Cloud News

‘Age of the Partner’ Has Dawned, VMware Channel Chief Says

O’Ryan Johnson

‘I truly believe this is the age of the partner. Look at edge, look at AI, look at all of the trends that we‘re seeing throughout the IT industry. There’s just so much opportunity, where do you focus? The way to do it is by partnering together,’ says VMware head of worldwide partner and commercial organization Ricky Cooper.

What can you tell us about Partner Connect 2.0? VMware announced it last August. I think it’s going to debut here in the first quarter? 

When I look at our partner ecosystem, we’ve listened to the feedback. And this is where they can get really excited, and I’ll tell you why. So, previously, we’ve rewarded our partners for those large perpetual deals, those big chunky deals that come in. Everybody loves these $100 million deals. We’ve rewarded our partners based on large deals.

With the transformation in the whole market and going towards more SaaS and subscription offerings, which we’re doing ourselves here at VMware, we wanted to redesign the program and make sure it’s fit-for-purpose for our partners.

That’s why we had the soft launch. We’ve taken feedback from all across the world since then every region, from partners, from distribution, from everybody.

We wanted to make sure that we’ve got a program that rewards partners all the way through the customer lifecycle. So if you are talking, test and dev on the front end; actually giving some points and some rewards at that front end, for those partners making a difference there, all the way through services.

We never awarded as a program on services before. This is huge for our partners because this is how they‘re driving profitability. Let’s not forget they’re going from a model, our partners, our large resellers going from model earning very good margin on these large ELA into, ‘OK, I’m going SaaS, and subscription. How do I ensure that I’ve got increased profitability?’

What’s the answer? 

That is becoming an expert in our technology, and being a valued services partner, and taking on some of these services.

And we’ve recognized ‘OK, one we’ll reward or two will also make a huge effort to ensure that we’re passing as many services opportunities as we can to our partner ecosystem, and you’ll see a huge change there. I think there was a tendency before, when the pie is a bit smaller, and you have large ELAs, we were taking on a lot of that services work ourselves.

Things are really opening up. We’re growing as a company, year on year. It’s great to see that with that, comes new deployments, how our customers are looking to deploy SaaS and subscription and then how we can actually take that to, to our partners.

O’Ryan Johnson

O’Ryan Johnson is a veteran news reporter. He covers the data center beat for CRN and hopes to hear from channel partners about how he can improve his coverage and write the stories they want to read. He can be reached at

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