VMware ponders partner-to-partner networking boost

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VMware ponders partner-to-partner networking boost
VMware's Uma Thana Balasingam

VMware may offer its partners more tools to help them partner with other partners, a recognition that its expanding product portfolio makes collaboration desirable.

Uma Thana Balasingam, the company’s vice president for partner business across Asia-Pacific and Japan, last week told CRN that some partners are telling her that the company’s portfolio is now so broad that they can’t represent it all. Other partners have told her that they feel customers are now moving faster than the partners that try to serve them.

Balasingam sees partner-to-partner collaboration as one way to address the issue, and has some plans to accelerate it.

“The first is thinking about the knowledge economy, and how we bring that more effectively to partners. And being conscious about our partners learn at different levels of the organisation and the roles they play.”

Balasingam also wants to create “industry-leading ecosystems” and says VMware’s efforts in China offer a template for such work.

“We call it the VMware Innovation Network, where we bring together ISP, universities, companies who are building local applications.”

“Bringing all these different types of partners together, coming back to the partnering with partners paradigm is something VMware is uniquely positioned to do. So that's something that we are thinking … to bring outside China.”

Balasingam says VMware is also preparing to have different and deeper conversations with partners.

“We will very much be helping our people to gain skills,” she said. “Not just the technical skills of running a channel but the soft skills of having a very different conversation around challenger sales.”

“We can't walk to a partner and go: ‘All right, we made 15 announcements at VMworld, which one would you like to have today?”

Instead she hopes VMware’s channel team talks more about how to evolve business models, how to achieve desired levels of gross profit and operating margin.”

“We’ll tell you what part of the VMware portfolio will get you there.”

Partners can also expect to have more engagement with VMware’s own experts, and to content VMware uses internally.

“We're trying to build a culture of ‘anything that we give to our teams, we need to give to our partners’,” Balasingam said.

VMware is also giving its channel a new channel program, known as “Partner Connect”, which will launch on the unusual date of February 29th, 2020.  

VMware also yesterday reported its Q3 results.

Revenue of US$2.46 billion represented growth of 12 percent from the same quarter of the previous year. Licensing revenue came in at $974 million, up 10 percent year-over-year.

Those sales beat Wall Street expectations by $50 million. Earnings of $1.49 per share came six cents higher than analysts had predicted.

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