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Building An Effective Partner Program – A Guide for VMware Service Providers (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, we covered how VMware Service Providers can prepare building for an effective partner program with Solutions Providers. In this post, we’ll explain how to begin executing your partner program.

Execute a Pilot with a Small Number of Solution Providers

Here are steps you can follow to move from Planning to Pilot to Scale:

Plan

  • Define your channel goals and select the most appropriate partner engagement model;
  • Identify and allocate dedicated resources;
  • Craft a compelling partner value proposition.

Pilot

  • Select a small number of partners (2-3) who meet your criteria;
  • Establish basic infrastructure to support the business development effort;
  • Work hand in hand with partners to refine your tools and partner management infrastructure.

Scale

  • Prepare to recruit and scale operations to support a larger number of partners;
  • Expand the resources allocated to the program;
  • Establish a solid partner management infrastructure (including a PRM System, ticket management, escalation procedures, etc.);
  • Develop sales and marketing enablement tools and program.

Develop and Implement Program and Resourcing

In order to be an effective partner program, Service Providers must clearly delineate the roles and responsibilities of each party for each engagement model. Once roles and responsibilities are defined, Service Providers can then assign resources and tailor their marketing, enablement, support and sales assets to meet the needs of their partners and end-users.

Most Service Providers with maturing or mature partner programs also leverage a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) system to manage the interactions with their partners. PRM systems make it easier for channel partners to do business with you, as they include key features for tracking sales, managing leads, and more.

Finally, many maturing Service Provider partner programs tier their partners according to their revenue contribution and ability to effectively represent a Service Provider’s services. Tiering gives you a greater flexibility to structure partner incentives and orient partner investments.

Recruit the Right Solution Providers to Expand Your Public Cloud Business 

When it comes to cloud services, Solution Providers are at different levels of maturity, in terms of their understanding of the IaaS business and their ability to complement the services you provide. The higher the partner readiness the sooner the partnership can yield results, so to start, Service Providers should recruit Solution Providers who:

  • Has a business that’s directly linked to selling and delivering public cloud;
  • Or has changed its business to drive new objectives in the public cloud market.

Working with these partners to fine-tune their rules of engagement and operations will prime Service Providers to eventually scale out their partner program to Solution Providers who are still in the early stages of making the needed investments in selling the public cloud.

For a more detailed guide on how to develop a successful partner program for your business, visit Partner Central and download the VSPP Partner Manual. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter at @vCloud and @VMwareSP for future updates!