How to Make Partnering More Profitable
Businesses are moving at a dizzying rate today, driven by digital transformation. It’s changed nothing less than the way we work and think. At VMware, it’s also changed the way we partner.
A long-time leader in virtualization and compute, VMware is committed to innovation. To that end, earlier this month, we announced Advantage+ program enhancements. They reflect our forward-thinking mindset and a fundamental shift in our business model as we move at the speed of technology to add more advanced solutions outside of vSphere. Through Advantage+, we are fostering a more collaborative sales environment and rewarding partners who truly transform their business.
A Mutual Investment
Let’s start with the (not so) boring math of Advantage+. Partners selling advanced solutions now see 30 percent in increased up front margins. Sounds good on paper, but 30 percent doesn’t cover the magnitude of this change. The increased up front margin is on top of distribution discount, which means it’s an additional 10-30 percent of list price.
Here’s a quick look at the difference Advantage+ makes to partner rewards:
Yes, that’s a big discount, and there’s good reason for it. We decided to invest significantly in partners that sell our advanced products because those partners are investing in us.
It Takes Two to Tango
While independently growing in the triple-digit rates, our management, storage and networking solutions require some heavy lifting from partners. Not only is the brand recognition not as prevalent with our more complex solutions as it was with vSphere, but customers often need more education when it comes to these complex data-center technologies.
Driving sales for these solutions ultimately comes down to partners. We’ve asked them to invest resources to drive brand awareness, educate customers, and explain the security and TCO benefits. We know our partners are capable of proactively selling NSX and other complex technologies. Now we’ve put our money where our mouth is and set them up for success with Advantage+ enhancements.
Partners Take the Lead
As we double down with an increased percentage on top, the role of the partner shifts. It grows even stronger as we’ve moved to a first-in-wins model. Partners selling advance solutions bring the deals and as a result, their relationships with VMware PBMs change because:
- Auto-validation allows partners to validate deal registrations without waiting for field approval, which accelerates sales cycles while giving partners more control.
- VMware account managers become coaches—allies working alongside partners to drive the deal to closure.
- When the deal registration comes through the pipeline, sales reps reach out to partners first, not customers, to ensure they have assessment tools and TCO calculators that ensure success.
A Cultural Change from the Top Down
When you think about it, we’re not really unveiling an updated partner program, but rather a VMware sales go-to-market transformation. As the “fulfillment” model of yore fades, partners no longer sit and wait for reps to call the shots; they become an extension of the VMware sales team and are compensated as such.
Advantage+ marks a coming-of-age for VMware and our partner ecosystem. We’re not just talking numbers anymore—this transformation is across the board from the way we work with our partners to how our sales force operates to internal collaboration. Looking ahead, it’s more than partnership. We’re better together.
Interested in a collaborative future with VMware? Head to Partner Central to learn more about driving business with these Advantage+ enhancements.
Colleen Kapase is VP, Worldwide Partner Programs and Go-To-Market, VMware, Inc. She graduated from University of Washington, Foster School of Business Administration, going into her first role as an analyst at a boutique channel consulting organization, MSI Consulting based in Seattle. After working on channel strategy for clients including Compaq, HP, Inktomi, and Citrix, she joined the Citrix channel headquarters team in Florida. Concluding 5 years and working her way to Director of Channel Programs at Citrix, including an EMEA and Asia Pacific headquarters assignment for a year each, respectively, she then chose to join VMware and never looked back. Completing seven years at VMware, Mrs. Kapase has been involved with launching deal registration at VMware, transforming the formerly VIP partner program to the improved VMware Partner Network (VPN). She most recently is accountable for training over 200K individuals world-wide on VMware.