Avnet is targeting a widening mid-tier of companies already underway with managed services in Australia, forming the distributor's core VMware focus in the months ahead.
"We want to expose them to the VMware stack," said Avnet Technology Solutions A/NZ vice-president and general manager, Darren Adams, when speaking to ARN at VMworld 2016 on the ground in Las Vegas.
"Partners look to us to be the trusted advisor; it’s no longer just about selling technologies. So, the closer we get to VMware, the better we’ll get at doing that."
Globally, VMware works with around 4,200 Cloud partners or Cloud service providers, with few large Australian companies thrown into that mix.
Yet for Adams, Australia represents a strong SMB market play, with managed services focused partners beginning to touch the very tip of the iceberg with VMware and the Cloud.
“We have been trying and will keep trying to get these partners engaged in the whole stack of VMware offerings and the Cloud," he said.
For Adams, the launch of the VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture will only further support Avnet’s strategy to target this market.
“We started our Cloud journey a number of years ago – it’s not our first rodeo," he added. "We already have business flowing through our Cloud tools for AWS, Microsoft, CenturyLink, and IBM. We’re already doing all that.
“We want to get Avnet Australia more engaged in the VMware Cloud ecosystem because we have been more of a user rather than a distributor of the products.
“The next step for us is to build an ecosystem for VMware. When we do that, we won’t necessarily be taking that to the top end of town and the traditional, larger SIs and service providers."
Adams said partners now view VMware as a software defined datacentre oriented business rather than as a server virtualisation company.
“When I was talking to VMware, although it has about 200 global partners in the Cloud space, the big goal for them is to broaden the use of its stack," he observed.
"That’s one reason why it’s excited about what came out of its IBM partnership, which we too are excited about, because we were one of those early adopters of IBM."
As reported by ARN, IBM has expanded on its relationship with VMware by becoming the first partner to offer the company’s Cloud Foundation-as-a-Service solution.
Revealed at VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas, this industry-first Cloud services partnership aims to enable organisations to quickly and easily move enterprise workloads to the Cloud.
With more than 500 clients engaged, the global partnership is expected to allow organisations to extend existing workloads to the Cloud in hours instead of weeks or months.
“The announcement probably sits best with us as compared to any other distributor on the planet," Adams added.
"There’s alignment there. That SoftLayer-VMware-Avnet partnership will be a lot more prevalent not just in Australia but globally too."
Post VMworld 2016, Adams said Avnet intends to leverage new technologies such as NSX, while investing deeply with its technical people.
“It gives us a deeper engagement with our partners and more marketing planning around these technologies on a regional basis," he added. "We want partners to take advantage of these things and we’re very well positioned to do just that."
In highlighting two key takeaways from VMworld 2016, Adams emphasised the growing importance of partnerships for VMware.
“Partners for VMware are more important than they have ever been," he added.
"And that is multi-faceted – not just reseller partners but also OEM partners and distributor partners. Being a distributor, that’s pleasing because for a long time, distribution has been seen as an operational efficiency engine for VMware."
Secondly, Adams said VMware is pushing new technologies more aggressively.
“The day of the hypervisor is still there but in order to create traction, it has got to be behind us," he added. "You now need to be in the next-generation type of technology.
“We heard a lot about NSX and AirWatch, these are things that have been in the market for a while, but VMware is now more aggressive than it has ever been. It now knows that it’s time to take share and create footprints."
Hafizah Osman attended VMworld 2016 as a guest of VMware.