At VMworld US, our partners had a front-row seat for a preview of our new partner program, VMware Partner Connect. As Jenni Flinders, Global Channel Chief, VMware shared in an interview with CRN, this new program is a giant leap forward for our partners which makes leap day, February 29, 2020, the perfect day to go live!

Simplicity, choice, and innovation are the guiding principles for the new program. In the past, VMware had a maze of partner programs, each with its own requirements, benefits, contracts, and even portal access. Partners often participate in multiple programs, so we are consolidating different routes to market into one program. That means that partners can add different business models and focus areas without the complexity of multiple agreements, access rules, and requirements.

Review the Partner Connect Program Highlights for additional details about the program. But first, let’s take a closer look at how this simpler approach will affect key areas such as revenue attainment.

Leveling the Playing Field with Tier Credits

Tier credits will extend across the Partner Connect program. A tier credit model offers the opportunity to balance transactions across different scenarios—which is extremely difficult when the focus is solely revenue attainment. Partners who resell subscription services or who focus on cloud consumption don’t have the same revenue model as a partner who resells licenses for on-premises software. Partners across all business models need to support all facets of customer demand, and a tier credit model helps eliminate the inequities along different types of transactions.

Each transaction under Partner Connect starts with a base level of tier credits corresponding to the dollar value of the transaction. Multipliers are then applied to the value of transactions based on the licensing model, market size, and solution maturity. Please note that all targets, thresholds, and market classification are currently under analysis.

Tier Credits Calculation Example:

The tier credit model follows a well-known rule of smart business: Keep things simple and easy to understand. It also allows partners to choose the business model, solutions, and markets that make sense for their organization, offering a balanced compensation for transactions.


Tier Requirements and Achieving MSCs

VMware will use the tier credit model to calculate sales performance thresholds in place of the previous model based on revenue requirements. We will also define sales performance thresholds for each strategic initiative. If a partner focuses on Data Center Virtualization and Network & Security, they can earn different tier credits for each — with unique sales performance thresholds and competency requirements for each focus area.

Solution Competencies (SCs) and Master Services Competencies (MSCs) are also required for different tiers. We’ve previously shared how MSC achievement is a critical requirement for the Principal tier, in combination with other requirements.

Partners with MSCs are the “go-to” partners for VMware implementations. As the VMware portfolio expands, so does the number of available MSCs. Achieving additional MSCs helps partners earn even more benefits from gaining recognition as a Principal partner across multiple strategic initiatives to earning greater incentives across transactions. Join us for a vmLIVE on September 16 to learn more about the benefits of achieving multiple MSCs.


Tools to Help Us All Maintain Focus

As we continue to enhance Partner Connect, we will provide the resources to help you understand your role in the new program. For example, we just launched a new Partner Connect Transition Dashboard, which looks at competency requirements relative to the new tiers and predicts your tier based on your competency achievements within each strategic initiative. As the tier credit model finalizes, the dashboard will expand to include sales performance for each strategic initiative. You can access the dashboard from the Partner Connect page on Partner Central—please note that only your assigned primary contact has initial access to the Dashboard. Once your primary contact has accessed the dashboard, they can assign other parties to access the information.

With the Partner Connect launch, we are also launching a new partner portal. The new portal will offer a host of new tools, including dashboards for deal registration and lead tracking and other resources to help you maximize your opportunities with VMware.

Watch for more information to be shared in the coming weeks and months leading up to the launch of this game-changing program, including additional vmLIVEs, assets, and learning opportunities. If you have any questions, please reach out to