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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Competencies: The Gateway to Profitability

Brandon Sweeney Brandon Sweeney: From the Virtualization Front Lines
[est reading time: 1 minute, 55 seconds]

I've been on the road a lot lately, and am currently in South America with our Americas General Manager talking with partners about their businesses and how they are reinventing themselves. Many are in the midst of business model makeovers. They're restructuring their companies, changing their go-to-market strategies, retraining their people, and re-investing in their customer relationships. This is happening with partners both large and small.

Why?  There are many reasons – betting on an economic upturn, competitive pressures, maximizing profitability, and changing customer expectations. One constant theme supporting these changes is the desire to capture more of the IT spend around virtualization, and specifically VMware. Multiple third-parties have confirmed the $11 of additional spend associated with each $1 of VMware spend – the topline and GP opportunities across server, storage, network, application and all flavors of services do add up. The key to getting more of these dollars is to focus on outcome-based selling, not product selling.  Helping customers understand how virtualization will increase their business agility, improve IT resiliency and accelerate IT efficiency from the desktop to the datacenter remain key themes for CXOs.

One of the fastest ways to be best prepared to have these business level discussions is to get your entire sales team accredited and your company achieve the VMware Solution Competencies. This is a key catalyst to capturing more of these 'VMware Drag' dollars.  We have data from hundreds of partners that show that VSP (VMware Sales Professional – our most basic cert) accredited sales people are twice as productive selling VMware solutions than those who are not accredited.

As the title of this blog says, Competencies are the Gateway to Profitability. Here is how the logic works:

  • Training and certifications are the foundation of VMware Competencies (today we offer Competencies in Infrastructure Virtualization, Business Continuity and Virtual Desktop)
  • VMware Competencies are a foundation for enabling partner differentiation and outcome-based selling
  • Differentiation and outcome-based selling are key contributors to profitability
  • Competencies are the gateway to increased profitability and customer retention
  • The competency journey at VMware starts with our Infrastructure Virtualization Competency. All other VMware Solution Competencies build on it.

Find your company's dashboard in Partner Central. There are also reports available to see how a student is progressing.  Remember, partner companies achieve competencies, people achieve accreditations.

First step is you need a Partner Central user account. If you don’t have one, use this link:

If you have a Partner Central user account, use this link to get started. There is lots of information on this page as well as a link to your company's Competency Dashboard:

Rarely in this industry has there been such a powerful technology catalyst to drive your growth and profitability. VMware has the most proven, most technically advanced, and most complete virtualization platform. Get your accreditations, get your competencies. Assume the lead as a guide for your customers on the virtualization adoption journey.
Thanks for the great support.  I look forward to seeing you all in Las Vegas this February for Partner Exchange 2010.

Good Selling!

Brandon Sweeney

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.

SolutionTrack, On the Road Again…

Maureen_lonergan_72x100 Maureen Lonergan: Ahead of the Learning Curve
[est reading time: 1 minutes, 20 seconds]

The most rewarding part of my job is when I get to hear good things from you – our partners. As the Director of Partner Enablement, I’m constantly striving to make you more successful and I believe our SolutionTrack series does just that, with 97% of all attendees saying that they would attend a future session and 95% saying the course will help them sell and position VMware solutions more effectively. We decided to take SolutionTrack back on the road for Q4 – if you still haven't signed up for this free series, maybe some words from our past attendees can convince you. Here’s what some of them had to say:

  • "Whiteboard presentations will definitely help my presentations to end-users from admins up to C-level execs. The combination of a business pitch and technical pitch will help my business grow significantly."
  • "Role plays were terrific as well as the practice whiteboarding of the material.  The instructor was thorough and had terrific rapport with the team.  He offered many competitive selling advantages VMware offers."
  • "I was able to leave the session able to understand the value proposition much better and ready to discuss more issues and whiteboard with customers."
  • "The whiteboarding overview was genius."
  • "Instructor's in depth explanation of features and real life examples enhanced the on-line training and on-line whiteboard session."
  • "Instructor was very knowledgeable and group role playing scenarios discussed key selling points and work-arounds to customer rebuttals."

Sales and customer teams in a role-playing scenarioSales teams presenting to customers

Reviewing customer proposition on a whiteboard Showing what works best when presenting to C-level execs

By the end of the day, you'll learn how to identify key customer challenges and map them to product benefits. More importantly, the role-playing scenarios will help you gain confidence in effectively delivering the customer value proposition, handling sales objections, and whiteboarding solutions to senior IT management, application owners, and C-level executives.

While there is technical whiteboarding involved, the material is geared towards pre-sales and sales professionals. I also recommend a VSP certification before attending the SolutionTrack – while you don't need one, the course material comes easier if you have it. The trainings are half-day sessions for Disaster Recovery and full-day sessions for VMware View and vSphere 4 with an interactive format that combines classroom
presentations, whiteboard tutorials, and role-play scenarios.

just announced a new schedule and opened up registrations on Partner University for Q4 events.
In addition to the tour, we also have the
SolutionTrack whiteboards available online for your benefit.

I look forward to seeing you on the road!

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.

Ben’s Top 10 Reasons to Attend Partner Exchange 2010

Ben_matheson_74x100  Ben Matheson: The vMarketing Expert 
[est reading time: 2 minutes, 10 seconds]

Earlier this month we announced that Partner Exchange 2010 – our annual global partner conference – is going to take place in Las Vegas from February 8th – 10th, 2010. Last year we gave more than 1,600 attendees a preview of the new VMware Partner Network and got them educated on vSphere, VMware View and our other solutions.  This year we are scaling it up to be bigger than ever, so I thought I'd give you a sneak peak into some of our plans with my Top Ten List…here it goes:

Ben's Top 10 for Partner Exchange 2010 (catchy, right?)

10.) VMware is the industry leader in business infrastructure virtualization.
VMware is the global leader in business infrastructure virtualization and we’re uniquely positioned to successfully enable you to address your customers’ virtualization needs. VMware Partner Exchange is the only event solely dedicated to helping you succeed in 2010.

9.) Get there for the Super Bowl, stay for Partner Exchange
Super Bowl XLIV is on Sunday, February 7. Fly in on Sunday morning, place some bets, and hit the Super Bowl parties in the afternoon. Who’s your pick to take it all? I’m still counting on my Pats to take it all the way, but even if your team won’t be there, Vegas is an awesome place to enjoy the big game if you’re not at Land Shark Stadium in Miami.

8.) Network, network, network
Connect with more than 1,800 partners and peers from the VMware global partner ecosystem, including Channel Partners, Technology Alliance Partners, Distributors, and OEMs. Meet face-to-face, share best practices and cross-selling solutions, and build better business relationships. It’s always great to sit down with friends that you haven’t seen since PEX 09 or even VMworld 2008!

7.) House of Blues
The partner party this year will be at the world-famous House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay Resort. Mingle with the biggest names in virtualization, network with your peers, and have a few drinks on us. Oh, I think there’s some music there too.

6.) Make yourself a virtualization rockstar
Whether you are new to VMware or have extensive familiarity in virtualization solutions, our comprehensive conference program is designed to deliver content specific to your job role and business needs. We’re going to have some new sessions this year, including vertical-specific markets like Government & SLED, Healthcare, and SMB, and as always, the featured tracks include Sales, Services, Technical, Labs, Executive Forum, Partner Solutions, and Technology Alliance. 

5.) Stay ahead of the game
No, I’m not talking about the Super Bowl this time! Get latest announcements on the hottest virtualization products and the roadmap for the future so you know what’s in store before it hits the general public. We announced VMware vSphere 4 at Partner Exchange 2009 – wait until you see what’s coming in 2010.

4.) Hear the vision from Carl Eschenbach
The man always gives killer presentations and is one of the most passionate leaders at VMware. Dave Lawrence (aka The VMguy) said "If you ever have the opportunity to see Carl speak, go.  He’s a great presenter and very easy to follow."

3.) Hands-on technical training with VMware virtualization experts
One of the most consistently valuable experiences for our attendees is the chance to develop skills and technical expertise in interactive hands-on labs. You’ll also have numerous opportunities to interact with VMware enthusiasts during Birds-of-a-Feather roundtables and get all your questions answered by VMware sales and technical gurus at the Experts Bar. We’ll also be offering VSP and VTSP Workshops, VCP Prep Courses, and Certification Exams during the week!

2.) It’s your conference, and we’re listening
Partner Exchange is all about you, and we listen – last year we unveiled the award-winning VMware Partner Network program, which delivers competency-based, industry-recognized training and tools to help our partners grow their virtualization practices and continue to be trusted advisers to customers of all sizes. Some of the products and features that VMware develops come from ideas and feedback that we get directly from our valued partners at Partner Exchange.

1.) We’re headed to Vegas.  ‘Nuff said.

The intent of the event is that partners can confidently walk out and discuss the latest VMware solutions and technologies with their customers – everything else that happens in Vegas that week stays in Vegas!

Ben Matheson
Senior Director, Global Partner Marketing

Register for VMware Partner Exchange 2010 at www.vmware.com/go/partnerexchange
Interested in sponsorship and exhibit opportunities? Contact partnerevents@vmware.com