News & Highlights

How 2020 revealed collaboration and trust to be the cornerstone of the vendor-partner relationship

Jean Philippe Barleaza, VP Channel, Alliances and General Business EMEA, VMware

With the chapter of 2020 now closed, I have great reason to believe 2021 will offer more promise for our partners as they continue to play a central role in helping customers overcome future hurdles.

Those hurdles are varied – from constantly evolving consumer expectations driving a continuous need to innovate, to new competitors biting at their heels, the pressure for businesses to offer continued value, new digital services and experiences to their customers and employees, remains heightened.

But wherever there is a challenge our customers face – our partners have stepped up to the plate and helped them navigate their future. We want to be there alongside our partners, and over the course of the past year we believe we’ve delivered value to our ecosystem – built on a foundation of collaboration and trust.

Here are just a few ways we have come together in times of adversity:

Driving more value for partners

Through our VMware Partner Connect program, we designed a model to provide greater profit opportunities for our partners but also greater flexibility and differentiation for them to meet the evolving needs of their customers. I’m constantly in awe of the feedback our partners have given us, and the ways in which they’ve embraced this game-changing programme. As Yves Sandfort, CEO of comdivision group puts it “Partner Connect helps differentiate us from others and opens access to new market opportunities.”

Partner Connect really reflects one thing – that we simply wouldn’t be the company we are today without our partners.

Seeing our partners as an extension of our team

Our annual showcase event for partners, EMPOWER which of course became EMPOWER Online this year is our platform to arm partners with the same technical, sales and marketing content as our direct teams.

There is no better place to get up to speed and understand the full breadth of VMware’s offerings. A key component of EMPOWER has always been to help our partners understand how they help their customers upgrade their business with the most advanced technology. This year saw huge interest in VMware Tanzu, our portfolio of solutions that allows customers to build, run, and manage Kubernetes controlled container-based applications. We also updated partners on our multi-cloud strategy that serves as a unique, universal foundation and how it can unlock the cloud’s full potential as customers can build, run, manage, connect, and protect any app on any cloud.

All-new Partner Demand Centre

At this year’s virtual VMworld we gave partners an inside look at our all-new Partner Demand Center, designed exclusively for VMware partners to map a plug-and-play strategy to the activities that align with their goals, easily customized to drive demand faster and increase pipeline.

Like previous years, we wanted to ensure all our partners felt they left VMworld with an in-depth knowledge in any specific solution areas they had an interest in, so we created “can’t-miss” sessions for each of our core areas of App Modernization, Digital Workspace, Hybrid Cloud, Intrinsic Security, Virtual Cloud Networking  and VMware Cloud on AWS

Delivering a Future Ready framework for customers

If EMPOWER was a chance to dive into our recently launched Partner Connect programme, EMPOWER Recharge Online Europe was all about the introduction of the VMware Future Ready Framework.

Last year forced businesses to quickly adapt across three major fronts – people, infrastructure and apps/services, and if there’s one thing 2020 taught us, it’s that technology holds the key to businesses resilience. That’s why our Future Ready Framework looks at how our partners can support customers across our Workforce, Cloud and Modern Apps portfolio.

A look to 2021

So what to take away from last year as we look ahead to 2021?

Firstly, that it is our priority and ambition to drive a partner-first ecosystem. The situations our customers are findings themselves in, to become more future-proofed and flexible, present significant opportunity for our partners – we can capitalise on this opportunity together.

When things are born out of collaboration, and built around how our partners want to do business, we can solve customers’ most pressing IT and business needs, tackle complexity, and drive digital transformation.

That’s why you’ll see us push even more of a partner-first culture. From our roadmap across our franchise platforms to our joint marketing strategies and co-selling opportunities, we want our partners to be part of the landscape and trust that they are part of the exciting directions we’re heading in.

So while 2020 had its challenges, there’s also a lot to take away from it as we look forward together to the year ahead.


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