VMware channel chief Sandy Hogan on empowering partners in the customer lifecycle

VMware channel chief Sandy Hogan on empowering partners in the customer lifecycle

Signals services as a key strategic point of profitability.

Sandy Hogan (VMware)

Sandy Hogan (VMware)

Credit: VMware

Manoeuvring from a transaction-driven to a customer lifecycle-focused ecosystem is at the core of VMware's new partner strategy, its channel chief has revealed. 

The virtualisation vendor this week announced a major push into the multi-cloud space and has launched a raft of new partner incentives to support the channel's delivery of it to customers.

Speaking to ARN during VMworld 2021, senior vice president of worldwide commercial and partner sales Sandy Hogan stressed that would mean a change in perspectives from the partners. 

“Partners are squarely at the centre of helping our customers become really cloud smart and implementing the right solutions based on what’s best for their business in their transformation journey,” she said. “We're moving really from what was primarily a transaction-oriented to a customer lifecycle ecosystem, which puts far more prominence on influence, deployment and consumption in the entire motion.”

“When you think about ‘customer for life’, that is all about how we support our partners and empower them to deliver value across all points in how they touch the customers to truly develop and implement across this multi-cloud delivery model,” she added. 

“We recognise that partners play very different roles and we don't want to force-fit them into a particular type of model, but really help them leverage their unique capabilities and complementary capabilities with partners across the lifecycle.”

The new and revamped partner incentives include a new deployment incentive to support the deployment of new VMware solutions without impacting current customer infrastructure.

There were also technical assessments and proof of concept (PoC) updates whereby partners are now provided with support for Cloud Universal and VMware Cloud on AWS/Dell along with additional earnings for non-transacting, services-only partners. 

Partner-to-Partner Accelerator was also expanded into APJ, rewarding ‘sell through’ partners who identify opportunities and book eligible orders, handing off to the “orchestrate with” partners to activate the solution and facilitate consumption of VMware services. 

A consumption growth incentive was also introduced to incentivise partners that grow customer activation of VMware services across their customer portfolio.

VMware vice president of partner programs Tracy-Ann Palmer added a lot of the incentives were for its Advanced and Principal partners, but also stretched beyond that.

“What we really wanted to ensure through our investments and our incentives is how we truly bring value to partners all across the customer lifecycle, where they are adding value to the customer and adding value to VMware,” she said. 

“Partners are now getting incentivised to do that PoC. If they’re doing a technical assessment, that same value they’re bringing to the customer, we’re now investing in doing that technical assessment.” 

Palmer highlighted the significance behind its deployment incentive and the understanding that partner success in that process is rewarded. 

She further emphasised the partner-to-partner incentive as a major step towards rewarding the community in working together to drive the customer lifecycle - effectively multiplying its software-as-a-service (SaaS) and subscription business.

“[For] most of our partners, services is a very strategic area of the business that will demand where a lot of profitability comes from,” she said. "We’re going on a journey with our partners because they’re such a strategic vehicle for us.

“We’ve got a three-year strategy in what we think we’ll derive from that and we know with that subscription business it will be about a twenty-times multiplier.”

Hogan meanwhile added that partners continued to make significant investments in their own business models to lead with services whether that’s across consulting, successful migration and deployment of technologies and continued success in the customer’s digital transformation journey. 

“We expect the curve to go along with the partner’s pace of investment in that type of capability because that’s what customers are going to demand more and more,” she said. “We believe the uptake will grow significantly in the next few quarters.”

Recently appointed VMware A/NZ partner business director Olga Specjalska previously disclosed that the company was working closely with its partners to help recognise the role they play in the customer’s evolving digital transformation journey.

“There are multiple initiatives that we are looking at implementing locally following our global program to recognise our partners and the role they have played in a customer’s journey,” she said.

“Coming into this role from a different background, I'm bringing a fresh look into the partner ecosystem and how we can support partners in rolling out that strategic value to our customers.

“Trust and profitability are what I believe is important to our partners.”

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