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Monthly Archives: August 2009

VCP Certification: Do You Know What it Takes?

Maureen_lonergan_72x100 Maureen Lonergan: Ahead of the Learning Curve
[est reading time: 4 minutes, 40 seconds]

You might have noticed that the VMware Certified Professional certification now has a number appended to it.  The name has been changed to reflect your areas of skill – VCP2 for those who have been around the longest and took the VCP test when it revolved around version 2, VCP3 for those of you who studied and mastered version 3 of ESX, and now VCP4 for those who chose to remain in the forefront of the virtualization craze.

The good news is that your certifications now have no end date. Once you have earned your VCP3, you are always a VCP3! Earn the VCP4 certificate and it will always be valid. Just as with prior versions, acquiring your VCP4 involves taking a course to gain important understanding of the features and capabilities of the new version, taking the time to gain some hands-on experience in your workplace, and then passing the certification test.

If you are already on the road to becoming a VCP3 (or better yet you've already earned that title) then you're in luck when it comes to achieving your VCP4. A special path has been created to reflect your efforts thus far; a path that can greatly reduce the amount of time and money you'll need to spend to achieve your goal – becoming a VCP4. To qualify for this offer you must already have earned your VCP3 or have already attended one of the official VMware qualifying courses for the VCP3 – either the "Install and Configure" course, the "Deploy, Secure, and Analyze" course, or our "v3 Fast Track" class.

Vcp_maureen_08-31-2009

Basically, the paths to VCP4 revolve around you – your current position within the hierarchy of the VCP realm and your comfort with the VMware products. There are four kinds of people in the VCP system; professionals who earned their VCPs in the old days (on ESX 2.x), people who have met the course requirements for VCP3 but haven't taken the test, professionals that have earned their VCP3, and people who are new to the whole idea of earning a VCP. There are paths available for each, some of which are only available until the stroke of midnight on December 31st, 2009.

VCPs on ESX 2.x
Let's start with the old timers. You earned your VCP on ESX 2.x – or to use the current terminology you are a VCP2. First of all – thanks! You were an early adopter, and much of our current success can be attributed to your use and promotion of our virtualization infrastructure! You've probably been thinking about taking the VCP3 test for awhile, and there's never been a better time for you to do so. The biggest benefit you get for the length of time you've been working with VMware products is that until December 31st, you can take the VCP3 exam without having to take one of the VI3 courses.

Once you've earned that VCP3 your options continue – you can either self-study or attend the 2-day What's New course and then take the VCP4 exam, earning two certifications in very little time and with very little effort on your part (let's face it, you've been working with our products long enough to have a very good feel for what they do, how they work, and why they're so critical in today's data centers.)
 
Taken the VCP3 course, but haven't taken the test
If you have already taken one of the qualifying VCP3 courses (again, the "Install and Configure" course, the "Deploy, Secure, and Analyze" course, or our "v3 Fast Track") but have yet to take that exam, you have a couple of options as long as you act before the December 31st deadline. You could take the VCP3 test and then the VCP4 test, earning both certificates before the end of the year. Of course, this would imply that you are very comfortable with the new features available in vSphere 4.

If you, like me, need a little kick start, you can sit in the two-day "What's New" course, get a little hands-on time, and then take the test. Either way, just like the old timers (the VCP2s) you have a "twofer" option – earn both certificates by the end of the year with relatively little time and money!

Current VCP3s
As a current VCP3 you have proven your abilities – you are a knowledgeable VMware professional able to create and maintain a virtual infrastructure with ease. As with the VCP2s, first let me say thanks! You are the VMware army – out there installing and maintaining our products in the field. Without you our success story might have a very different ending. You also have a couple of paths available for earning the title of VCP4. You could download a demo version of vSphere4, spend some time learning the ins and outs, and then schedule the test and earn your VCP4. If you feel the need for some class time, VMware has the "What's New" course – two days dedicated to just the changes between ESX 3 and vSphere 4. So another option would be to attend the "What's New" class, get a little keyboard time with the new product, and then take your VCP4 exam.  Just remember, we all turn into pumpkins on December 31st – so don't wait too long before making your move!

New to the whole VCP thing?
If you are just starting the VCP process, either as a seasoned professional who wants to finally earn that coveted title or a complete virtualization newbie, you are also in luck! While there are no short cuts for you (like anything worth having, the VCP certification requires a certain amount of effort) the VCP4 courses are available, the product is out there so you can gain some experience with it, and the test is ready. Your next steps are easy; just register for one of the VCP qualifying courses, get some stick-time, study a bit, and then take the test.

If you are interested in getting a certification or updating your current version and joining our community of over 16,000 Certified Partners, log into Partner University through the Partner Central Portal to get started in course and certification registration.

Maureen Lonergan

Maureen Lonergan is the Director of Global Channel Enablement. She has responsibility for building training programs to enable all Channel Partners; Solution Providers, Corporate Resellers, Technology Providers, Alliance Partners, System Integrators and System Outsourcers, and Hosting. She has been leading the Channel Enablement Team since August 2008.

See You at VMworld 2009!

Ben_matheson_74x100  Ben Matheson: The vMarketing Expert 
[est reading time: 0 minutes, 55 seconds]

Are you going to VMworld? My team has worked hard this year to make VMworld a truly valuable experience for partners. I can say with confidence that there is more at VMworld this year than ever before and I'm looking forward to sharing them with our partner community, so here's a little sneak peak.

Starting with a partner-only kick-off on Monday (we're expecting 2,000 of our closest friends) attendees will get first-hand information on our new partner initiatives, product releases, and roadmap from Paul Maritz (CEO and President), Carl Eschenbach (EVP of Field Operations), Raghu Raghuram (GM Datacenter) and Jocelyn Goldfein (GM Desktop).

I think partners are going to find this year's first-ever partner track sessions especially valuable. There's all kinds of great information on key technical, sales and marketing initiatives that will help you drive your virtualization practice. However, not everything this year is new – we've kept what is most popular with our partners in the years past like the hands-on labs and self-paced labs that focus on our latest technologies. I highly recommend attending presentations from our joint ecosystem partners like Cisco, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Netapp, Symantec, Wyse – and many others.

It all goes down at San Francisco’s Moscone Center next week. Exciting stuff, right?

There's still time to get a pass and attend, but if you just can't make it this year and want to find out the latest and greatest we have a way for you to do it. Just go to the following social media sites and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and of course, our blog. 

I'll see you there.

Ben Matheson
Senior Director, Global Partner Marketing

New VMware SMB Solutions…Delivering the Energy, Edge and Execution

Brandon Sweeney Brandon Sweeney: From the Virtualization Front Lines
[est reading time: 2 minutes, 0 seconds]

The SMB market offers an incredible opportunity for our partners. Over the last few months VMware has invested heavily in market research in the SMB segment and the results are surprising – while virtualization penetration is very low in the segment, nearly all customers know what it is, they all know that VMware is the market leader and they all think that virtualization is too expensive and complicated for their business. 

So what does that mean for you? Simply put, there's a lack of awareness in this segment. With the new VMware SMB packages, virtualization is actually not too expensive or complicated for SMBs at all.  The best part is that solution providers who understand how to explain this to customers have a massive green field market in front of them!

In my travels the last few weeks, I’ve heard some great tips from partners who are successfully selling to SMB customers today…

  1. Availability is Key – Application availability in the small and mid-sized space is critical.  Unplanned downtime isn’t fun, and it's worse when you’re a small operation with limited staff and expertise to get things back online.  The tough part is that most high availability or fault tolerance solutions on the market today are too expensive for smaller customers. Most customers just end up dealing with downtime as a cost of doing business. Partners are telling me that their customers are very surprised to hear that the new VMware Essentials Plus product provides High Availability for just under $1,000 per server and that the new Advanced Acceleration Kit provides zero-downtime fault tolerance for just under $3,500 per server.
  2. Focus on the Power of Virtualized Servers Instead of Consolidation Ratios – a 10:1 consolidation ratio doesn't sound as compelling when you only have 18 servers – in fact, it doesn’t really make sense.  What's easy to undertand is telling your SMB customers that they can get 10 times the productivity out of their servers by virtualizing one of them.  It’s the same message, just presented in a way that will be much more impactful to the IT professional in a smaller environment.   
  3. Start Thinking Server Attach – In the past, I've always told partners that virtualization was a great way to drag incremental server, storage and services business, and while that is still true, partners are now telling me that they’re defaulting to attaching the new VMware SMB packages to their new server sales.  With the Essentials line starting at $330 per server, you now have the ability to add virtualization in every sales cycle!  

VMware has lots of tools to help you in the midmarket. In the SMB Virtualization Kit, there is a white paper by John Madden at Ovum.  There is a case study on my alma mater, Bowdoin College, which describes how virtualization has helped them deliver an improved SLA across campus departments.  Interestingly, the paper also covers a collaborative arrangement with Loyola Marymount in LA for disaster recovery. Good reading!

In closing, VMware is driving awareness, or The Energy, around the benefits of virtualization.  Our distributors are ready to help you, they provide The Edge.  You – our Partners – provide The Execution by helping your customers leverage the benefits of virtualization.

Look for me at VMworld and on this site in the future – thanks for reading!  Good selling!

Regards,
Brandon

Brandon Sweeney is the Vice President of Americas Channel  Sales. He has responsibility for all channel partners; Solution Providers, Corporate Resellers, Technology Providers, Alliance Partners, System Integrators and System Outsourcers, and Hosting. He has been leading the Americas Partner Organization since 2007.

Coming Back from Everything Channel’s Xchange Conference

Doug_smith_72x100 Doug Smith: Leading with Partners
[est reading time: 60 seconds]

This was a busy week for the VMware Partner Team.
 
Ben Matheson and his team were hard at work in Palo Alto putting the finishing touches on Partner Track for VMworld.  We have sessions targeted for specific partner communities including solution providers, hosting providers, and distributors.  We also have breakouts for those interested in learning more about our new competencies – Infrastructure Virtualization, Desktop Virtualization, Business Continuity, and Application Virtualization Management.  Our Alliance Partners will also be there – Cisco, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, and NetApp to name a few, so you’ll be able to network with them.

I spent the week at the Everything Channel Xchange Conference in Washington D.C. and saw Rauline Ochs, an old friend of the partner community and the new head of IPED, the Institute for Partner Education and Development.  Rauline chaired the Channel Leadership Forum at Xchange and spent the afternoon discussing how partners will participate in the move to cloud computing.  Everybody sees the telco carriers as becoming much bigger players around the cloud.  I also think ISVs gain new influence – look at Everynote, Dropbox, and Mozy. All these ISVs are growing and have great offerings for the cloud. VARs also will be key with their customer knowledge and intimacy – however getting outside of IT and calling on the line of business will become even more important.
 
That night at the ARC Awards dinner, VMware was honored to be named as the winner of the Company of the Year: Server Virtualization Software category.  Thanks to all of our solution providers, distributors, OEMs, and other partners for your support! Also thanks to the VMware Partner team for your commitment to the channel and each of our channel partners.
 
If you haven’t done so already, follow the VMware Partner Network on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook and give us some feedback on what you want to hear at VMworld.

Doug Smith
http://www.twitter.com/smith_douglas

Welcome to the Power of Partnership!

Doug_smith_72x100 Doug Smith: Leading with Partners
[est reading time: 50 seconds]

Welcome to the Power of Partnership, the official blog of the VMware Partner Network. We're starting this new channel communication to increase our dialog with you, our partners. From joint business planning sessions to our newly enhanced partner portal, to social networking via LinkedIn or Twitter, interacting and getting feedback from you, our partners, is key to our joint success.

This blog will feature the leaders of the VMware partner team: Ben Matheson, Senior Director of Global Partner Marketing; Brandon Sweeney, Vice President of Americas Channel Sales; Maureen Lonergan, Director of Channel Enablement; and of course, yours truly. Who am I? Well, besides being the guy on the monthly newsletters, I also manage the VMware global partners team, which covers programs, operations, and sales and have over 20 years of experience in channel, OEM, and alliance sales. I enjoy skiing (lots of that here in Colorado) and scuba diving (not so much here) and am hooked on social media – I manage our partner Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook pages and follow quite a few bloggers in the industry.

We'll rotate around throughout every month to give you insight on what's going on with VMware partner programs.

So there you have it. We'll be hosting videos, interviews, discussions, and news but most of all we want to feature your ideas. So, let us know: How can we help? What topics do you find interesting? Please leave comments below – because after all, this is your blog!

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to your participation.

Doug Smith
VMware Global Partner Sales

Doug Smith is the Senior Director of Worldwide Partner Sales at VMware. He manages the VMware Global Partners team.