Toni Adams, VP—Global Channel and Alliances Marketing at VMware, speaks about how partners can benefit from VMware's latest service offerings, and how they can use them to capture unconquered market space, especially in the SMB space.
CW: What are the priority areas for VMware in 2013 and why?
The three key areas are software-defined datacenter, hybrid cloud, and end-user computing. And the fourth area of focus is vSphere with operations management. When we talk about software-defined datacenter from the perspective of customer evolutionary processes, we can see that they have reached the pinnacle of virtualizing compute, network, server, storage, and security resources. We want to have discussions with customers regarding the benefits of virtualization, capex savings, and ability to increase service levels. The next step from there would not be software-defined networking immediately, but getting more out of the current virtual environment through vSphere with operations management. It is all built under the core competence of virtualization.
CW: What will the role of channel partners be in VMware's aggressive push for the software-defined datacenter?
The vision around software-defined datacenter is giving customers the benefits of virtualization not only at the compute level, but also at network, storage, and security levels. And the main benefits of software-defined datacenter are going from a service that takes weeks to set up to one that only takes a few seconds, and saving capital investment cost of hosting.VMware business, especially in India, is run close to 100 percent by our partner base. Everything in virtualization has been and will be done through partners. The journey starts with compute and goes to other aspects such as storage virtualization, network virtualization etcetera. The most important product the software reseller/solution provider community can offer new customers is our vCloud Suite. We want partners who have already sold vSphere to go back and up-sell the management component too. The journey to software-defined datacenter depends on the partner's ability. Opportunities are ripe for partners because it all starts with virtualization.
CW: Partners are making great strides in the private cloud business. Don't you think they often miss out the business opportunities on the public cloud front?
Private cloud is indeed more popular than its public counterpart. But some customers are mature enough to move some workloads outside the organization. Our resellers are primarily focused on the private cloud, while VMware Service Provider Partners (VSPP) deal with the public cloud.
A reseller would require the same VMware technology to move their customer base around private cloud to service provider. However, resellers who own their customers' infrastructure would not benefit from recommending the public cloud. If the customers move to public cloud, the reseller would lose complete sight of the geography. We have introduced cloud credit programs, wherein we give away iTunes' or other gift vouchers. They can buy the voucher from VMware and sell it to customers, who, in turn, can burn it by choosing services from any of the 40 VSPPs in India. The reseller will benefit monetarily and be seen as a trusted advisor rather than just a box pusher. Also, they will be part of the implementation and managed services. The reseller might not have the know-how or ability to host something, but they will benefit by selling cloud credits.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.