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Advantage+ Enhancements for 2017: What Partners Need to Know

Last August, VMware announced enhancements to Advantage+, our opportunity registration program.  This year, we continue the evolution as part of our ongoing commitment to deliver best in class partner programs.  We are pleased to announce the following Advantage+ enhancements effective June 19:

  • Lead on Professional Services – Premier and Enterprise Solution Providers and Corporate Resellers can request registration to take the lead on selling Professional Services.
  • Cross-Sell Up-Sell Improvements – Modified validation process to allow for solution-oriented selling.
  • Professional Level Solution Providers eligible to participate in Advantage+  with  safeguard registration benefits.

VMware transformational solutions continue to offer immense partner opportunity and these Advantage+ enhancements will streamline the incentive process for our advanced products.

Be sure to review the incentives page on Partner Central for more details.

VMware vRealize Updates Bring Opportunities

VMware’s recent product updates make it easier to accelerate your customers’ digital transformation by modernizing their existing data center environment and simplifying management of heterogeneous, multi-vendor cloud environments. The updated VMware vRealize® Cloud Management Platform brings opportunity by enabling customers to manage and provision at scale – with compute, network, storage and application services across multi cloud environments.

What’s improved with vRealize Cloud Management for customers and partners?

  • Faster time-to-implementation and lower total cost of ownership of cloud
  • Partners are eligible for the front-end discounts up to 30%, plus a 5% back-end rebate

How can I engage my customers?

IDC predicts that by 2018, 98% of Enterprises will be operating both private and public clouds. This would accelerate an increasing need for a multi cloud management solution. Start the conversation around the following three common customer use cases and illustrating key updates:

Intelligent Operations                                    

  • Automated, Proactive Performance Management for workload balancing across clusters and data stores based on business needs
  • 360 Troubleshooting for faster root-cause analysis
  • Enhanced Insights to improve forecasting and accelerate cloud planning
  • Increased Support for VMware vSAN™ Operations, Ease of Use Enhancements, Improved Cross Cloud Networking and Security Management, and much more

Automate IT

  • Increased support for VMware NSX® Day Two Actions for load balancing, networking and security functions
  • Automated, Proactive Workload Placement to improve placement decision making for provisioning new virtual machines

DevOps-Ready IT

  • Container Management Enhancements including support for vSphere Integrated ContainersTM and Docker
  • Configuration Management Framework for integration with tools such as Puppet, Chef, Salt, and Ansible
  • DBaaS Enhancements to easily clone server databases and make them catalog items
  • Enhanced Microsoft Azure support to enable deployment and management of application and middleware services

For more details on what is new and improved with vRealize, listen to the “Learn about the new vRealize releases in Q2” vmLIVE session. You will hear from VMware Cloud Management leaders and subject matter experts on strategy updates, new releases, and to see demos of the new functionality.

Also, be sure to visit the Launch Resource Center  for more information on product updates, partner benefits and incentives on growing your cloud management practice

Know More, Grow More: VMware Mobility Accreditation

The newly released Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management 2017 once again names VMware as the leader with the highest rating on both ability to execute and completeness of vision.

The Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) landscape has changed considerably over the past seven years.  Continued innovation in the space by a market leader is a benefit to partners who will be well prepared to lead their customers on their digital transformation journey.

A great way for partners to participate in the upcoming Mobility, Windows 10 and IoT opportunity is to have a highly competent staff.  A good place for Partner Sales Engineers to start is to achieve the VMware Mobility Management Pre-Sales Accreditation.

Penton Media recently sat down with VMware Global Performance Consultant Kevin Groat to hear more about Mobility enablement and how VMware is helping partners position themselves to obtain their share of the Mobility market.  Listen to the interview as Kevin expands on:

  • How partners can become well-versed in Mobility and ways VMware can help
  • Why partners should earn the VTSP Mobility 2017 accreditation
  • Benefits of achieving accreditations for your organization

For 2017, the VMware Mobility Management Pre-Sales Accreditation is now streamlined into three courses as follows:

  • VMware AirWatch Solution Overview
  • VMware AirWatch Fundamentals
  • VMware AirWatch: Validate and Prove (using TestDrive)

Knowing more and growing more is easier than ever. Get started earning your VMware Mobility Accreditation today.

 

VMware Honors Partner Innovation Award Winners

This week VMware hosted its second Partner Leadership Summit in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.  The invite-only event was an opportunity for c-level executives from our top partners to join our corporate leaders and dive deep on VMware strategy to understand how we will drive our mutual success in 2017 and beyond.

A highlight of the Leadership Summit was the announcement of the annual Partner Innovation Awards.  During award ceremonies, VMware recognized both regional and global excellence across routes to market, functional areas, focus solutions as well as strategic IT priorities and other key categories.  For a complete list of our Partner Innovation Award winners and categories please read today’s press release.

Congratulations again to our 2016 award-winning partners on this tremendous achievement. VMware leaders were delighted to honor your outstanding performance and dedication.  We look forward to celebrating our next partner innovation award winners in 2018 as we continue to work in lock step with our channel for ongoing success.

VMware Introduces Pulse IoT Center

Graphic for Pulse IoT Center

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly transforming traditional business models and operational processes. IoT is giving organizations the ability to use sensors and smart devices to gather new types of data about the physical world that has never been available before. Whether the thing is a wind turbine, truck, building, car or manufacturing robot, the data these things generate is now used to unlock new opportunities and insights.

IoT Adoption – Customer Challenges

As enterprises begin to embrace and invest in IoT to realize its benefits, they are running into significant challenges.  They need a simpler way to keep track, visualize, monitor and secure the hundreds and thousands of edge systems and various types of connected devices that are unmanned and located anywhere.

Enterprise organizations are also struggling to manage IoT operations across their fragmented ecosystems, prioritize the data from things to platforms, and deploy strategies with speed and efficiency. Simultaneously, these IT and OT departments are not necessarily communicating well or working together on strategies even though they both need to implement and scale IoT use cases quickly and cost effectively.

 IoT Solutions – A Fresh Approach

VMware is taking a fresh approach to IoT solutions with the latest launch of VMware Pulse IoT Center.  Providing a secure, enterprise grade, end to end infrastructure management solution, VMware Pulse IoT enables OT and IT to manage, monitor and secure all IoT ‘things’ from the edge to the cloud.

VMware Pulse IoT Center leverages VMware’s core expertise in device management, infrastructure analytics, security, and cloud management to enable organizations to reduce IoT complexity; increase the reliability and security of their IoT infrastructure, and get to ROI faster. It addresses the complex needs of IoT for both IT and OT teams and helps enterprises take control of their IoT by managing broader, operating smarter and more securely, and innovating faster.

One VMware Ecosystem for the Internet of Things

To implement an Internet of Things solution today customers often need to cobble together offerings from various vendors, with few standards and little guidance. They have to make decisions on sensors, edge systems, data analytics and storage solutions, network connectivity, application development and more.

To simplify matters and help customers address complex IoT use cases across multiple industries, VMware is forging IoT-related alliances with:

  • Server OEMs/Edge Systems
  • Embedded OEMs
  • Systems Integrators
  • Business Applications and Analytics
  • IoT Platform Vendors

These alliances endeavor to bridge the gap between the IT and OT worlds and deploy an end to-end IoT solution from the device to datacenter: At this time, VMware Partners are encouraged to get more information about our IoT solutions via the VMware IoT solutions website. Additional video resources include:

 

Digital Transformation: A Journey Partners Can Lead

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“Leaders don’t force people to follow; they invite them on a journey”.  Charles S. Lauer

As the quote above alludes to, a journey of any kind aspires to bring about transformation.  Think about the journeys in which you have been a part.  Do they evolve?  Yes.  Do they require time and resources?  Yes.   Are they typically worth it?  Yes.

As a VMware Partner, you have the ability to accelerate the digital transformation journey and achieve successful outcomes for your customers.

Penton Media recently sat down with Chris Wolf, CTO Global Field and Industry at VMware, to talk about the digital transformation journey.  Watch the FastChat below as they expand on questions such as:

  • What strategic IT priorities relative to digital transformation should partners be addressing for their customers?
  • How does VMware collaborate with partners to accelerate digital transformation for customers?
  • How can partners find out more?

Chris discusses how partners are empowered to lead their customers on the digital transformation journey and how this presents a host of opportunities for partner success.

Be sure to watch the FastChat and get ready to lead your customers on their digital transformation journey.

Register for Partner Exchange at VMworld 2017

Partner Exchange @ VMworld 2017 is fast approaching.  Do not miss this chance to immerse yourself in the latest in cloud infrastructure and digital workspace innovations.

Re-discover the technology, trends and people like you, who are shaping digital business.

This once a year event enables you to:

  • Collaborate and Network: Interact with your peers, the VMware partner ecosystem and IT movers and shakers—a “who’s who” in digital business.
  • Explore and Discover: Learn from subject matter experts on new and emerging product breakthroughs, best practices and case studies.
  • Learn and Grow: Gain direct, “take-to-the-bank” experience in expert-guided hands-on labs and VMware Certification opportunities.

Partner Exchange takes place in Las Vegas on August 27 and in Barcelona on September 11 and the content this year is as robust as ever.  At this exclusive partner event, you will hear about the latest industry trends, product innovations, and joint go-to-market opportunities and participate in solution keynotes relevant to your business. You will also gain access to the Partner Exchange Lounge, open all week for partners to meet, network and relax.  Act now and include Partner Exchange with your VMworld 2017 pass during registration to ensure you do not miss this must-attend event.

Don’t hesitate, register now for Partner Exchange at VMworld US or Europe and save with our Early Bird pricing.

We look forward to seeing you at Partner Exchange.

Committed to Partner Success

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At VMware, we understand how important our partners are not only to our success, but also to customers as they navigate steep changes in the digital landscape. In support, we are consistently building, improving and expanding our partner programs with ease of use and profitability in mind. As such, we are excited to receive a 5-star ranking in the CRN Partner Program Guide.

What 5-star Ranking Means 

The CRN 5-Star Partner Program Guide ranking recognizes VMware as an elite subset of vendors that offer solution providers the best partnering elements within their channel programs. To determine which vendors receive this ranking, CRN’s research team assesses each program based on:

  • Investments in program offerings
  • Partner profitability
  • Partner training, education and support
  • Marketing programs and resources
  • Sales support and communication

Our commitment to partner success is evident in our award-winning VMware Partner Network Program. Extensive resources and support for partners described below are designed to differentiate your business, generate demand and drive revenue.

Working to Ensure Partner Success

We understand the marketing leads at our partner organizations are constantly on the move, juggling programs, staying current on marketing trends, and oftentimes wearing many hats from creative director to social media guru. We work directly with partners and gather information via surveys and other tools to hone program changes and updates that put Partner Demand Center at the heart of our programs and our partners’ success.

How Partner Demand Center Helps

Partner Demand Center gives partners access to tools, content and marketing programs to generate demand, nurture leads and turn prospects into customers. Partners do not have to spend hours building campaigns or driving leads and converting into pipeline.  Instead, you can easily access the latest content to reach prospects with customizable web and social content and demand generation email programs.

Demand Generation drivers within Partner Demand Center include:

Syndicated Website Content 

VMware provided content is easily integrated and automatically updated to keep partner websites current with compelling assets. Website visitors have access to information they need to complete their buyer’s journey and can obtain more content via built-in lead generation forms. Content is created by VMware experts and auto-updated through the Partner Demand Center where analytics are collected and distributed so partners see real-time results.

Social Media Syndication

Finding time and resources to consistently publish relevant content on social media can be difficult. With social syndication, the VMware team develops fresh posts that stream to partner social platforms automatically. Sign on to Partner Demand Center, select the type of posts to socialize the desired social platforms and chose to have them auto-posted or edited and approved before publishing. We track analytics and deliver a real-time snap shot of which companies are interacting with your social posts. In fact, there were over 85,000 clicks on 5,000 VMware syndicated social media posts in the month of March 2017.

Demand Generation Email Marketing 

Look no further for campaigns that nurture leads, send offers and industry information to prospects, and help upsell existing customers. No need to worry about developing landing pages, forms or customizing and personalizing the look and feel to match your brand, we take care of all of that in the Partner Demand Center. Your leads come back with associated tracking for follow-up activities based on user behavior.

More Partner Benefits

Beyond syndicated web content, demand generation and social media syndication, VMware offers other benefits and opportunities to partners in our VMware Partner Network program such as:

  • Incentives
  • Product demo programs and hands-on labs
  • Sales enablement, training and certifications
  • Recurring and residual revenue opportunities and qualified leads
  • Enablement programs such as vmLIVE, mobile app and Partner University
  • Guidebooks and assets to easily identify opportunities
  • Solution enablement toolkits to help partners develop their own solutions
  • Virtual and instructor lead trainings, boot camps and roadshows
  • Troubleshooting and configuration tools
  • Customized one-to-one marketing planning and support
  • Partner-led workshops
  • Webinar programs

We are proud to receive a 5-star ranking in the CRN Partner Program Guide and we look forward to continuing to help drive success for our partners. To find out more about our Partner programs, visit the VMware Partner Network page or the Partner Demand Center.

How HCI Drives Partner Profitability

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In 2016, Gartner announced the uprising of Hyper-Converged Integrated Systems (HCIS) as the ‘third wave of integrated systems,’ and cautioned organizations to prepare. Their reasons cited a 79% growth rate that signaled widespread mainstream HCIS implementations totaling an estimated $5B (24% of the market) by 2019. Based on data this means HCIS has become the fastest growing segment of the Integrated Systems market.

These trends toward rapid adoption of Hyper-Converged infrastructure (HCI) present ample opportunity for VMware partners to help customers adopt affordable software defined solutions. However, some partners remain concerned about how, where or why these conversations, particularly around storage solutions, are beneficial now and into the future.

Recently, Lee Caswell, VMware VP Products, Storage and Availability, weighed in on growth opportunities for partners and shared his insights here and on video:

HCI profitability can match traditional storage offerings:

Many partners wonder about profitability when competing with storage-specific resellers. They imagine a significant investment in training will be mandatory to address expertise required in custom hardware. They also wonder if breaking into the server market is worth the time and effort.

Fair enough, let’s dive a little deeper.

Attractive margins and lower TCO = win-win

From a partner profitability perspective, margin rich HCI servers pair with margin rich solutions in the VMware stack that together solve customers’ challenges. The combination is undeniably beneficial to partner growth. On the customer side, total cost of ownership (TCO) is attractive due to upwards of 60% reductions in cost over enterprise storage solutions and for partners this means easier and faster deal closures.

 Land and expand time frames reduced

Due to a high capital investment, most customers expect traditional storage arrays to sit unchanged for years. This results in 9-12 month sales cycles followed by five-year upgrade plans. With HCI, customers can start small and scale-out with future-proofed designs. The combination of more flexibility and lower entry costs allows deals to close in 60-90 days with repeat buying patterns based on scaling needs that facilitate on-going customer purchases.

 Hyper-converged systems consolidate training time

Server management and storage scale-outs are typically based on widely used virtualization management tools. Because most HCI offerings are available on different server vendors, partners can offer customers vendor choices without introducing new user interfaces or management silos.

HCI supports customer and partner revenue goals: 

  1. With HCI, partners can introduce value-add data protection services that target virtual environments.
  2. Deals with existing server partners can be expanded in size and scope, allowing partners to maximize program dollars.
  3. HCI is an excellent strategy for storage partners looking to counter the shrinking legacy enterprise storage market.
  4. Support costs are reduced by minimizing risks of misconfiguration via HCI flexible scale-out designs.
  5. Minimal performance risks exist because flash is made affordable.
  6. For HCI systems already all-flash; partners can improve upfront configuration time, on-site performance tuning, and customer satisfaction.

For more information, watch the video interview with Lee Caswell. For help generating demand for HCI solutions, maximizing margins, and participating in SDS boot camps, visit the VMware Partner Demand Center.

 

Driving Digital Transformation

Young businesswoman and man having a business conversation in a restaurant. Woman is talking while man carefully listens, and makes notes on his tablet. Both are well dressed. Copy space has been left.

Due to user experience, innovation, and cloud adoption, digital transformation is no longer just a buzzword. It has fast become a necessity across all sectors and significantly impacts the growth planning and IT budgets of all organizations.

Research shows that IT leaders have more than doubled their focus on digital transformation strategies within the last year. This increase is driven in large part by fear and uncertainty. Many organizations fear becoming obsolete. They’re uncertain of what their industry will look like in three years, and they worry they’re not yet in the ranks of digital leaders.

What’s in Store for Customers in 2017

To overcome this fear, organizations are springing into action. This year, we can expect to see them prioritizing technology initiatives, including larger investments in infrastructure, resources, and software development. In addition, we can expect corresponding changes in IT resource and budget allocation.

For example, we know network virtualization opportunities are at an all-time high of US$10 billion. That’s good news for partners specializing in the VMware NSX® platform—and more opportunity awaits.

Instead of specific solutions, partners and customers are focusing on core set of business outcomes in 2017: accelerating business agility and innovation, delivering exceptional mobile experiences, and protecting brand reputation and customer trust. We are enabling partners to help their customers achieve these business outcomes through four strategic IT priorities.

Modernizing data centers. As enterprises deepen their digital transformation efforts, they’re leveraging VMware software-defined technology so they can quickly respond to and create new market opportunities. Through VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture™ and virtualization technologies, partners can help organizations:

  • Modernize infrastructure by software-defining compute, storage, and networking resources for efficiency and agility
  • Automate IT to streamline provisioning and deployment at a speed that keeps up with business demands
  • Run modern apps, whether cloud-native, web-scale, or open API-based, on an enterprise-grade platform

Integrating public clouds. Today’s digital transformation strategies increasingly include public cloud integration for greater agility and innovation. In fact, a VMware customer survey found that nearly 70 percent of enterprises foresee an ideal end state where they rely on multiple clouds. Partners can confidently help their customers:

  • Leverage VMware hybrid clouds by extending VMware vSphere®-based infrastructure to vSphere-based public clouds, where they can run apps with workload portability between on-premises infrastructure and the cloud
  • Manage multiple clouds with VMware vRealize® for multiple private and public vSphere-based clouds, or in the future, with VMware Cross-Cloud Services™ to manage any app or workload on any cloud

Empowering digital workspaces. Employees today rely on the ability to work anywhere, anytime, on devices of their choosing. They expect a mobile experience that meets—or exceeds—what they experience as consumers. We help partners enable exceptional mobile experiences for enterprises by using NSX, the VMware Workspace ONE™ enterprise platform, the VMware Horizon® virtual desktop infrastructure, the VMware AirWatch® enterprise mobility platform, and other solutions to:

  • Simplify application access and management by keeping apps, desktops, and data off the endpoints and secure in the data center or cloud
  • Unify endpoint management so IT can manage all apps and devices on a single platform, regardless of ownership—and with complete employee privacy
  • Virtualize apps and desktops, running them in secure data centers on-premises or in the cloud to ensure that only the user interface is transmitted beyond the firewall
  • Transform Windows delivery by giving IT centralized security controls through which they can easily manage all devices and user access on Windows 10

Transforming security. IT is challenged to secure interactions between users, apps, and data in a constantly shifting, digital business environment. And traditional network-perimeter security cannot address the increasing sprawl of applications and users. We help solve these security issues by providing a ubiquitous software layer across application infrastructure and endpoints. This approach provides deep visibility into and context for the interactions between users and applications. As a result, partners can help organizations:

  • Secure application infrastructure by using NSX to virtualize the network and implement micro-segmentation to align granular security controls to apps
  • Secure identity and endpoints with end-to-end visibility and control, from the user and endpoint device all the way into the app infrastructure within the data center or cloud
  • Streamline compliance through controls implemented at the software layer, which also deliver the visibility needed to demonstrate compliance

Get Ready to Help Customers Accelerate Digital Transformation

Working together, VMware and our partners are well positioned to add valuable insight to digital transformation conversations. But it’s not just about talking. It’s about delivering robust technology solutions needed to ease the concerns of customers across all sectors.

Be sure to visit Partner Central for more on how partners can help drive digital transformation in 2017 and beyond.