Written by Bob Nash, Global Partner Practice Development and Activation Strategy, VMware
Be the partner that clients turn to by developing VMware expertise founded on VMware Master Services Competencies.
We know that change is the only constant. Businesses evolve and so do their needs. Technology changes to meet those needs. It could be the pace of change has always been as fast as it is today, but it seems that in recent years it has accelerated to the point where your roadmap for success must build in ways to accommodate constant change.
The VMware Partner Connect program and its VMware Master Services Competencies (MSCs) are powerful ways you can set yourself up for success in the face of ongoing changes.
At VMware, we understand that succeeding as a VMware partner requires you to remain on your toes, ready to learn our technologies and the business problems they solve. Think about it—did anyone prepare you for the immediate need for digital workspaces that arose when the pandemic hit? While an extreme example, it perfectly illustrates how some VMware partners were prepared to help clients successfully and quickly shift to a work from home model.
Several of our top partners were prepared because of the deep expertise they had developed in helping clients use VMware solutions to solve pressing business problems. And they had many customer references to prove it.
In the case of helping clients shift to a work from home model, these partners had a history of success supporting Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon environments and services delivery. Specifically, they were experts in architecting, designing, and delivering professional services for projects involving desktop virtualization, mobile device management, unified endpoint management, and app identity and access management.
In the rush to make the shift, clients needed confidence in a partner’s expertise. For partners that achieved the VMware MSC for Digital Workspace, clients had that confidence.
Proof of expertise in VMware solutions
VMware MSCs are a key part of the VMware Partner Connect program. Achieving an MSC requires a partner to have a certain number of people within the company achieve advanced and specialized certifications with specific VMware solutions and to have experience with a broad variety of use cases for those solutions. They also require partners to provide customer references to VMware. The MSCs serve as a powerful validation of a partner’s depth of expertise and experience with VMware solutions.
Currently, VMware offers partners the opportunity to earn MSCs in the following seven areas:
- Cloud Management and Automation
- Digital Workspace
- Data Center Virtualization
- Cloud Native Apps
- VMware Cloud on AWS
- VMware Cloud Foundation
- Network Virtualization
Moving forward, in our ever-more complex and changing world, such powerful evidence of depth and breadth of expertise that the MSCs deliver will become more important—not only for our partners and their clients, but also for VMware.
Preparing partners for bigger and more opportunities
VMware often relies on partners to sell and implement solutions, a role that remains important for us to support. However, we increasingly recognize that benefits grow exponentially for partners, their clients, and VMware, when our partners complement what our professional services organization can offer, help us co-sell VMware solutions, and collaborate with us to help mutual clients.
Demand for deep expertise in VMware solutions continues to grow. Partners that are laser-focused on remaining relevant and valuable to their clients by investing in building solution-specific expertise are perfectly positioned to help meet this demand.
VMware MSCs serve as a foundation on which partners can build their expertise and client confidence. And while how we package gaining expertise in an MSC may shift to be more business problem-centric rather than technology-centric, the goal remains the same: to prepare our partners to step into a client’s world and solve big business problems with VMware solutions. We see our role as helping our partners succeed by helping them take a more holistic approach to building a successful VMware practice.
What does that look like for VMware to provide that kind of guidance to partners? It could look like providing best practices around contracting with clients, staffing projects, managing projects, and moving partners from a billable-hour model to a project-based one. Maybe it’s guidance on how to set up service level agreements that support recurring revenue around a set of deliverables. It could be advice on organizational development—how to invest in employees, from sales to developers and other technical roles, and growing those people within the company to differentiate it by the levels of expertise their employees offer.
Perhaps most importantly, the benefits we provide could be around operations and management. We could provide guidance to partners on crossing the chasm from the transact-and-install model to a higher-value model in which partners are an essential part of the client’s team. We want to ensure that as we do that, the enablement partners get from VMware always serves as a value-add by opening the door for new and bigger opportunities. As they deepen their skills and broaden their expertise, they’ll also benefit by being selected for more cutting-edge client projects—the kinds of projects that attract top talent to a partner’s practice and help them retain the talent they have.
We think there’s a lot more value for partners in this model, and we want to help them develop and build their practice on it. To that end, we’ll continue to evolve our MSCs, potentially building them around combinations of solutions that reflect the real-world business challenges that partners encounter. We’ll share best practices and guidance, some of our most valuable intellectual property, with partners. Ideally, we’ll show partners how to build that kind of practice, no matter their starting point.
This approach will not be based on theory, but from our own learnings and those of partners who have already established leading practices through their expertise with VMware solutions.
Get inspired to take the leap
We’d like to acknowledge three partners who model what it takes to build a leading and robust business practice on VMware solutions. Their continued investment in and commitment to developing deep expertise by earning all seven MSCs is paying off—for them, their clients, and VMware. We think these partners serve as the gold standard and can inspire other partners to invest in deepening their VMware expertise.
ITQ was the first partner globally to earn all seven MSCs. Customer Success Officer and founder Francisco Perez van der Oord understands the value in having ITQ invest in MSCs. He sees it as a key reason that the Dutch Cancer Institute turned to ITQ to help them launch a future-proof IT infrastructure that hospital employees and researchers now use in their day-to-day work. Read about ITQ.
For partner comdivision, earning all seven MSCs was their ticket to more and bigger deals. Yves Sandfort, comdivision’s CEO explained that when a company has hundreds of partners to choose from, the MSCs provide an easy way to narrow the field to only partners with the needed skills and experience. That may be why comdivision just finished its best year ever. Read about comdivision.
Finally, U.S. partner Presidio, a global VMware partner for 17 years grew its business by 130 percent in 2020 alone. Raphael Meyerowitz, Vice President of the Office of the CTO at Presidio said that many customers reached out to Presidio because they needed to rapidly create a more mobile workforce as a result of the pandemic. Meyerowitz firmly believes that’s because they had earned all seven MSCs. Read about Presidio.
Want to learn more about VMware MSCs?
Interested in becoming a VMware Partner? Learn about the VMware Partner Connect program and how VMware MSCs can help your organization attract more customers and bigger engagements. Looking for a VMware Partner? Find one using our Partner Locator.