VMware has introduced a professional certification for its joint hybrid cloud product with Amazon Web Services.
The new VMware Cloud on AWS solution competency comes as the leading public and private cloud vendors, once bitter rivals, are seeing their channels meld around the hybrid service launched last year.
The latest addition to the VMware partner network extends a "tried and true program" to VMware Cloud on AWS to incentivise partners and engender expertise in the service, said Brandon Sweeney, VMware's senior vice president of worldwide partners and alliances.
The VMware on AWS service expanded into the UK Wednesday and will soon become available in Germany, though there is no indication of an Australian launch date.
While solution providers are not mandated to be formal AWS partners to earn the competency, VMware does recommend they join Amazon's partner program and get trained and certified in AWS infrastructure.
More than 15 early-access partners earned the competency in time for the general launch.
Resellers and consultants will see front-end discounts and a consumption rebate, Sweeney said.
Managed services providers participating in the VMware Cloud Provider Program will have access to an infrastructure environment that allows them to scale beyond their infrastructure, and the opportunity to pre-buy the service with discounts.
While the early-access partners were those with established practices for both vendors, VMware is seeing a surge of interest from solution providers new to its technology.
"The number of conversations we're having with partners that aren't our historic partners around resell is exciting. There's a lot of interest from non-VMware partners about how they can monetize VMware Cloud on AWS," Sweeney said.
More than 5,000 firms have formally expressed interest in joining that product's channel – many almost immediately after the hybrid cloud product launched last August.
It is no surprise a significant number come from the AWS ecosystem; born-in-the-cloud solution providers see VMware Cloud on AWS as a vehicle for extending their practices into the data center for the first time, said Terry Wise, vice president for the AWS worldwide partner ecosystem.
At the same time, traditional VMware partners are looking to establish AWS practices, Amazon's channel chief told CRN USA.
"You're seeing a convergence of ecosystems," Wise said. "And you're going to see these ecosystems converge more and more based on huge customer demand and the opportunity to deliver a massive set of offerings when you combine both capabilities."
While both companies welcome new partners, those that came in with deep expertise working with both vendors are the "centre of gravity" around the product's go-to-market strategy, Wise said.