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VMware Revamps Partner Competency Program, Launches 'Cloud Credits'

VMware has overhauled its Partner Competency program, as well as added new revenue-generating incentives for solution providers selling cloud services, the company announced at this week's VMware Partner Exchange Conference in Las Vegas.

Of particular significance is a new VMware Cloud Credits Purchasing Program that offers prepaid credits redeemable toward hybrid and public cloud services.

"The VMware Cloud Credits Purchasing Program is an innovative and strategic program that's been developed specifically to help our solution providers sell public and hybrid vCloud solutions," said Geoffrey Waters, senior director of VMware's Cloud Service Provider Programs. "This will do three things. Number one, by selling Cloud Credits, they're going to make upfront revenue. They're going to increase their margins and grow their business exponentially.

"Number two, they're going to expand their cloud portfolio. They're going to do this by positioning their public and cloud services in addition to their traditional perpetual licenses and private cloud solutions.

"Number three, they're going to increase their trusted advisor status. They're going to do this by working with their customers, building strategic relationships, and they're going to be able to do consulting services on top of Cloud Credits with things like architectural assessments, identifying public cloud-ready type workloads, doing budget assessments and then doing some service provider selection."

Credits can be used toward hybrid and public cloud services -- IaaS compute, networking, monitoring and support; OS licensing for each virtual machine; and network and security add-ons, such as firewalls and load balancing -- provided by authorized vCloud service providers. A full list of IaaS cloud providers will be made available when the program goes live in March, all of which will be certified to sell vCloud.

The credits will be available in five SKUs globally, with U.S. pricing at 1,000 credits for $1,000. The credits must be redeemed within a year of purchase. More details and pricing are available in a PDF on the VMware Web site.

Also new: advantage+ Accelerator, which provides for additional discounts for customers who purchase vSphere with Operations Management through VMware Solution Providers. vSphere with Operations Management was announced last week, ahead of the conference.

VMware also announced a revamp of its Partner Competency program so that training and certification is role-based and in line with these partner practice areas: Infrastructure Virtualization, Business Continuity, Cloud IaaS, Desktop Virtualization, Management, and Virtualization of Business Critical Applications.

"Now, with role-based learning paths, we're aligning the training and specialization segmentation that we bring to our partner organizations and bringing that to our individuals," said Colleen Kapase, VMware's senior director of Partner Readiness. "Where we have our six different competencies...we've had partners step up and say, 'I have taken additional training and now have this expertise. I'm capable of virtualizing Oracle, SharePoint, Exchange. ...' We're now going to allow the individual to brand themselves and clearly understand the path they need to go down from a learning standpoint to get that specialization."

One interesting addition to the Partner Competency program is the creation of a secure social hub for partners, called Partner Link. The social media platform is built around SocialCast, which VMware acquired in mid-2011. Access to Partner Link will be done through the Partner Central portal for solution providers.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is Editor in Chief of Virtualization Review. He's been an IT writer and editor for so long that he remember typing out news items in WordStar.

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