March 10, 2021
Over the past couple years, VMware has ramped up its multicloud efforts. Much of that has come with a focus on the channel and how partners can help customers implement the most effective cloud environments. To aid in those efforts, VMware recently made Cloud Partner Navigator, first announced last September at VMworld, fully available.
Channel Futures wanted to understand more about the portal, so we conducted a Q&A with a VMware channel executive. (Hint: VMware bills the interface as a “major milestone” in helping partners embrace multicloud opportunities. And it requires transitioning from Cloud Provider Hub.)
Before diving into all that, though, take it from a peer: VMware Cloud Partner Navigator is simple. It puts VMware and public cloud setups into one interface. And that means fulfilling client requests faster, said Ryan Boyce, director of network engineering at Effectual.
“The Cloud Partner Navigator allows our teams to easily enable our customers’ cloud experience without having to remember complex navigation paths to find the right resources,” Boyce told Channel Futures.
To be clear, the portal serves as a tool. It is not itself a product. Rather, it enables channel partners – cloud providers and MSPs alike – to beef up their offerings through VMware’s SaaS portfolio. They deliver new, different services more quickly and easily. Of interest, however, is that partners can roll out the Navigator to their customers for self-management, if that’s a fit.
To understand it in more depth, we caught up with Geoff Thompson, vice president of worldwide cloud provider sales at VMware. Here is our edited exchange.
Channel Futures: Describe VMware Cloud Partner Navigator. What is it, what does it do, and what do partners do with it?
VMware’s Geoff Thompson
Geoff Thompson: Cloud Partner Navigator is a SaaS platform that helps VMware partners simplify and accelerate multicloud service delivery. [It was] built specifically for partners to help them expand their business by integrating delivery of VMware Cloud infrastructure as a service with VMware’s … SaaS services.
Cloud Partner Navigator provides three key benefits for partners:
Service Delivery: With Cloud Partner Navigator, partners can provide their customers easy access to cloud services. They can purchase, provision and operate these services from a unified platform while providing a common, automated onboarding process across different services.
Cloud Operations: Partners can use it to expand to various cloud endpoints, unify views across clouds and deliver common automation across clouds.
Customer Experience: The end customer gets access to the tenant side of Cloud Partner Navigator where they can enjoy self-service deployment of VMs and containers to their cloud endpoint of choice. They can also view centralized billing across the services and view cloud usage from a unified platform.
CF: What spurred VMware to develop VMware Cloud Partner Navigator?
GT: VMware Cloud Partner Navigator is a key milestone in our multicloud strategy. It enables us to help partners build a competitive cloud portfolio, simplify their business expansion, and unify services and operations with a common platform. Our vision for [it] is to …
… help any partner deliver any cloud and any service to their customers.
VMware partners include those building modern cloud offerings and those preferring more of an asset-light, managed services-only approach. These partners face challenges in embracing and operationalizing the multicloud opportunity. Customers expect cloud companies to be agile. In reality, delivery of new services and capabilities can be slow. This stems from complex back-office operations, inflexible business models, or struggles to hire and train staff. With Cloud Partner Navigator, VMware can help partners address these challenges by simplifying the partner’s business operations, helping them offer a managed services portfolio and providing a … multicloud experience for their customers.
CF: What business problems does it solve for partners?
GT: Cloud Partner Navigator provides three key benefits: increased agility in service onboarding, solving complex multicloud operations and improving the end-customer experience. To simplify multicloud operations and service delivery, Cloud Partner Navigator provides a unified platform for service delivery and onboarding, centralized overview of cloud consumption by end customers and simplified contract management. This helps our partners to keep track of their financials. The platform makes it easier for partners to onboard customers to new services, increasing their business opportunities.
CF: What business problems does this platform solve for partners’ customers?
GT: While delivering operational advantages to partners is one focus, Cloud Partner Navigator is a two-sided platform that also helps our partners’ customers simplify their multicloud experiences. End users … can more easily place workloads on the cloud that best meet their application or business requirement, complete with common tooling, identity (single sign-on) and billing. They do not have to create new cloud silos. The self-service capabilities of the platform allow customers to launch new services and applications on demand on their cloud of choice. Through the unified capabilities, they can view cloud performance, usage and costs across clouds and services from one spot with centralized billing (and support if needed) from the partner.
CF: What is unique about this platform?
GT: Cloud Partner Navigator covers both the administrative part of the business as well as the technical side of delivering access to the services for end customers. It allows partners to have a meaningful role as a trusted adviser and allows them to build on top of VMware’s SaaS services, rather than just a one-off sale.
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