VMware announced the next evolution of VMware Partner Connect – the company’s singular, unified, global partner program. Partner Connect’s new framework aligns to today’s cloud, services, and solutions-centric business models, and will help partners drive better business performance and profitability today while transforming their businesses for tomorrow. The evolved VMware Partner Connect program will deliver a flexible framework to support partners’ go to market with VMware, accelerate partner growth, and reward partners for the totality of their achievements and capabilities. VMware is delivering several immediate benefits, with additional capabilities and enhancements to be made available in the future.
Partners need to perform today while transforming for tomorrow. VMware has identified three core profit drivers that show up consistently within the company’s most profitable partners: Services, Lifecycle Profit, and Stickiness. Each pillar is synergistic and interconnected to create revenue and profit opportunities. For partners focused on these three areas, the results are tangible. When comparing VMware’s most profitable partners to the worldwide averages: more than 80% of revenue from their VMware practice is driven from services (cloud, managed, professional); services profit is 1.5X higher; and professional service days revenue is more than 2X higher.
“VMware has applied learnings from thousands of partners to drive the next evolution of Partner Connect and help partners perform while they transform. VMware is well positioned to help partners capture on the massive and growing opportunity in multi-cloud,” said Tracy-Ann Palmer, Vice President, Partner Experience, Programs and Investments, VMware. “We now have one unified partner program that will be more flexible and efficient, with simpler paths to progression and more tools to help manage partners’ VMware business. We’re optimizing incentives and programs to help partners take their SaaS and subscription businesses to another level and capitalize on cloud-centric business models and economics.”
Elevated Partner Experience with a New Partner Connect Structure
With the next evolution of Partner Connect, VMware partners will benefit from a new flexible point system, simplified tiering, a business model orientation, and add more self-service and automation to further improve partner efficiency and profitability. Partner Connect will reward partners for different ways they create value, including both performance and capability activities. Progression in the program will be based on the new points system rather than a complex mix of IT pathways. Partners that progress to the new Pinnacle tier will experience even greater financial benefits and VMware engagement, including managed account coverage, joint business plan development, and access to big bets programs.
Additionally, Partner Connect will now support four different business models under a single program: Solution Services, Solution Builder, Cloud Solution Provider, and Solution Reseller. Creating this flexible, collaborative framework across these four business models enables VMware to unify support across all business models. VMware will deliver a new self-service dashboard that provides partners easy-to-access visibility into where they stand in the Partner Connect program. Partners will be able to better track their progression, incentives earned, competencies achieved and other valuable telemetry for managing their VMware business.
Accelerating Partner Business Transformation to SaaS, Services, and Solutions Selling
Customer Success practices are critical to helping customers realize continuous value from the cloud, SaaS, and subscription offerings. They are also a key component of the Lifecycle Services identified by VMware as a core profit driver. With the new Partner-Led Customer Success Specialization, partners now have three options to execute Customer Success. Partners can build their own comprehensive offering through the Specialization, collaborate with VMware on Customer Success activities, or resell VMware Success 360. These options enable partners to guide customers through all the stages of their multi-cloud journey with VMware solutions, while providing a consistent method of working with customers to help them continually realize value and achieve outcomes faster.
VMware has launched the Go-To-Market Play System (GPS) for VMware partners to meet the twin goals of delivering customer outcomes and partner profitability. Centered on transformational business challenges (Strategy Plays) and discrete focused IT solutions (Velocity Plays), GPS provides defined solutions with unified enablement and incentives to increase value and reach, as well as digital marketing support. With GPS for partners, VMware is transforming fragmented GTM programs into a unified approach directed at customer outcomes. These GPS plays are central to VMware’s outcome-oriented partner enablement and go-to-market evolution, driving end-to-end alignment beginning with partner capability development all the way to customer success.
VMware is now making the VMware Ignite program more broadly available to partners and has aligned it with the Go-To-Market Play System and partner-led services initiatives. VMware Ignite is a unique partner practice activation and development program featuring a rigorous, proven methodology providing structured development paths to build capabilities across technical, sales, services, and marketing functions; access to trainings and VMware experts to support sales and practice development; and a variety of development paths for new and committed partners and distributors.
The new VMware Ecosystem Solutions Partner Studio, which includes Solutions Lab and Solutions Hub, empowers partners to create and co-innovate on use-case-focused solutions to drive partner growth and global market differentiation. Solutions Lab is a facilitated co-innovation framework that helps partners take “Big Ideas” to market through guided assistance and support from VMware experts. With Solutions Lab, partners can deliver differentiated solutions that are repeatable and tailored for market fit. Solutions Hub is an integrated digital self-service platform that streamlines the content creation, orchestration, and go-to-market process for partners’ solutions. Solutions Hub provides the digital tools to activate and publish curated solutions to VMware Marketplace today and additional third-party marketplaces in the future; measure pipeline, adoption, and penetration effectiveness; and accelerate time-to-market through automation.
INDUSTRY & PARTNER COMMENTARY
“VMware Partner Connect modernizes and helps to future-proof the partner experience with VMware,” said Cyndi Privett, Vice President of Research and Owner, Viewpoint Research. “The changes we see VMware delivering in the Partner Connect program are a recognition of the quickly evolving market dynamics that are requiring partners of all sizes to rethink their business models. By bringing various models together under one VMware program with a more simplified experience, VMware can help partners’ transition to as-a-service/subscription models, expand their services portfolios, and better leverage their investments.”
“We love that this new points-based system for progression will recognize and reward partners like Insight for the results-based strategic growth we achieve with our shared customers,” said Joyce Mullen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Insight Enterprises. “The recognition of our total achievements and capabilities as part of the VMware Partner Connect Program is a key driver for the continued investment in growing our VMware solutions business.”
“VMware’s newly transformed Partner Connect program will provide ITQ with opportunities to drive our SaaS and subscription sales and allow for more services-led growth opportunities,” said Dennis Hoegen Dijkhof, Managing Director, ITQ Consultancy The Netherlands. “Partner Connect’s redesigned flexible points-based framework will recognize ITQ for all the ways we create value for our customers, including influence-driven engagement, and rewards us for the totality of our achievements and capabilities with simplified tier progression.”
“The refreshed VMware Partner Connect program will increase our operational efficiency while recognizing and rewarding our capabilities across all our regions,” said Brian Connors, VP and GM Software and Business Development, Lenovo. “The flexibility of Partner Connect’s program gives us increased opportunity not just as a Global OEM, but also as a services partner driving TruScale and VMware Subscription and SaaS solutions through our channels. From a management perspective, the new structure enables us to manage our performance more easily through a comprehensive, global view that enables unified engagement to unlock benefits for our multiple entities.”
“The enhanced Partner Connect Program will give us more access to financial benefits and go-to-market resources to drive our SaaS and subscription sales,” said Adrianna Bustamante, Vice President, Global Alliances and Partnerships, Rackspace Technology. “As our business grows and evolves, the program flexibility will provide enhanced profitability through aligned incentives. This type of value from VMware will provide Rackspace Technology with the foundation we need to help our customers become ‘Cloud Smart’.”