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VMware places global distribution on notice

VMware places global distribution on notice

Channel battle underway as distributors fight for prized vendor account

Credit: Dreamstime

VMware has placed distributors across the world on notice as part of a go-to-market overhaul, creating a bidding war in the channel.

Channel Asia can exclusively reveal that the technology giant has issued a request for proposal (RFP) at local, regional and global levels, opening the doors to potential supply chain change.

“VMware has initiated a global RFP to better understand distributors who align with VMware’s cloud vision and strategy, possess the required expertise and industry insight to identify and implement VMware solutions, and can support customers as they navigate their digital transformations,” a spokesperson from VMware told Channel Asia.

“This will also allow VMware to collaborate more effectively with distributors and increase the value of their VMware partnerships. VMware has invited all existing distributor partners, as well as others, who may provide extended coverage or strength in advanced technologies.”

Unsurprisingly, the RFP favours cloud-focused distributors, preferably ones with deep alliances to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft, alongside advanced software and security capabilities.

According to the vendor, results are expected to be communicated to distributors during VMware’s first half of FY21.

“Partners are a cornerstone of VMware’s success, and distributors play a critical role in building a vibrant and committed partner ecosystem,” the spokesperson added.

The distribution revamp aligns with plans to roll out a new partner program in early 2020, billed as a complete overhaul of the vendor’s current channel framework.

Under the banner of Partner Connect, the new-look strategy is designed to allow partners to engage with the software giant in a way aligned to specific business models, rather than a generic form of engagement.

With flexibility in mind, the new program - set for release on 29 February 2020 - will comprise of three tiers, spanning Partner, Advanced Partner and Principal Partner.

The program - set to impact more than 75,000 partners worldwide - also includes new master services competency, in addition to incentives around VMware Cloud on AWS and deeper ties with alliance vendors such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

New direction

The pursuit of a more cloud-centric distribution strategy follows high-profile alliances with AWS and Microsoft, in addition to taking control of Pivotal and Carbon Black.

As reported by sister publication ARN, VMware Cloud on AWS went live across Asia Pacific in August 2018, in a move designed to allow customers to migrate on-premises vSphere-based workloads to the public cloud, alongside consolidating or extending data centre capacities.

Meanwhile in April 2019, the vendor also partnered with long-time rival Microsoft through the delivery of a fully native, supported and certified VMware cloud infrastructure on Microsoft Azure.

Unveiled alongside Dell Technologies, joint Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE customers can also manage Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory.

More recently, VMware moved further in the direction of cloud and security amid plans to build out new in-market offerings at the enterprise level.

In taking control of Pivotal and Carbon Black - revealed on the eve of VMworld 2019 - the vendor unveiled acquisitions number 10 and 11 during the past 12 months as plans to bolster capabilities in growth areas gather pace.

As reported by Channel Asia, the vendor took things up a notch with the intention to spend US$4.2 billion to acquire cloud-development firm Pivotal and security provider Carbon Black.

Revealed during a quarterly financial call, VMware will spend about $2.7 billion on Pivotal and its Cloud Foundry hybrid cloud development technology and another $2.1 billion for Carbon Black, which includes its Predictive Security Cloud offering and other endpoint-security software.

The double acquisition represents new territory for the virtualisation giant as CEO Pat Gelsinger attempts to balance staying true to core offerings while expanding at the fringes.

Executing VMware’s new strategic direction will be the channel, with Gelsinger recently making it clear that the Cloud Provider Program has established a "meaningful" area of revenue for VMware, with further investments planned in the future. Currently, the program represents more than 30 per cent of the vendor’s revenue stream.

"There’s been a consistency to that area of our business that I think has shocked everyone," said Gelsinger, when addressing channel media during VMworld 2019. "There was a prevailing view in the industry that the big cloud guys - AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform will eat up everybody.

“The result has been an area of consistent and steady growth for us, and increasingly, we’re being seen as the technology source for all other clouds.

“Clearly the mega guys are building much of their own technology, but all of the other cloud providers are increasingly relying on VMware’s technologies as the base for building off their cloud.”


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