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Delivering the VMware Partner Experience

Last week, thousands of our peers from around the globe, VMware customers, industry leaders, and best-in-field knowledge experts came together at VMworld 2021 for an in-depth look at VMware’s broader strategy and forward-looking innovations. The energy and enthusiasm for the era of multi-cloud was everywhere, and together with VMware partners, we’re moving forward to deliver customer-for-life value with a connected ecosystem that prioritizes and elevates both the customer experience and the partner experience. I’m incredibly excited about this moment and what it means for our partners!  

The Era of Multi-Cloud 

For VMware, multi-cloud is and will continue to be at the center of everything we do, and we expect multi-cloud will be the dominant operating model for digital businesses for the next 20 years. As the world moves to multi-cloud, it’s also reinventing itself through apps, but this digital transformation generates even more complexity, which can in turn force tough decisions and hard compromises for our customers.  

Given this new frontier, the need for partners and the connected ecosystem has never been greater. As VMware transitions to a customer-first, partner-led strategy, we’re prioritizing the partner experience. We want our partners to be the multi-cloud delivery model for VMware, but this, too, isn’t without complexity: Every partner’s business model looks different today than it did 12 months ago, and I expect they’ll look different again 12 months from now. To adapt and drive agility across the ecosystem, we’ve evolved our partner strategy from primarily a transactional motion to a wider lifecycle framework. To bring this evolution to fruition, we’re enabling rapid coordination across the ecosystem, reducing friction, and creating incentives and opportunities for partners.  

Our goal is to lead and win the multi-cloud customer transformation. We’re doing that by shaping this vast ecosystem to provide customers with access to and expertise in VMware’s technology portfolio at every stage of the lifecycle. And as the world of multi-cloud grows in scale, scope, and complexity, so too is this ecosystem evolving rapidly. 

A ‘Cloud Smart’ Ecosystem 

Ecosystems are now change agents, and amid the widespread shift to subscription buying models and services-led sales cycles, VMware needs our partners more than ever to deliver exceptional customer-for-life value. Only VMware partners have the capabilities and expertise to serve as their customers’ trusted advisors in all things multi-cloud, including true multi-cloud flexibility and the insights to become ‘cloud smart.’ To show our joint customers the complete VMware value proposition, we must expand and enhance our relationships with partners so that together we can help customers achieve their outcomes. 

Last week at VMworld 2021, we’ve done just that with enhancements to the partner experience. VMware Partners are gaining powerful new multi-cloud sales tools and incentives to deliver outcomes as a service: 

VMware Cross-Cloud Services 

With complexity comes tough questions for customers: Do they choose control or speed and flexibility? Do they meet the needs of the business or the aspirations of developers? Do they evolve their past investments or start from scratch? VMware believes every business shouldn’t have to choose between these priorities—we believe every business should have both control and flexibility in their multi-cloud environment. Together with our partners, VMware provides multi-cloud services for all apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control.  

VMware Cross-Cloud Services is an integrated family of services to build, run, and secure applications across any cloud. The VMware Cross-Cloud Services value proposition is unique in the IT industry: The complete picture of our portfolio and the end-to-end value it represents—from the core to the edge, with security throughout—is among the industry’s strongest, anywhere. VMware partners now can tap into that value and position themselves as their customers’ trusted advisors for everything multi-cloud.  

Partners are building their services capabilities beyond a set of products or the traditional infrastructure. They’re also moving up the IT stack into software, building solutions to address business and industry use cases and accelerating value creation by embedding VMware into the DNA of their solutions. Much as we do with our customers, VMware is encouraging and enabling partners to grow their businesses in their own ways and at their own pace, to leverage our resources and technology to pursue the growth path that’s best for their business.  

Ultimately, we see ‘cloud smart’ across all growth paths, and that’s possible only with VMware Cross-Cloud Services.  

VMware Cloud Universal 

According to a Bain Cloud CIO Survey earlier this year, currently, 75% of organizations working in the cloud use one or more cloud providers, but few if any multi-cloud deployments are consistent or coordinated efforts. Now, with VMware’s Cloud Universal, partners can shape a cross-platform management experience that cuts through multi-cloud complexities with a single offering.  

The latest release of Cloud Universal is dedicated to ensuring that VMware partners can effectively capitalize on the multi-cloud revolution at scale. With several new partner-centric features and incentives, Cloud Universal provides our partners with simplicity across the board, from ongoing management, pricing, and billing for multi-cloud deployments that enable the customer to work with their cloud platform(s) of choice, all within a single management plane. Simply put, Cloud Universal is the easiest, fastest path to bring multi-cloud to our customers, and we’ve delivered on our promise from earlier this year. 

Cloud Universal demonstrates VMware’s commitment to delivering continuous customer value by requiring the attach of VMware’s Success 360 customer success offering and including Tanzu Standard Edition. Partners can add their own distinctive value throughout the sale with additional services and IP. 

Customer Lifecycle Incentives    

VMware is committed to leveling up the partner experience, making it easier and more profitable for partners to thrive in the role of trusted advisor, and incentives are a key proof point of our commitment.  

The newly revamped Customer Lifecycle Incentives portfolio is evolving to further motivate partners to engage with customers throughout their multi-cloud transformation journeys, across all routes to market. These incentives are mapped to customer needs before, during, and after the sale, with additional rewards for partners that team up to drive even more customer value. The Customer Lifecycle Incentives portfolio ensures that the more partners do, the more they earn, and the closer they are to their customers on their transformation journeys.  

Enhanced incentives include additional rewards for partners that team up to drive even more customer value, including a consumption growth incentive, new deployment incentive, expanded rewards for technical assessments and proofs of concept, and a partner-to-partner accelerator expansion to APJ and AMER. 

Guiding the Multi-Cloud Journey 

Customers are hungry to become ‘cloud smart,’ and this is a great time to guide them on their multi-cloud journeys. As I mentioned, 75% of organizations already rely on two or more public clouds, and 40% are using three or more, creating complexity that requires cloud-smart, trusted advisors in all things multi-cloud. Many customers are ready to transform their business now, and they’re eager for the right business and technology partners.  

As we embrace the post-VMworld 2021 momentum, we’ll be enabling our partners’ evolving services strategies. Ninety percent of our business today already goes through partners, and that number is growing significantly. To seize the moment and activate the full capabilities of our partners, we’re rebalancing our organizational structure and go-to-market strategy to work as one team with our ecosystem. We’re reducing the fragmentation of workstreams across VMware and our ecosystem and aligning for greater efficiency and value across lines of business, field sales, and customer success teams. 

This year’s VMworld theme was Imagine That, and for good reason—we’re rethinking customer success, offerings, and how we bring services to fruition to deliver exceptional value to our customers. This is a long game, as multi-cloud will be the dominant business model for years to come. We’re going to lean in together on new practice areas and embrace new business models, making the transition to SaaS/subscription models as smooth and as profitable for our partners as possible. 

Ultimately, however, we’re going to continue enhancing the partner experience and architecting the vision for customers. Our mission is to unleash the power of VMware’s connected ecosystems to create customer-for-life value. Our job is to empower our partners to make VMware technology the core platform of their business. And our goal is to lead the multi-cloud transformation and become the most essential software ecosystem in the world, with our partners leading the way.  

More Partner News at VMworld 

Sandy Hogan
Senior Vice President, ​
Worldwide Partner and​ Commercial Organization

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