VMware Introduces Additional Partner Incentives For SMBs

Sundar Balasubramanian
Sr Director, VMWare

Cloud leader VMware has recently made many changes in the management and the channel partners always wanted to know what VMWare has for them.

In an exclusive chat with ‘Channel Times’, Sundar Balasubramanian, Senior Director – General Business, VMware India explains what Indian channel partners of VMWare can expect from the company.

Channel Times (CT): What is the message for Indian channel partners selling cloud solutions? What would be the growth rate of Indian cloud market?

VMWare (VMW): Today, we have entered a new world of business, where business models that once seemed solid and permanent are becoming more fluid, almost liquid. To thrive in this new era requires a new model for IT.

In the era of Brave New IT, software is a primary means of engaging prospects and customers, as well as a key driver of innovation and growth. We offer an approach that makes IT

Instant – Instant provisioning, delivery, and access—from data center to device—of the applications and services that drive revenue and build customer loyalty

Fluid – Unified private and public clouds to dynamically deploy any application or workload

Secure – Enhanced security native to applications, infrastructure, and devices that enable businesses to deliver and consume applications with confidence

We help customers realize a brave new model of IT through a unique One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device IT architecture that empowers organizations to rapidly develop, automatically deliver, and safely consume all of their enterprise applications.

VMware’s One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device architecture for IT is built on the Software-Defined Data Center, which fully automates virtualized compute, storage, networking, and security infrastructure, and seamlessly extends these resources to the cloud. This technology architecture helps organizations realize unified hybrid cloud and enable business mobility – which are both areas that we’re very excited about in India.

CT: What is your channel roadmap for the next six months of the year?

VMW: While we continue to see growth across all segments and sectors, the SMB segment will continue to be a key area of focus and an area where we will be working very closely with our partners to grow the business. We’ve made some important changes in how we engage with our partners to help bring in more transparency, and have also introduced additional incentives to help them drive in more business from the SMB segment.

We remain committed to working with partners in areas where we have the most opportunity to drive their profits. VMware has introduced solution Power Plays to help Partners prioritise and focus to grow their VMware business. Power Plays are closely associated with our three main focus areas as a company: The Software-Defined Data Center, Hybrid Cloud and End User Computing. They are the primary sales motion designed to sharpen our focus and increase bookings.

For India, we are focusing specifically in two solution areas with our partners – vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) and Virtual SAN (vSAN). These Power Plays will allows partners to expand in to new markets and add new business value for their customers. To do this we’re also investing in enablement, marketing programs, sales resources, end-user promotions and increased partner incentives.

We are aggressively looking at growing our business in India and are looking at investing in programmes that can help equip partners with the necessary technical expertise to help deepen their competencies.

CT: VMware has seen continuous change in the leadership and was away from any news or announcement for some time. Was there a special reason for the same?

WMW: VMware continues to remain committed to the Indian market and to the partner ecosystem. In 2014, we announced an investment of $500mn in India over a three year period, $120mn of which went towards the new facility inaugurated in Bengaluru in April of 2015.

The past year was an important year for VMware in India. It was a year of change and transformation for us as we embarked on our next phase of growth. We have been investing and building our team to help strengthen VMware’s leadership in India as we look to aggressively capitalize on the enormous opportunities that Mobile-Cloud era offers us in the region.
I took over as the Senior Director for General Business for VMware in India this January and am responsible for Partners and Alliances, and also lead the Commercial Sales business.

We also announced the appointment of Sangeeta Gundala as the India business leader for AirWatch (that VMware acquired in January 2014) to help address the fast growing enterprise mobility opportunity in India. Sangeeta earlier held the position of Director – Commercial Sales at VMware India.

We have been making a number of announcements around our momentum in the country, our new products & solutions and programmes for the market.

CT: VMware has increased the rebates for products like vSphere with operations management (SOM). Is that true? If so, what are the new changes in the existing rebate structures?

VMW: Yes, vSOM is one of our focus Power Plays for India and we have introduced the following incentives for our partners.

Under Advantage+ (Opportunity registration Program): Up to 12% Base Discount +10% Product Accelerator

Under Solution Rewards (Solution Incentive Program): 10% Rebate for SV or Management Operations Partners

VMware Sales Reward: Up to 3,300 Points per qualifying SKU to Partner Sales Rep
We have similar incentives for vSAN and AirWatch as well.

CT: How much is the adoption of cloud in government vertical? Have you won any deals with government sector?

VMW: We are keen on contributing to the National e-Governance Plan, also called e-Kranti, that clearly lays out the road map by the new government for e-Governance. There are 10 or 12 projects that are being defined under e-Kranti in terms of what the government will do, and VMware’s approach here is to work with these customers and help them understand the power of what VMware brings to the table from a software defined data center standpoint.

As an example, MahaGov Cloud is an initiative by the Directorate of Information Technology (DIT), Government of Maharashtra to provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) to various state departments for their e-governance initiatives. VMware was chosen after an extensive evaluation conducted by the Government of Maharashtra. The VMware deployment has helped the Government of Maharashtra lower the cost of hosting, improve the management of the state data center infrastructure, and drastically reduce the time required to provision infrastructure for various state departments.

CT: What are the training activities you are planning for the partner organizations?

VMW: The success of our business depends on how successful our partners are. We continuously investing in enablement, marketing programs, sales resources, end-user promotions and increased partner incentives to help them in their success.
These programs are available to them as a calendar of activities and they can pick and choose the areas where they would like to participate.

In Q4, we will be hosting our flagship event – vForum in Mumbai that will be followed with our VSS events across the country. We will be running a separate partner agenda at these events to help update them on our strategy and how they can grow their VMware business.

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