A Reboot of the Partner Playbooks to Drive VMware Partner Success

At VMware, our partners help our customers identify and implement the right solutions to meet business objectives and get the biggest return on their investment. That requires partners to know VMware solutions inside and out, and to clearly explain and demonstrate how they meet business needs. Over the years, we’ve provided partners with playbooks to give them the knowledge and resources critical to selling for VMware. However, the playbooks lacked consistency in content, structure and design from solution to solution. It was time to reboot the playbooks—with a “partner first” approach.


Discovering What Partners Wanted in a Playbook

Through interviews and a survey, we asked partners what they wanted in a playbook—what topics, tools, structure, and resources would help the most. Here’s what they told us:

  • Maintain consistent content and organization across playbooks
  • Make them more succinct without losing important detail
  • Deliver playbooks as PDFs, but have some interactivity
  • Create individual playbooks for solutions, not one giant playbook for all solutions
  • Address sales, marketing and other internal audiences in each solution playbook
  • Include content about the VMware Intrinsic Security and umbrella VMware Cloud Foundation stories
  • Provide talk tracks to use when speaking with customers and prospects, such as key differentiators and other important topics
  • Promote the playbooks to increase partner awareness of these valuable resources


Meet the New Partner Solution Playbooks

We have gotten the input, applied our expertise and are now excited to announce the availability of the new, standardized Solution Playbooks. Designed for sales and marketing, the playbooks highlight what a partner needs to learn about specific VMware solutions and products, how to uncover opportunities and how to close deals. They’re extremely portable and can be consumed on any screen—smartphone, tablet or laptop—using the Adobe Acrobat App or a browser.

We developed a standardized approach that we have applied across playbooks. Each playbook has a similar look and feel with the same types of content in key chapters or sections. The content can be navigated from a table of contents page or tabs and menus along the top. Each playbook contains chapters that coach partners on how to:

  • Get started. A table of contents along with explanations of the benefits of being a VMware partner or a VMware Cloud Network partner, such as increased deal sizes.
  • Prepare to sell. All that’s needed to get ready to sell, including the market opportunity with key analyst stats, customer pain points, the ideal customer profile (and red flags), buying personas and business validation, solution overview, use cases and pricing.
  • Lead conversations. All a partner needs to have winning conversations with a lead, including the value proposition, key differentiators and why they matter, tons of success stories from big brands and across industries, a competitive analysis, the all-important objection handling and needs assessment tools.
  • Generate demand. A campaign guide with custom and co-branded marketing materials that drive success by addressing the IT initiative, campaign objective, campaign messaging, target audience, and campaign bill of materials (campaign playbook, email nurture, digital kit and content syndication assets).
  • Expand and drive adoption. Based on business models, suggested add-on services and examples of cross-sell strategies to make it easier than ever to show customers the benefits of expanding their use of VMware solutions.
  • Get trained. Ways partners can access valuable resources and increase their value with Partner Connect, an overview of competencies and Partner University, details about Solution competencies and a clear understanding of how earning Master Services Competencies (MSCs) gives partners a competitive edge.
  • Access partner resources. Links to VMware Professional Services and solution enablement toolkits, along with ways to profit more through being a VMware partner by offering services such as advisory services, managed services, application development and more.

Example page from the VMware Cloud Foundation Partner Playbook showing navigation tabs at the top and links to additional resources.


Access the New Playbooks

When you log into Partner Connect, click on the “Solutions” tab at the top and you will see the new “Solution Playbooks” menu with links to specific playbooks.

Access the solution playbooks on Partner Connect after logging in.



Remember, you must log into the Partner Connect portal to access the playbooks because beyond messaging and value propositions, they also contain competitive details and other confidential information.


Check Out the New Playbooks – Available Now!

We currently have seven playbooks available, with localization underway for French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese versions of each. These playbooks were selected based on the solutions and topics partners told us were most valuable to them:

Example playbooks for VMware Cloud Foundation and Virtual Cloud Network.


Count on the Playbooks Remaining Succinct, Current and Easy to Find

To keep the playbooks shorter and evergreen, we have included “Click to read more” and other buttons that let partners delve into deeper details on Partner Connect,, and other locations. We will also refresh the playbooks regularly to make sure they stay current.

The playbooks are easy to find from the “Solutions” tab in the Partner Connect portal. As we complete additional playbooks, we’ll post them there and promote them broadly with our partners.



Go look at the new partner playbooks on the Partner Connect portal under the Solutions tab!



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