VMware's UK channel boss has claimed partners need to be ready for a "quite dramatic" change as the company focuses on its emerging products for growth.
Phil Croxford (pictured), VMware's UK and Ireland director of channels and alliances, told CRN that the company is going through a "massive change" and is now focusing on selling its emerging technology – such as its networking virtualisation product NSX and its storage virtualisation kit VSAN – because sales of its core compute virtualisation gear are now flat.
With this in mind, the firm is changing its approach to the channel, Croxford said.
"NSX is at a run rate of $600m (£424m) a year now and VSAN is at $100m a year run rate," he said. "Therefore, the channel we need is changing so we have done a lot of work around that.
"If you take that significant shift in the products we're selling – from mature to less mature – and you also take this parallel shift about how they are consumed – either as a subscription model or in cloud form – those two things combined mean the impact on our channel and partner community is quite dramatic.
"We have invested a lot of time and effort in profiling the 'partner of the future' for VMware – our next-generation partner. Pat [Gelsinger, VMware CEO] refers to it as 'act two' – act one is compute virtualisation, and act two is virtualising everything else."
VMware's UK and Ireland strategic partner team manager Harvey Smith added that VMware's channel programme is changing accordingly.
"We've tailored the programme to offer the highest level of rebates and benefits to those guys selling the 'act two' products," he said. "So that's where the revenue benefits come in – more of the products like EUC [end-user computing], Airwatch, VSAN and so on – that's where they can make the most money."
Croxford said that although getting the channel on board with VMware's "act two" is important, the company will respect its partners' focus areas.
"We're not out there saying 'you need to be like this', but we're saying that this is the way our business is shifting and if we want to stay relevant to each other, then this is what we think you need to be looking at," he said.
"None of this is rocket science; it is shifting more towards services... and towards deeper technical skills, because these are not products people ring up and order – they need selling. Also, you need to be able to offer customers choice in terms of how [services] are consumed.
"It's interesting to see partners' response to that. We see partners who want to come on this journey to act two with us, but the reality is that some get it, and some don't."
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