back with the next video in our VPN Spotlight series, where we bring you video content highlighting our top partner news and information from across the VMware Partner Network (VPN).

This month’s spotlight is focused on the ways you can partner with us through the VPN to drive value for your business and your customers. The VMware Partner Network includes a range of partner programs to meet the needs of a variety of partner types. Our programs are designed to optimize your profitability and product competency, regardless of your transaction model – whether it is resell, services or technology focused.

Watch this short video to learn about the market-leading solutions, award-winning programs and unparalleled value that the VPN can offer.

Want more information on some of the key topics highlighted in this video? Visit the following links:

Interested in joining the VMware Partner Network? Visit www.vmware.com/partners and click on Enroll Now to get started.

The VMware Partner Network Team

 

VMworld 2015 Europe Registration Is Now Open

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Join us at VMworld Europe 2015 in Barcelona, Spain, 12-15 October to gain the essential tools, partner roadmap, training, and real solutions you need to innovate and excel with VMware. Register now and save €200 with our Early Bird pricing.

Don’t miss these NEW and improved content areas at this year’s event:

  • NEW 30-minute “Quick Talks” where you can learn more information in half the time.
  • Gain access to technical content within our catalog of over 250+ Breakout Sessions
  • Demo the latest products VMware has to offer in the Hands-on Labs
  • Participate in valuable partner discussions and experience first hand Product Demos
  • Network with industry experts in new and interactive ways at our VMworld events and in our Solutions Exchange.

Let’s not forget about you, our partners! Attending Partner Exchange @ VMworld Europe means you will have access to all the enablement, sessions and information you need to succeed in selling VMware products, as well as have the added opportunity to interact with the greater VMware community of customers and learn about VMware’s partner roadmap. Partner Exchange @ VMworld is the place to be for valuable partner content.

Here is how to attend Partner Exchange @ VMworld Europe 2015:

You can add Partner Exchange @ VMworld to your overall VMworld conference pass during registration by logging in with your company email domain in order to be validated as an approved partner. You will then be prompted in Step 4 to add on Partner Day. Learn about pricing here.

New to VMworld Europe? Here is a helpful guide to all you need to know in navigating your first year.

For those attending VMworld 2015 US, Early Bird pricing has been extended. Save $300 on registration today.

We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona!

The VMware Partner Network Team

Summer and VMworld U.S. 2015 Are Calling

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VMworld U.S. is often synonymous with summer, and summer is around the corner folks, which is why we are calling all North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific Partners! Early Bird pricing for VMworld 2015 US ends on June 9. This is your last chance to save $300 on the virtualization and cloud technology event of the year—Register now and don’t miss out.

Don’t let the June-gloom get you down. Sign-up today for the inaugural Partner Exchange @ VMworld 2015. This two-day event is sure to serve up all the Boot Camps, Breakout Sessions, and enablement you need to have more well-informed conversations with your customers throughout the conference.  Perhaps you’ll share summer vacation plans, along with how to best work with VMware and make this important shift to the cloud. For more information about this event, as well as special partner pricing, please visit our Partner Exchange @ VMworld page.

Join us for both VMworld 2015 U.S. and Partner Exchange @ VMworld 2015 U.S. so you can:

  • Attend Sessions and labs. Choose from 40+ partner focused sessions at Partner Exchange @VMworld in addition to the VMworld conference catalog of 350+ expert-led sessions offering best practices, how-tos, case studies, and more.
  • Participate in Hands-on training. See our Software-Defined Data Center in action in the Hands-on Labs.
  • Access to all enablement and information you need to succeed in selling VMware products.
  • Interact with the greater VMware community of customers.
  • Learn about VMware’s partner roadmap and valuable partner content.
  • Attend General Sessions. Hear the latest industry updates from our lineup of VMware visionaries.

Don’t let Early Bird pricing for VMworld 2015 U.S. fly by, be sure to register by June 9 to save and enjoy your summer even more. We look forward to seeing you there!

The VMware Partner Network Team

VMware’s Business Mobility Online Event is Sure to Dazzle

There’s an exciting world of new opportunities evolving — a world where early movers can take advantage and winners will be defined by mobile-first or mobile-only strategies.

VMware has created a comprehensive, secure business mobility platform, working with customers across many industries and partnering with a rich ecosystem to deliver apps and services specific to customers’ needs.

On June 16, we’re hosting a one-hour online event where we’ll share:

  • VMware’s Business Mobility vision and integral role it will play in shaping enterprise IT.
  • How companies ― from healthcare to education and retail ― are transforming backend processes and customer-facing experiences with next-generation mobile apps.
  • Exciting developments from VMware partners who are creating application-centric models for delivering rich new business services.
  • How VMware is deepening its commitment to iOS.

VMware has been partnering with some of the world’s most innovative companies. Join us from 9:00 to 10:00 AM Pacific Time on Tuesday, June 16 for this online event, and hear how together we’re leading the way. Register now.

To learn more about Business Mobility at VMware, watch Sanjay Poonen, VMware's EVP & GM of End-User Computing, as he shares his executive insight.

The VMware Partner Network Team

The Renewals Train Has Arrived

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Attention VMware partners… opportunity is calling. The Renewals Campaign is here. This campaign focuses on current vSphere customers who are approaching the 90 days to renewal date (for their non-ELA transactional business), and are good candidates for the following products aligned with Power Plays:

  • VMware vSphere with Operations Management
  • VMware vSphere with Operations Management + VMware vRealize Operations Insight
  • VMware Virtual SAN

As a VMware partner, you have an opportunity to leverage this partner-ready campaign to help your existing vSphere customers take the next logical step in virtualization management by upgrading to vSphere with Operations Management.

The vSphere update provides increased scalability, enhanced live migration, improved fault tolerance, expanded compatibility and support, and much more. All products built on vSphere to help optimize virtualized environments and provide added functionality.

Here’s how to make opportunity become a reality:

  1. Grow the average selling price (ASP) and help drive top-line growth and future high-figure renewal revenue with product upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
  2. Receive significant rebates and incentives to improve margins, while increasing the ASP.
  3. Maintain revenue streams by strengthening the VMware customer base and improving existing customer relationships.
  4. Build customer relationships with additional service opportunities and assist customers in meeting changing business needs.

VMware provides you with professional assets and tools that allow you to seamlessly execute integrated marketing activities at no cost.  Take advantage of the following:

  • Exclusive opportunity
  • Preliminary sales and tech training
  • Access to marketing support to augment marketing capabilities
  • VMware programs and campaigns to create awareness
  • Customizable multi-touch demand-generation campaigns
  • Tools to accelerate sales
  • Process for tracking success

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Visit the VMware Partner Demand Center today and read the VMware Renewals campaign playbook to learn more about target audience, customer pain point, messaging paths and customization opportunities.

Next, automate execution of the campaign based on contract expiration date through the VMware Partner Demand Center or download all assets source files at once for upload and execution through your marketing automation platform and grab opportunity by the vSphere.

Learn more about the VMware Partner Demand Center campaigns: Your Destination for Partner Marketing Success

The VMware Partner Marketing Team

Grab Your Windbreaker Because VMworld 2015 U.S. Registration is Now Live

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In case you missed it, VMworld 2015 U.S. registration is now live. This means it’s time to start booking your trip to San Francisco for the tech conference that is going to take your summer by storm!

Join us at VMworld 2015 in San Francisco this August 30 - September 3 to gain the essential tools, partner roadmap, training, and real solutions you need to innovate and excel with VMware. Register now and save $300 with our Early Bird pricing

We are excited to announce that Partner Exchange is coming to VMworld 2015. By adding Partner Exchange @ VMworld to your conference pass means you will have access to all the enablement, sessions and information you need to succeed in selling VMware products, as well as have the added opportunity to interact with the greater VMware community of customers and learn about VMware's partner roadmap. You can purchase a day Partner Exchange pass. Click here for pricing. Partner Exchange is the place to be for valuable partner content. For more information about Partner Exchange @ VMworld click here.

This is an event you can’t afford to miss. Need help convincing your boss that you should go? We got you covered. So start planning your trip because we can’t wait to see you in the city by the bay!

The VMware Partner Network Team

Flex Your Marketing Muscles with The VMware Marketing Services Store

Meet the protein powder to your marketing roadmap. The VMware Marketing Services Store, otherwise known as “The Store”, is an integrated component of the VMware Partner Demand Center. It is an online catalog of service offerings that showcases VMware-vetted agencies that offer best-in-class marketing services with pre-negotiated packages and pricing. Consider them your personal trainers. The Store is currently only available in North America with plans to expand availability to other regions in the future.

Here are some of the marketing services being offered through the Store:

  • Digital Marketing – Assess and enhance your digital website presence
  • Database Management – Determine the quality of your database, cleanse and build
  • Telemarketing – Lead follow-up, qualification, and appointment setting
  • Social Marketing – Grow social presence and create new contacts
  • Copywriting/Design – Create compelling messaging or custom collateral

Are you ready to fill in the gaps that are missing in your overall marketing effectiveness plan, and simplify the collaboration between partners and pre-qualified vendors, providing a direct line of contact to the marketing agency? How about transforming your marketing to drive demand for VMware solutions, generate leads and build pipeline? Then the VMware Marketing Services Store is for you!

Watch this short video below to learn how VMware’s Marketing Services Store can take your marketing from flab, to fab and visit the VMware Marketing Services Store today!

The VMware Partner Network Team

The Science (and Economics) Behind A Carefully Crafted Software Defined Storage Strategy for Cloud Service Providers

As seen on Talkin' Cloud:

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Do you remember your high school years – of calculating the boiling point of isopropyl alcohol in chemistry or studying the impact of supply and demand on the costs of goods in economics class? Many of us wondered, “When will we ever use these principles in real life?” For those of us hoping to enter into the booming Software Defined Storage (SDS) space, the answer is now. With the demand for storage continuing to expand at over 40% annual growth until 2018,* it’s a safe bet that we aren’t the only ones that see the growth possibilities in storage as a service -- nor are we the only ones who plan to expand their business model to include SDS.

So, how do you develop the perfect go-to-market strategy?

As global Product Marketing Leader for the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) solutions at VMware, I’ve dedicated my career to crafting and executing winning strategies for market entry and growth. And, I’ve learned a few things along the way. At the top of the list is the importance of first impressions and taking the time to create a strategy that differentiates your company from the competition. It all starts with doing your homework – studying the trends, crunching the numbers, learning from your mistakes and coming out stronger in the end.

I recently spoke with one of our independent cloud services providers, IndonesianCloud. Their story is the epitome of how to capture attention across the aggressive cloud market. In 2011, they focused their sight on becoming the most trusted, most reliable, and most secure CSP in Indonesia. For those of you who don’t know, Indonesia is a country with 254 million people, literally millions of companies, and is currently adopting cloud at a staggering rate. It is estimated that the cloud spend will reach $1.2 billion by 2017 – and that’s just across Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) business. Needless to say, it’s a great time to be a CSP in Indonesia.

Here a few examples of how IndonesianCloud did their homework:

  1. The Power of Listening - Their customers were growing frustrated with their current storage solutions – of disparate data silos, cumbersome SLAs and expensive operating costs and scalability options. To address these challenges, IndonesianCloud made the decision to move away from their traditional architecture and embraced VMware’s Virtual SAN (VSAN) in 2014. For them, VSAN offered enterprise-class features, scale, and performance, making it the ideal storage platform for VMs. Plus, it deeply integrated with the VMware stack. This is something that current customers loved and their new customers required.
  2. The Art of Competitive Pricing - They started by looking at how cost effective they were against other providers on the market. At the time, they were 4X more expensive than the global competitors and this turned many prospects away from their storage. They needed to match the comparative price of “in-house purchased” solutions without compromising performance or availability. In the end, they found that only VSAN was able to deliver on the cost and reliability they needed. As a result, they ended up with a total cost of 12c/GB (including software and hardware) which they can resell at 24c/GB. That’s double profit for those keeping track!
  3. Test the Scales of Efficiency – IndonesianCloud found that they needed to walk the tightrope between cost-effective and over engineered storage system. If they offered customers the moon in terms of performance, it resulted in skyrocketing costs on a company level. If they lowered costs, performance suffered as did customer satisfaction. To balance the scales and deliver “just enough performance,” IndonesianCloud consolidated five physically separate datastores (one for each storage tier) into a single VSAN datastore while retaining all storage tiers. This solution gave them the efficiency they needed in addition to high levels of availability through local snapshots and remote replication for disaster recovery.
  4. Learn From Your Mistakes.  Following an outage on a previous platform, the customers of IndonesianCloud made it known that they don’t tolerate failures and will be quick to leave if another outage occurs. So, IndonesianCloud designed a scale-out grid architecture solution powerful enough to accommodate failure – one that is NOT reliant on internal mechanisms. They got rid of old-fashioned disk RAID arrays and dual controllers; they replaced those with a “Scale Out, Shared Nothing” solution that is perfect for service providers and large Enterprises alike.

What grade would your current Go-To-Market Strategy get? With a little help, it could rise to the top of the class and receive an A+.

Want to learn more tips on crafting a winning SDS strategy?

 Join us for our insightful May webinar series entitled, “Gain Competitive Advantage with VMware Application-centric Storage for Cloud Service Providers.” In it, IndonesianCloud CEO Neil Cresswell and I will share with you real-world deployment experiences, our lessons learned, and the new features of VSAN 6.0. Plus, attendees can take advantage of exclusive incentives. (Think 50% off VSAN list price for up to 2TB usage during the promotion period).**

Can’t attend the webinar but want to learn more?

For additional information about VMware partner programs and solutions for service providers, refer to the VMware vCloud Air Network Program and Solutions for Service Providers.

* Source: IDC, Yezhkova, Worldwide Enterprise Storage Systems Forecast, November 2013, #244293.
**
 Available to qualifying CSP only. Certain restrictions may apply.