VMware's new global channel chief this week rolled out four partner competencies designed to drive business to partners leveraging the virtualisation leader's technological innovations to deliver ongoing services.
VMware needed to formalise support for partners offering project-based, advisory and managed services, and help them differentiate their practices by validating that expertise, Jenni Flinders, vice president for worldwide channels, told CRN USA.
At the VMware Partner Leadership Summit, Flinders introduced the VMware Master Services Competencies for cloud management and automation, data centre virtualisation, network virtualisation, and desktop and mobility.
"As we guide our partners down the services journey, some of the benefits we're going to focus this program around are on how we're going to help partners build services-enablement capabilities and priority access to the enablement program," Flinders said.
VMware's channel program in the past had been largely transaction-oriented. But the latest technologies, especially those facilitating hybrid cloud deployments, create opportunities for partners to add value on a recurring basis, she said.
And delivering ongoing services post-transaction is "hugely profitable for partners," said Flinders.
By extending its portfolio across cloud, data centre and endpoints, VMware has made it possible for partners to deepen their practice models, and that's the focus of the evolving channel program, she said.
The Master Services Competencies emphasise driving customer demand, helping partners advertise their capabilities through badging and branding, and making it easier for customers to find the partners that best meet their needs.
"There is so much more for our partners to build a holistic value-chain to the customer," Flinders said, and the "deeper the value, the longer-term relationship will be entrenched".
The latest competencies had been under development since the start of the year—before Flinders took the helm of the company's channel organisation at the start of last month. Now it's her job to advance them in the channel.
"We've got to stay ahead of the curve with our partners. I'm looking for ways we can be leading edge out there for the partner ecosystem," she said.
While there's a lot of overlap with the skills validated by technological certifications, the new competencies are earned independently.
"For me, it's an opportunity to look at how we double-down on VMware with our partners and grow the business together," she said. "I'm going to be the channel's greatest advocate and voice," Flinder said.
While some of VMware's born-in-the-cloud partners intricately understand the services model, other partners are placing big bets to extend their practices in that direction, she said.