VMware has evolved its Partner Connect program with a new framework to better align with the growth of cloud services and solution-centric business models.
A flexible “points-based system” has been introduced that will determine a partner’s progress through the program at multiple levels and reward them for the different ways they create value, including performance and capacity activities.
Progression through the program will be based on the new points system rather than a complex mix of IT pathways, focusing beyond “resale” and encompassing the entire customer lifecycle, which the old VMware’s channel chief, Sandy Hogan, had previously flagged as being central to its new partnership strategy.
Tiers include Community, Select, Advanced, Principal, and the new “Pinnacle” which promises greater financial benefits and VMware engagement, including managed account coverage, joint business plan development, and access to big betting programs.
Partners will have until March next year to embark on the new program, which will continue to see additional capabilities and improvements on the track.
Additionally, the evolution of Partner Connect also recognizes multiple business models in a single program, including Solution Services, Solution Builder, Cloud Solution Provider, and Solution Reseller.
VMware APJ Vice President, Partner and Commercial Sales Uma Thana Balasingam said the changes reflected what VMware was seeing in its ecosystem around cloud, services and solution-centric business models, extending beyond- beyond the “resale” factor.
“Over the past 24 months, we’ve seen a massive shift in how partners respond to customer needs,” she said. “We recognize that partners are part of a larger alliance, provide non-transactional influence and the retention roles they play, mean it’s no longer about the IT channel, it’s about now an ecosystem focused on customer value for life.
“This was the key consideration in designing this new framework, which is based on our own observations and feedback from a series of engagements with partners across Asia-Pacific and Japan over the past two years. .”
Balasingam said he wanted to provide a framework that encouraged performance and capitalized on the perspective that partners could not deliver value on their own.
“The changing dynamics and how partners are looking to seize the opportunities presented by the cloud economy really requires building and operating an interconnected network that enables success for all types of partners,” he said. she declared. “We see the future as an intelligent cloud ecosystem and the demand for partner collaboration has never been higher.”
Balasingam also pointed out that some of the key differences between the previous program and the new iteration were the removal of annual program fees, the integration of benefits and incentives, while introducing installment payments aligned with program levels.
A new self-service dashboard will also give partners visibility into their position in the Partner Connect program, helping them track their progress, incentives earned, skills earned, and other valuable telemetry for managing their business. vmware.
“We’re really giving them capabilities, additional visibility into their business with us, but also into their business with customers, so they can deliver value across the lifecycle,” she said. .
“Having the framework and building the program is one thing, but giving our partners the tools to succeed is just as important and so you’re going to see a huge amount of the business capabilities that we’re announcing that are already live now, for example, channel purchase payment, where partners are able to offer flexible billing options.
“We really want partners to be able to drive SaaS subscription and consumer payment transactions and take the lead in this space.”
A new partner-led Customer Success specialization has also been introduced, giving partners three options for executing customer success where they can choose to create their own comprehensive offering through the specialization, collaborate with VMware on Customer Success activities, or resell VMware Success. 360.
Balasingam hinted that a new specialization in managed services as well as “vertical” specializations such as finance and healthcare, were also on the horizon.
“We continue to invest heavily in partner capabilities and how we help partners develop them,” she said.
VMware also launched the Go-To-Market Play System (GPS), which provides defined solutions with unified activation and incentives to increase value and reach, as well as digital marketing support.
VMware Ignite is also becoming more widely available to partners, offering an enablement and practice development program with structured pathways to build capability across technical, sales, service, and marketing functions; access to VMware training and experts to support sales and practice development.
The new VMware Ecosystem Solutions Partner Studio, which includes Solutions Lab and Solutions Hub, enables partners to create and co-innovate on use-case-driven solutions to drive partner growth and differentiation in the global marketplace.