Broadcom-VMware Deal Approval Comes Amid VMware Partner Renaissance

Partner-led engagements leading to bookings at VMware have nearly doubled to 45 percent, up from 25 percent a year ago, Tracy-Ann Palmer, vice president of partner experience, programs and investments at VMware, tells CRN.


The regulatory approval of the blockbuster $61 billion Broadcom acquisition of VMware comes with the virtualization market leader’s partners making big strides in closing multi-cloud deals.

Over the past year, VMware partner-led engagements resulting in bookings have nearly doubled to 45 percent, up from 25 percent a year ago, said Tracy-Ann Palmer, vice president of partner experience, programs and investments at VMware, in an interview with CRN last week.

The partner gains come as Broadcom Monday declared that it has overcome two major obstacles to its acquisition of VMware, gaining approval from the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority and effectively gaining approval in the U.S., where the Hart-Scott-Rodino pre-merger waiting periods have expired without challenge.

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“[Broadcom] today affirmed its expectation that its acquisition of VMware will close on October 30, 2023,” the company said in a statement.

Palmer, who spoke with CRN ahead of the VMware Explore conference being held this week in Las Vegas, said VMware partners are taking the lead when it comes to solving the multi-cloud complexity and cloud chaos that still reign in the enterprise.

The complexity and confusion that have arisen within the customer base as different departments pursued siloed cloud strategies is now creating a “massive” opportunity for managed services, Palmer said.

“There’s going to be massive growth and consolidation in managed services in the next five years,” she said.

[RELATED: Top VMware Execs Score $42M In Total Pay Amid ‘Unprecedented’ Broadcom ‘Uncertainty,’ Board Says]

One of the levers that’s helping partners drive higher-level conversations is a 700 percent increase in the funds VMware pays partners for migrating workloads. On deals above $250,000 VMware pays a percentage of the deal to the channel partner to fund the migration of work from on-premises to VMware cloud environments, Palmer said.

“We’ve seen that if we can help offset the cost of the migration, that’s good for the partner because that’s where they’re going win,” she said. “It’s once you get to the cloud [that] they’re going to make all their money.”

Partners said they are reaping the benefits of VMware’s increased investment.

“It’s been better for resellers. It’s really enabled us to fulfill more of our potential in our role as a solution provider, more than reseller, and really helping customers to build more innovative multi-cloud solutions on VMware Cloud, which is our primary focus,” said Chris Woodin, vice president of solutions and alliances at Softchoice, the $2.2 billion solution provider behemoth, No. 31 on the CRN 2023 Solution Provider 500.

For Toronto-based Softchoice, the new partner program is helping the company close complex multi-cloud solutions deals, he said.

“The new partner program allowed us to not only accelerate the pace of our skills development, but also enabled us to get much more focused in raising demand generation and customer interest in the solutions, and that ultimately enables us to speak with more customers about the successful adoption of these VMware Cloud solutions,” said Woodin.

Gary McConnell, CEO of Nanuet, N.Y.-based VirtuIT, said the changes at VMware have helped the business increase its revenue.

“It really has seemed to help advanced partners double down on their skill set and be able to drive more business through the channel,” McConnell told CRN.

The program put together by Palmer and global channel chief Ricky Cooper, head of VMware’s Worldwide Partner and Commercial Organization, is attracting more solution providers. It has added 2,000 partners around the world over the last year, executives said.

And more investments are on the way, Cooper told CRN in an interview.

“Through every stage that we’ve been through, whether it was virtualization in the first instance, going through to multi-cloud, and now we’re on the doorstep of AI, we’ve had ownership changes, there were various challenges along the way,” Cooper said. “But we’re still investing, and we’re still making sure our partners are front and center.”