Feb 29, 2020 marks VMware’s leap into new channel

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Feb 29, 2020 marks VMware’s leap into new channel

VMware’s new Partner Connect program will launch on February 29 2020, a day picked for its rarity and as an indicator of the significance of leap forward it will represent.

While VMware has outlined the basics of its new plan – a three-tiered program that emphasises competencies – precise details have not yet been revealed. But global channel chief Jenni Flinders today told CRN that more details of the program’s requirements and the “give-gets” will emerge in November. She added that the new structure lends itself to partners operating at multiple levels within the program. The highest tier, “Principal partner”, requires more competencies than the lower “Advanced” or vanilla “partner” tier. Flinders said she hopes partners shoot for Principal status.

And before then, partners will experience some of the new Partner Connect digital experience.

At VMworld in San Francisco today Flinders commented on the video below and explained it teases what she described as “a new platform to manage on development funds, which is going to integrate into the new Digital Connect platform for partners.”

Flinders said that when partners log on they’ll be offered a personalised experience. “The partner will be able to see their performance, their total share of wallet, their pipeline … all that stuff.”

“It won’t be a pretty website with a marketing page on it. It’s going to have a lot of sticky, valuable business intelligence there in terms of how you are doing as a VMware partner. So that development funds platform is one of the feed-ins that is going to come through.”

Flinders said the platform will offer info such as “business performance, pipeline velocity, who's the sales leaders, a path to achieving certain competencies. It's not just informative, you can actually go and interact with it.”

"We're not launching a website, we're going to launch an entire program on Feb 29. So the teams are heads down at the moment, making sure that when we flip that switch and go live [everything is great.] I want to make sure that it is really going to deliver an exceptional experience for our partners. So we're focusing … checking the back ends are good here.”

VMware's master competency map. Click to enlarge.

VMware is also focusing on master competencies, and Flinders said the company will develop more of them as the company’s portfolio expands (current competencies depicted above). The modular nature of the framework also means Flinders is confident VMware’s recent acquisitions of Pivotal and Carbon Black can be incorporated into its competencies structure.

She added that VMware’s scale should benefit Pivotal and Carbon Black, with the latter offering “a big opportunity from partners to lean in.”

Flinders also remarked on the choice of 29 February as Partner Connect’s launch date, saying “We used it as a marketing tactic. Sometimes the launch day is just a launch date. And we thought Feb 29 it comes around once every four years. However, we do promise to keep the program updated more often.”

“We are building such an adaptable platform within this program that we will never have to go through a major refresh like this again,” she pledged.

“So that whole conversation about the master services competencies, the give-gets, having the additional portfolio through acquisitions kind of snap into it. VMware will never have to go through that again, which is what we're doing now. Because the current program, you know, I've always said the 1990s called and asked for its program back.”

One more thing: CRN today spoke with VMware COO Sanjay Poonen, who said he expects the company’s increasing continuous delivery and continuous integration prowess will mean features flow more quickly from VMware’s cloud and other products into vCloud Director.

Simon Sharwood traveled to VMworld as a guest of VMware

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