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The cloud credits expire after 12 months and cannot be resold back to VMware, Waters said. However, there is an option to extend the credits for another 12 months if requested through a service provider. There is no minimum number of credits to purchase and no volume discounts, he said.
Keith Norbie, vice president at Nexus, the Minnetonka, Minn., office of Atlanta-based solution provider Stratos Management Systems, said the VMware cloud credit purchasing program shows that VMware is looking at how to help partners succeed with the utility model.
It remains to be seen how the program will be received by end users, Norbie said. "It's a good solution for the channel," he said. "But for something like this, the market is the primary business driver."
One possible issue with the VMware cloud credit purchasing program is how licenses for technologies such as Microsoft's software is managed, Norbie said. He also said that, while vCloud is a good technology, solution providers will be competing with Amazon, Windows Azure and Google.
"I applaud VMware for having the guts to address the consumption issues related to the cloud," he said. "But the impact on the whole cloud marketplace remains to be seen."
Meanwhile, role-based competencies are now aligned toward individuals instead of partner organizations, said Colleen Kapase, senior director of partner readiness at VMware.
VMware currently offers its partner organizations the opportunity to get trained for seven different competencies, including enterprise management, virtualizing business-critical applications and IaaS, Kapase said.
Under the new program, individuals can get the competencies for themselves with specializations for sales, presales, and technical and professionals services, Kapase said.
Kapase acknowledged that solution provider partner organizations may be concerned about personnel getting the individual competencies and then jumping ship. "Under the program, if an individual leaves his or her company, there is a six-month time period before he or she can transfer the competency," she said. "And the partner organization gets six months to find a new person with the competency."
Norbie said the six-month delay between when an individual leaves his or her company and when their competency is reactivated gives the partner organization a good buffer.
NEXT: Competencies Vs. Skills