VMware's strength lies in providing consistent ability of customers to run any application on any cloud
Founded in 1998, VMware helps organizations to become digital businesses to deliver better experiences to their customers and empower employees to do their best work. Their software spans App Modernization, Cloud, Networking & Security and Digital Workspace. In a chat with VARINDIA, Uma Thana Balasingam, Vice President of Partner and Commercial Organisation, VMware APJ shares her view about the company’s channel and partner strategy, focus areas, the hybrid model for business etc.
VMware’s channel and partner strategy
VMware has transformed the partner ecosystem to restructure the ecosystem to present greater technical depth and service mastery. This is a critical time for VMware as they build out their partner route to market capabilities. This is focused on three areas including growing and expanding partner’s traditional selling strategy which emphasises on transactions and will continue to deliver value-based customer engagements.
Delving deep on this topic Uma says, “We are moving faster to what we call the ‘orchestrate with’, and the ‘build with partner’ models. Our “orchestrate with” model is where the ecosystem is at the crux of the hybrid and multi-cloud world and where we scale VMware franchise platforms which include application modernization, multi-cloud, intrinsic security, virtual cloud network, and digital workspace. Our focus on orchestration enables our partners to deliver across different stages of the customer lifecycle. It also furthers our mission of establishing connected ecosystems and nurturing customers for life.”
The “build with partner” module is really about a partner ecosystem that is forward-looking with a clear path to becoming the platform of choice for developers and modern cloud-native applications and multi-cloud SAS offerings. “We have high aspirations here and think it is achievable with our new partner first approach. If we were to become the digital foundation provider of choice for our customers, it will be dependent on how well we make technology consumable for our partners so that they can build their unique and differentiated IP and services to deliver outcomes for those customers,” points out Uma.
Relationship with partners
VMware used an independent consultant locally in Asia markets to run the in-country review meetings with all the participating distributors. They have a consistent approach to assessment, so for India specifically they evaluated five distributor entities and three of them incumbent in two new candidates. The company looked at Tech Data and Ingram Micro and they really stood out in terms of what they have put forward in terms of their business plans and investments and that they would like to make with VMware.
Explaining further Uma comments, “For us, it is a distribution assessment exercise versus a consolidation exercise. We had a set of criteria that we looked at in terms of how we wanted to evaluate our distributors, based on how we saw the market now and going forward. We just celebrated turning 23 years old and we have done some major transformation as a business so the criteria we looked at was around alignment to our business in the five franchise platforms. The value that they saw with VMware was the multiplier effect and the ecosystem pulled through with our solution. The force was around the advanced solution, practice development, so the ability to invest in strengthens and lastly, cloud consumption business model. So, for each market we use a different weightage base as well, based on what was important and what was helping me.”
The impact of hybrid model
In terms of the organization’s partners, some prefer the cloud, but most of the organizations prefer hybrid models. It gives them a significant advantage because they have got a massive base of customers that are already virtualized, and they work with every cloud provider out there, from AWS to Google to IBM. The company also has a set of partners that provide that as a service to their customers and that's part of their VMware cloud partner program.
Uma explains, “We see the hybrid model as an advantage, and with VMware cloud Foundation, it gives the customer, the agility to be able to move to that hybrid model, whether they are on premise today and whether they choose to want to go public, they do not need to refactor those applications. We are also increasingly seeing our customers consider modernizing their on-premise services, so it is just a big opportunity for our partners.”
WFH and VMware
As Work-from-Home is the new normal, Uma points out how VMware has cope up with it. She says, “Our customers are looking to be a part of virtualization today and one of the first steps that we see customers take towards modernizing their on-premises infrastructure is the move to converge. So, we see that as a growth business for us. We are continuing to work with partners like Dell and we have got additional offerings with Hitachi, Fujitsu, and HP to extend that converged offering to our partners and customers. So yes, we have a good opportunity around hyperconverged infrastructure.”
Working closely with VMware Uma has been part of the growth of the company as well as her personal progress. In her ending words, she confronts, “We have been looking to find franchise platforms and what we have to offer. The strength in VMware is really our strategy that has been consistent in that ability to give any customer to run any application on any cloud on any device, and ultimately the ability to bring that whole value proposition together with security embedded throughout in a strong networking offering is where we are positioned unique to the customer.”
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