10 Tips To Become A Virtualization Services Superstar

The VMware Difference

Doug Smith, global channel chief for VMware, recently talked about what separates a VMware virtualization services superstar from the rest of the channel pack. Here are his 10 top tips to becoming a virtualization services superstar, including his call to action on Windows 7 desktop virtualization, desktop virtualization services, virtualization software opportunities and virtualization services methodology.

Establish A Windows 7 Migration Virtualization Services Practice

Smith says VMware Windows 7 migration virtualization services represent a windfall for partners. VMware recently announced a solution enablement toolkit for Windows 7 aimed at helping partners drive Windows 7 migration. "We think that is going to help our partners tremendously," he says. "Our partners are also Microsoft Partners. So we think there is a win-win there for everybody. Virtualize the desktop and let's move to Windows 7. We know a lot of customers skipped Vista. They are stuck on XP. And so there is a big opportunity for all of us."

Take Advantage Of VMware- Microsoft Synergy

Smith says VMware combined with Microsoft applications, including Microsoft Exchange, is a virtualization services game changer.

"We think that VMware and a Microsoft partner together can help virtualize applications faster, move customers to Windows 7 faster, move to the latest Exchange platform faster," says Smith. "We think that happens faster and the customer benefits across the board. To me that is the real value of being a partner, this idea of multivendor, heterogenous solutions."

Get Into The Desktop Virtualization Services Game

Smith sees a desktop virtualization boom that is changing the very nature of computing. He points to VMware View as a desktop virtualization services breakthrough.

"I can do a virtualized desktop right from my iPad," he says, demonstrating VMware View from his iPad. "This pulls up a desktop for me right from VMware's data center. Desktop virtualization and the change in end-user computing is once again another area we see as a big opportunity for our partners. This new wave of devices opens up access from any device, anywhere, anytime."

Establish An All Encompassing Virtualization Services V-Practice

Smith says that since virtualization impacts every aspect of a business it is critical for virtualization service providers to make sure every sales and engineering staff member is part of the

Smith says just because you are doing your own virtualization services doesn't mean you can't take advantage of some of VMware's own virtualization services best practices. VMware has packaged 20 different solution enablement toolkits providing partners everything from assessment tools to statement of work tools and marketing collateral. "The way we describe it is we have done 80-90 percent of the work packaging up our IP (intellectual property) into a format that now the partner can go in and do that last 10-20 percent," says Smith. "I can tell you I have been doing this for 20 years and have (never seen anything like this)."

Become A Virtualization Software Superstar

VMware, which has won CRN's 2010 ARC award for server virtualization software, is now making a move to provide a cloud application development platform. Smith points to VMware's acquisition of SpringSource, a provider of Web application development services, as a game changer for solution providers. VMware now has the cloud application development platform that partners are going to use," says Smith. He says SpringSource heralds a new era for virtualization software Web application developers. "We definitely see some App only guys," he says.


Take Advantage Of The VMware Service Provider Program (VSPP)

Smith sees more customers adopting subscription model software licensing. "We have our own program called the VSPP (VMware Service Provider Program) program," he says. "It is our hosting model. It is the rental model versus the buy model. We actually now have 1,400 partners in VSPP. A lot of them are our top VARs." Last October VMware simplified the pricing model and doubled the number of products in VSPP.

Tackle The Tough Tier One Applications Opportunity

Smith says key to breaking through the virtualization services stall is attacking the tier one application opportunity. That means virtualizing enterprise applications like SAP's ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) application or Microsoft Exchange. VMware has established solution tracks aimed at helping partners crack the tier one virtualization services logjam. "We are doing a solution track right now around what we call the customer journey," he says. "The customers starts over here virtualizing file and print, tier two apps, then into tier one and eventually moves to the cloud. IT as a service is ultimately where that journey goes. We are actually doing this customer journey training in our solution tracks with our partners."