CloudHealth Channel Chief On VMware Deal And How Cloud Management Gives Partners The 'Whole Story'

CloudHealth Channel Chief On VMware Deal And How Cloud Management Gives Partners The 'Whole Story'

Bob Kilbride tells CRN how being acquired by VMware will impact CloudHealth and its channel partners and lays out the important opportunity around cloud management for solution providers.

CloudHealth is getting acquired by VMware, but that doesn't mean its flagship cloud management solution is going away or its partner focus will dwindle.

CloudHealth offers a software platform that lets partners and end customers manage costs, compliance and performance of their multiple, hybrid cloud environments. Once the acquisition is complete, VMware will combine its data center and virtualization expertise with CloudHealth's multi-cloud management technologies. Bob Kilbride, CloudHealth’s senior director of channel sales, spoke with CRN about how the deal will impact the company, its robust partner ecosystem, and the emerging opportunity around cloud management for solution providers.

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How will VMware and CloudHealth work together following the close of the acquisition?

It's so exciting. I see it as all about acceleration and additional integration. It's pouring fuel onto the fire. The CloudHealth brand is going to be the multi-cloud management platform for all in the industry, both end users and service providers alike. The alignment between the two organizations is just amazing. They are multi-cloud-focused, as are we, and enterprise-focused. Every enterprise is requiring a multi-cloud solution. Even if they are not multi-cloud today, they won't work with a vendor or a partner today who's not offering a in multi-cloud. The fact that [VMware] is focused on multi-cloud, and they own the enterprise data center in terms of virtualization, this is the next great wave of cloud expansion, so the timing is right.

What does CloudHealth bring to VMware that it needed?

They are not a cloud company, they aren't a SaaS company, and that's where we have the expertise, so we come in with a ton a value. From the MSP standpoint, it's really going to be the same story for VMware's MSP partners. We are going to enable those top partners to deliver cloud services, so it's really going to be the whole story -- the VMware data center story, and CloudHealth as the central cloud management tool for multi-clouds and hybrid clouds as well.

What will the acquisition mean for partners in terms of channel program changes?

It's too early to tell [if the VMware and CloudHealth channel program will eventually merge] but certainly, there are things that are unique about a cloud partner program. We've built a really solid program that has been successful in creating successful cloud service providers, so I expect we will continue to do the same thing, whatever the program looks like or is called, the focus and goals will be the same.

As evidenced by channel sales growing by over 20 percent in one year, do you think partners are seeing the revenue opportunity around cloud management?

That's part of it. The other part is that partners are able to provide a full suite of services that any end user looking to adopt cloud needs. At CloudHealth, we are subject matter experts in optimization and cloud management, but what we don’t do are migrations -- the physical migration of workloads from a data center to public cloud -- and we don't do architecture design or public cloud reselling or support of those services. Our partners do all of that. They can offer a one-stop shop, or they can do all of those things on an al a carte basis.

What's your message to CloudHealth partners right now?

[VMware CEO] Pat Gelsinger said this week that CloudHealth will be the branded platform for cloud management for MSPs and the industry. The platform will not change; it will only get stronger and accelerate, and there will be even more product integrations into the platform. There will be no change there.

The underlying message is that multi-cloud is real. It's going to be a requirement and [partners] can't do it alone. They need a solution stack, and that stack will include relationships with AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and CloudHealth is important for the cost management of that solution.