VMware Launches Professional Partners Program

virtualization software

With more than 1 million small and midsize businesses in the U.S. running 14 million servers, the potential market for VMware's server virtualization products among SMBs is $6.5 billion, said Carl Eschenbach, VMware executive vice president of worldwide field operations. For every dollar of VMware software licenses sold there are $5 to $8 in additional high-margin service, training, software and storage revenue opportunities, he said. "It's not just about selling this technology to the high end, to the enterprise accounts."

Although 75 percent of VMware's business is already conducted through channels, Eschenbach announced that VMware is launching a new "Professional Partners" program whose participants can resell VMware's entire product line, not just a subset of its products. The interest is there: When asked how many resellers are at least "dabbling" in virtualization, a solid majority of the attendees raised their hands.

But not all resellers were happy with the news of the new partner program. "It's been hard to get enough resources from you guys and now you're starting a new [program]," one solution provider, who described herself as a current VMware partner, said during the Q&A session.

Kerry Grimes, vice president of midmarket and global channel sales at Siemens UGS, described PLM as "the fastest growing software space on the planet" because of its role in helping businesses deal with globalization, increasingly complex supply chains and accelerating product development cycles. (Siemens acquired PLM vendor UGS in May for $3.5 billion.)

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The company estimates that the reseller opportunity for providing value-added services is at least $1 for every $1 in software license fees for small PLM implementations and $3 in bigger implementations. Grimes portrayed PLM as a natural fit for solution providers that already work with ERP, CRM and supply chain management apps. Answering a question from the audience about what qualifications a VAR would need, he said resellers with experience with ERP, SCM and manufacturing data management could work with PLM technology.