VMware Launches Partner Connect to ‘Embrace the Whole Customer Journey’ – Channel Futures

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The new partner program is a rebirth of how VMware does partnering.

In what the company is calling a significant revamping of its partner program, VMware on Monday rolled out VMware Partner Connect, a more flexible way to partner with the vendor. The company announced its intentions to rebuild its partner program at VMWorld in August, and last April at its Partner Leadership Summit in Carlsbad, California.

VMware Partner Connect is a modernized program designed to enable partners to do business with VMware in a way that aligns with their business model. The company’s previous program was largely based on a transactional resell model that was siloed in terms of all the business models – advisory services, professional services, managed services, repeatable IP, integrated solutions – represented in the vendor’s partner community.

VMware’s Jenni Flinders

“It also didn’t embrace the whole customer journey and customer experience with everything that we offer, especially with cloud and where our strategic IT priorities are coming to market,” Jenni Flinders, vice president, global channel chief at VMware, told Channel Futures . “When you look at VMware’s product portfolio of offerings, it’s really expanded dramatically over the last couple of years. This led us to create a simpler way for our partners to engage with us based on our strategic IT priorities as a company, and how we go to market.”

VMware’s goal in restructuring its partner program was also to create the opportunity to help partners excel in their capability to maximize the vendor’s offerings to customers and focus on customer outcomes.

VMware's Richard Steves

VMware’s Richard Steves

“We’ve kept the customer front and center as we co-developed the program with our partners,” Richard Steeves, senior director, worldwide partner programs at VMware, told Channel Futures. “It became clear that our customers’ IT needs and priorities continue to grow as our portfolio grows and evolves to meet their needs and demands. We needed to make the program radically simple for partners to engage with us, aligned to their investment strategy, acquire new practice areas — whether that’s in modernizing applications or exploring intrinsic security, or welcoming in the ecosystem that’s come in, in way of acquisition in that space.”

Partner Connect is one program built on one agreement that adapts to partners’ business models: cloud, service, resell or all. The new partner program offers three theirs: partner, advanced partner and principal partner, increasingly based on investment and commitment to VMware.

So, for example, a principal partner achieves master services competencies across different strategic IT priorities and earn comprehensive rewards, including deployment and consumption incentives and prioritization for collaborative business planning and co-selling opportunities with VMware.

Partner program enhancements include an incentives and development funds portal, which provides enhanced dashboards and improved visibility to help partners track their business with VMware; a new VMware Learning Zone, which provides a variety of content, including the ability to customize learning plans based on individual partner preferences; and an overall improved partner experience.

VMware has been working diligently with existing partners – about 32,000 – for the past three months, letting them know about the transition to the new program and offering tools and a transition planning dashboard to help them with legal and operational onboarding.

VMware Partner Connect will evolve as the industry changes, customer buying behaviors evolve and will support emerging partner business models.

Carbon Black and VeloCloud will be integrated into the new program in the first half of the year, and Pivotal integration with Partner Connect will occur in the second half of the year.

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