Over the previous years, a core focus of our team has been to drive ISV support for the VMware platform. And for very good reason: with more than 190,000 customers already deploying vSphere in their datacenters – many of them having a “virtualization first” policy – virtualization support is essentially mandatory for our ISV partners in order to avoid being penalized by the marketplace. As a lead consultant of a major ERP vendor put it: “There is not a single new customer who does not ask how our applications work on a virtualized platform”. So today, virtualization support basically defines a ‘neutral’ state for your business.
And we have been very successful at that. By now, we have 1300+ supported ISV partners providing support for thousands of individual applications. It becomes quite rare that we hear from a customer about an application that is not supported on vSphere.
So we could declare victory and primarily focus on marketing activities.
However, that would be missing (most of) the opportunity – and for both of us. In fact, a support statement for VMware ESX is barely scratching the surface of how you can actively drive your business by leveraging our virtualization and cloud technologies.
Over the next few weeks, we will be laying out the steps of the “ISV Journey”. It maps VMware technologies and capabilities to your core priorities:
- developing software more efficiently
- delivering more secure, more robust, and more cost-effective solutions
- accelerating the sales process
- improving customer satisfaction
- developing new routes to market
- building new revenue streams.
We’ll sketch out the opportunities, illustrate how we can help you to capitalize on them, and give examples of what your peers have done to increase revenue and lower cost – by fully leveraging the capabilities that the VMware virtualization and cloud infrastructures deliver to ISVs.
On a high level, the journey has three stages:
This phase is product-driven and it focuses on enabling your customers to run your applications on the VMware platform. It is very much what most of you have been doing, but extended with the more complex VMware portfolio in mind (VMware vSphere, tc server, VMware View, ThinApp, etc.).
Once the core validations are done, many of our partners realize that their applications work, in very specific ways (availability, performance SLAs, DR, supportability, etc.), better on a virtualized platform; or that virtualization enables new routes to market for them (cloud deployments, SaaS offerings, virtual appliances, etc.). There are many ways to differentiate yourself from the competition in this solution-driven phase, and we can help you to do so and to message this to customers.
Lastly, once a clear, differentiated value of a combined solution has been identified and communicated, many of our partners see great benefits in owning the entire solution and delivering the complete stack to their customers, or at least working with us in the field. Our TAP OEM program and the Solution Provider programs are very good examples of the fomer, but there are further collaboration opportunities in this initiative-based phase, that creates new revenue streams for you.
We will be a lot more concrete over the coming weeks, but I hope that it is becoming clear that generating a support statement is by no means the end of how you can deliver value to your customers around VMware…. It is merely the starting point for opening up new business opportunities for you.