VMware will drift away from its traditional compute virtualisation partners if they don't adopt the vendor's newer technology, UK channel boss Phil Croxford has told CRN.
Speaking at VMworld Europe in Barcelona this week, Croxford (pictured) explained that VMware has moved out of its "act one" - which was the virtualisation of computing - and is now in "act two" which is the virtualisation of the rest of the datacentre.
"We've spent a lot of time looking at what the perfect partner for our act two, or next-generation, partner will look like, and helping them understand the opportunity from VMware," he said.
"It's very different when we're talking about technologies such as network virtualisation that are very early on in the technology life cycle, so we need a different set of partners, or different attributes in our partners."
Croxford explained that whereas over the years VMware has worked with hardware vendors who have attached VMware products to their solutions, giving end users a better experience, VMware is now taking this same model to the cloud, as shown by its partnerships with IBM and Amazon Web Services.
With this in mind, VMware has seen some if its more traditional partners fall away as it turns more to systems integrators for its act two products.
"You often see a headline saying 'so-and-so vendor fires half of their partner community' - we've never done that," he said.
"If they don't get it, then the reality is we'll drift apart and become less relevant to each other. They'll keep selling vSphere, which is our compute virtualisation product, which is a flat/declining market."
Croxford said that partners willing to invest in certifications and training for next-generation products will be the ones who benefit, adding that incentives have been put in the partner programmes to offer better margins for products in an early stage of their life cycle - solutions such as NSX, vSAN and AirWatch.
Roland Koenig, general manager at VMware partner Bechtle, said that partners need to invest in training their employees in new VMware technology because more end users are demanding the services that can be wrapped around them.
"We have customers who are really small but need a complete stack because their business needs a stack, but they say 'I don't want to have any touch with the technology, I want to use a service'."
"We need everything - we must control it, we must manage it. We need security, we need all the stacks... If we're not able to support this then we have a problem, and that's a reason why we're investing.
"We have 64 people here [at VMworld 2016] - it's not only a fun event; they must work."
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