Many service providers are looking for ways to serve the needs of new customer stakeholder groups. And one key stakeholder group in organisations today are development and DevOps teams. Developing custom applications for specific business needs is an important differentiator and innovation-driver on corporations’ digital transformation journey. Consequentially, development and DevOps teams own a significant amount of budget and influence strategic IT decisions. Yet many service providers have traditionally engaged mostly with operations and infrastructure teams of their customers. And they positioned themselves very successfully as hosting and infrastructure providers that delivered superior Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
Service providers are looking for ways to expand their portfolio to include additional services. And these services must address specific developer and DevOps use-cases. But this needs to be done while protecting existing investments in IaaS platforms and preserve existing business and customer wallet-share. And the VMware Cloud Provider Platform is the ideal basis for this journey.
A typical maturity journey towards modern application services for VMware Cloud Provider partners looks like this:
A lot of partners today are still largely focused on providing hosting and infrastructure services on VMware Cloud Director, like VMs, storage and basic networking. Also, many partners are already successfully reselling hyperscale resources like AWS, Azure and GCP through the respective partner program and offer basic managed services around management and monitoring of infrastructure and operating systems.
The next evolution towards modern application services is first of all adding Kubernetes as a Service to the portfolio, because this is a very high-in-demand topic and a critical cornerstone on any modern apps journey. This can be done by leveraging the Container Service Extension for VCD and the VMware Tanzu portfolio. And further, partners need to find ways of differentiating their hyperscale reselling business, foremost through services like cost management, federated billing or similar offerings, that are available through the CloudHealth MSP program. Also, these providers might offer more advanced managed services like application management to increase their margin.
Building Developer Offerings
From there, partners on this journey would typically start offering specific developer focused offerings like CI/CD pipelines with VMware CodeStream from the vRealize Automation Cloud MSP program or other tools for developers. Also, they will expand to basic managed platform services. For example Databases as a Service or specific managed applications. And those can be managed independent of whether the underlying cloud is a public or private cloud. A core component for these services is the Bitnami MSP program and AppLaunchpad for VCD. These platform services drive differentiation and customers, especially developers but also admins, are looking for easy to consume, ready to go services and want to outsource the management of these services in order to focus on more value-adding internal tasks.
As a last maturity stage, partners can evolve to a managed multi-cloud DevOps provider. Besides offering integrated toolchains for both, developers and admins, these providers offer the expert advice and consultative services to help establish the required practices and culture in the customers organisation, maybe even development services. While a phase 3 provider focusses on the tools to let customers build a DevOps culture themselves, a phase 4 provider would move beyond offering only tools and help the entire customer organisation mature their development practice, become more agile and improve business drivers, which requires a lot of expertise and consulting.
Such a partner would typically look to provide capabilities to deploy and manage any workload on any Cloud all the way the edge for their customers. And further established the capabilities to offer very advanced, even hyperscale-cloud-like Platform Services. These include serverless solutions, Functions as a Service, managed Message Queues, ML, AI or IoT Solutions. To mature to that final stage, they can leverage the full breadth and depth of the VMware Cloud Provider program.
Partner Acceleration Program
VMware is committed to help partners mature along this journey. We invest to help providers build and monetise a successful business and a modern application service portfolio with the VMware Cloud Provider platform. The VMware Worldwide Cloud Practice team therefore developed a Partner Acceleration Program for modern applications. It includes strategy and architecture consulting services for defining a long-term strategy as well as designing modern application offerings and successfully bringing them to market.
The Partner Acceleration Program includes among others the following modules:
- Vision & Strategy development
- Kubernetes as a Service offering strategy
- Platform Services offering strategy
- Proof of Concept and technical enablement for:
- VCD Extensibility and Container Service Extension
- Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and vSphere with Kubernetes
- Bitnami Community Catalog, AppLauchpad and VMware Marketplace
Reach out to your partner manager and start the journey to become a successful modern application services provider today. Ask about the free of charge partner acceleration program for modern applications to get started on your journey. Also, take a look at the Cloud Native eBook for cloud provider partners.