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VMware Exec: Software-Defined Data Center A Massive Partner Services Opportunity

Frank Rauch, vice president of VMware's Americas Partner Organization, tells partners there's no time like the present to jump aboard the software-defined data center express.

Solution providers have many choices when it comes to vendor partnerships, but VMware's portfolio offers the most opportunities for partners to make money, according to Frank Rauch, vice president of VMware's Americas Partner Organization.

VMware's software defined data center, which involves virtualizing storage and networking in addition to servers, is generating ample business for the channel, Rauch said in a keynote Tuesday at the XChange 2015 conference hosted by The Channel Company, publisher of CRN.

When VMware's end-user computing, hyper-converged and hybrid cloud offerings are factored in, partners can take advantage of a $60 billion total addressable market, said Rauch.

[Related: VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger Reportedly Says No Interest In Acquiring EMC]

"Where do you want your sales reps spending their time: Going after that $60 billion, or competing with everyone else trying to sell hardware?" Rauch asked attendees.

VMware, to drive adoption of newer products like NSX software-defined networking, VSAN virtual storage and the vCloud Air public cloud, is enlisting partners to help deliver professional services to customers.

VMware has more than 700 NSX customers now, including big firms like McKesson, eBay and Columbia, and more than 100 of them are using the technology in production, according to Rauch. VSAN attracted more than 1,000 customers in its first 9 months on the market, he said.

Vaughn Thomas, founder and CTO of Raven Data Technologies, a Baltimore-based IT security solution provider and VMware partner, said the software-defined data center vision is resonating with his customers.

"We do a lot of edge monitoring of networks for MSPs and end-user clients. Virtualization makes it easier for us to secure, replicate and back up the data," Thomas told CRN. "We were fine with VMware's product line before, and software-defined data center is just an added benefit."

VMware's newer products also create a "drag" for additional services that could amount to an additional $40 billion opportunity for VMware partners, said Rauch. "The services opportunity for partners has never been better," he said. "This is where you want your salespeople spending their time."

Aaron Zeper, vice president of sales and marketing at Signature Technology Group, a Phoenix-based VMWare partner, said he's seeing many opportunities to deliver professional services for VMware products.

"The virtualization train is not slowing, and as the products continue to gain mature and advance, we see customers that want experienced engineers and architects to deliver the services necessary to take advantage of the product features and benefits," Zeper told CRN.


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