Partners have embraced VMware's overhauled VIP partner program and the introduction of new incentives and training, saying the changes reflect the vendor's commitment to the channel.
The enhanced VIP partner program gives all partners access to VMware's opportunity registration incentive program, advantage plus. The program was previously only available to enterprise and premier partners, VMware channel director, David Blackman, said. VMware has also lowered its customer opportunity benchmark from $US20,000 to $US10,000. Partners stand to receive about 16 per cent in margin rebates on deals.
At the low end, resellers registering new customer opportunities worth $US3000 or more would also receive a rebate, Blackman said. "We think this can help encourage partners to get on board the virtualization wave," he said.
Other VIP program additions include free online VMware Technical Sales Professional training. Newly launched Business Builder tools also assists partners to establish a virtualisation practice, while the online Partner Resource Library and e-marketing material provide information around virtualisation skills and business opportunities. Leading Solutions NSW manager, Roy Pater, said VMware's program improvements showed its further commitment to the channel.
He claimed organisations sorely needed tools like Business Builder to help develop a proper virtualization practice.
"I think is a good step forward. VMware has also aligned its certifications more with businesses," Pater said.
Oriel Technologies managing director, Jake Wynne, also saw the program changes as adding more flexibility. For example, partners previously had to register new customer deals at least 30 days before closing the deal. With the program changes they could close deals at any time provided they had been registered and approved. Most partners also welcomed lower customer opportunity benchmarks in the advantage plus registration incentive program.
While admitting lowering the benchmarks did make it easier for more resellers to get more involved with VMware, Frontline marketing communications manager, Greg Wade, said cost of entry was still high enough to eliminate "fly-by" resellers snatching up customer deals.