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VMware on Tuesday introduced its solution provider community to increased incentives aimed at helping customers take advantage of new virtualization and cloud opportunities, but in return wants its partners to increase their investment in training.
VMware used the official opening day of its VMware Partner Exchange Conference, held this week in Las Vegas, to emphasize the importance of getting training in competencies that will help them help customers virtualize many of their legacy tier-one applications, said Doug Smith, the company's vice president of global partner strategy and operations.
"We see competencies as a big opportunity for partners," Smith said. "There are a lot of opportunities in the marketplace to virtualize tier-one apps. There have been a lot of moves to virtualize tier-two applications. But tier-one apps are much more sticky."
VMware's new competencies recognize the extra challenges that go with moving tier-one applications to a virtualized or cloud environment, Smith said.
"With mission-critical applications, the guy making the decision how to handle them is different from the guy managing virtualization," he said. "And uptime and availability are much more critical than with tier-two applications."
With that in mind, VMware on Tuesday introduced three new solution competencies to its partners.
The first is VBCA, or Virtualization of Business-Critical Applications, which was designed to help solution providers provide guidance and solutions to help customers virtualize such business-critical applications as Exchange, SQL, Oracle and SAP.
The second is IaaS, or Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and is aimed at helping solution providers deliver VMware hybrid cloud solution and services.
The third competency, management, targets helping partners who move their customers to simplify and automate virtualized and cloud environments using the company's vCenter Operations Management Suite.
Both the VBCA and IaaS competencies are available as of Tuesday, while the Management competency is slated to be available later this quarter.
To help solution providers make the move toward increased competencies, VMware has doubled its advantage+ deal registration for net-new VMware customers via a new back-end rebate, Smith said.
The company also has doubled its Solution Rewards rebates with a new first-time sale bonus rebate tied to the company's solution competencies on a solution sold outside the company's Infrastructure Virtualization competency, he said.
However, those incentives will require new investments from partners, Smith said.
"Before, partners needed one person trained in a competency," he said. "We have been telling partners informally that they really need two people to get trained. Now we've finalized this requirement."
Solution providers looking to take advantage of the new incentives will have six months time to get a second person trained in competencies. "We've doubled down," he said. "We're asking partners to double down as well."
VMware also used its online VMware Partner Exchange to update channel partners on its VMware Solution Exchange, which now offers 3,500 applications from more than 2,000 technology partners.
VMware also enhanced its tools and incentives for partners helping SMBs with virtualization solutions. This includes new demand creation tools, on-demand access to free training and enhanced bonuses in the advantage+ program, Smith said.
"We think virtualization is a heavy SMB play," he said. "Most enterprises already have a VMware footprint. We feel new business will come mainly from SMBs."
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