This is a repost from The VAR Guy. You can find the original post here.

By Jay Workman

In a traditional software world, the channel role was both to sell and to provide services to customers. In the world of cloud computing, the primary opportunity is shifting to the services partners can offer their customers. These typically offer high margins and provide opportunity for ongoing high-touch engagements—both of which help partners build their businesses.

There are many successful companies that provide cloud services today, with consulting practices built around cloud strategy, cloud assessments, migration services, organizational change management and readiness, cloud management services, application modernization and orchestration and more.

On Aug. 21, VMware announced the VMware vCloud Air Network to provide greater choice and flexibility of hybrid cloud services delivered by VMware vCloud Air and the ecosystem of over 3,800 service provider partners. With VMware vCloud Air data centers and service provider partners in more than 100 countries, the VMware vCloud Air Network represents greater opportunities for partner success in the cloud market.

Expanding Footprint

Our Aug. 21 announcement also addressed the rebranding of VMware vCloud Hybrid Service to VMware vCloud Air. The name change underscores VMware’s commitment to deliver value added as-a-service solutions to customers on our hybrid cloud platform.

Since its launch in 2013, VMware vCloud Air has rapidly expanded its global footprint to provide U.S., European and Asia-Pacific businesses with the fastest path to hybrid cloud. Now with eight data centers in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan, VMware recently announced its hybrid cloud expansion in the Asia-Pacific region via a joint venture with SoftBank Telecom Corp. and SoftBank Commerce & Service Corp. (SoftBank C&S) that brought vCloud Air to Japan. VMware also announced a strategic partnership with China Telecom to build a world-class hybrid cloud service in Beijing. For partners with the VMware Hybrid Cloud Competency, this represents a significant increase in opportunities to transact vCloud Air and add incremental value-added services.

Service provider partners participating in the VMware vCloud Air Network can drive customer awareness with a new partner badging system to promote their cloud service offerings. Service providers designated as “IaaS Powered” have clouds based on VMware vSphere as their foundational technology. Partners that are “Hybrid Cloud Powered” have validated their service using VMware vCloud Director to enable bi-directional workflow between the customer environment and the partner cloud. “Horizon DaaS Powered” partners have validated clouds to support desktop as a service deployments.

Driving Customer Acquisition

At VMworld, VMware also unveiled vCloud Air OnDemand, a zero-friction, cost-effective way for VMware and its partners to drive customer acquisition. The first OnDemand service, which is currently in beta, is called Virtual Private Cloud OnDemand. A growing and engaged customer base is a key ingredient for channel partners building cloud services practices, and vCloud Air OnDemand is an important part of VMware’s strategy to address that opporunity. vCloud Air OnDemand streamlines the actual sale of the cloud transaction enabling solution providers to focus on additional margins provided by value-added services.

Whether a vCloud Air or VMware vCloud Air Network Service Provider offering, the VMware approach to the hybrid cloud puts partners in control as the primary brokers of services. This enables them to promote the flexibility and benefits of dedicated or virtual private cloud with value-add services to address virtually any SLA requirements customers may have.

Click here to learn more about the VMware Hybrid Cloud competency transact vCloud Air or here to become a VMware vCloud Air Network Service Provider. The opportunities for success in the cloud have never been better!

Jay Workman is the director of Cloud Partner Marketing at VMware.