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VMware: Hybrid Cloud Is the Future

VMware vice president Toni Adams previews his Cloud Partners keynote address on "The Channel's Journey to the Cloud."

Channel Partners

July 1, 2013

4 Min Read
VMware: Hybrid Cloud Is the Future

Virtualization technology powerhouse VMware Inc. is making waves in the cloud world with its recent news that it will become a cloud services provider in competition with companies like Amazon, Google, Rackspace and Microsoft. The ripples have been felt by the channel both VARs and service providers that use the company’s technology to build private clouds or deliver public cloud services of their own. The move along with others like enabling partners to sell “cloud credits” for any VMware-based provider are designed to accelerate VMware partners’ journeys to the cloud, explained Toni Adams, vice president of global channel and alliances marketing for VMware, in an interview with Channel Partners.

Adams, who is charged with defining and implementing the global partner marketing program strategy for VMware’s partners, will deliver a keynote address on “The Channels Journey to the Cloud” at Cloud Partners, a Channel Partners event, Sept. 11-13, in Chicago. Channel Partners interviewed Adams to get a preview of his remarks.

Why did VMware decide to become a cloud service provider?

We at VMware recognized that customers were in need of a quick path to the cloud, specifically a path that would allow them to leverage their existing infrastructure and IT investment. In that context, the vCloud Hybrid Service is the answer. We’re essentially providing a common platform that spans both the private as well as the public cloud and therefore enables an organization to scale their IT infrastructure without changing the way they run in  it be it inside their organization or outside their organization. That applies to how they write, deploy and manage applications.

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said moving workloads to public cloud is not good for the channel. What did he mean by that?

We were referring to the siloed approach of some of our competitors and vendors in the market. At the end of the day, we fundamentally believe that hybrid cloud is the best way for customers to run their infrastructure in the future to be able to seamlessly move those workloads from within their organization to outside their organization to a public cloud without changing anything. They want the same exact infrastructure for the private as well as the public cloud. The siloed approach really limits the opportunities to solve the customers’ business needs. Our ability to offer public or private or hybrid cloud is the best solution for our partners’ customers our joint customers.

Where do you see the channel’s opportunity or their role as we move more toward a cloud world?

… The cloud has put them in the position of having to be more focused on selling the business outcome of the solution. That’s where the opportunity is for them in their shift to becoming more services-oriented and driving higher margins from a business consulting perspective. I see resellers taking on multiple roles: If they are able to host their own services, they will be able to do that; if they are not able, then they can become an aggregator and reseller of other providers’ services and provide a stack to their customer at the end of the day.

What is VMware’s role in helping partners to realize those opportunities?

Our partner base of 55,000 partners has grown over time due to customer demand for moving to the cloud. We are in the process of bringing partners along on that journey even if they are not hosters themselves. We have programs that we have launched as part of our Partner Exchange earlier this year, such as Cloud Credits, which enable partners to participate economically in the selling of cloud solutions. With a Cloud Credit, any of our resellers can sell a Cloud Credit to a customer and the customer can take that credit and burn that down with any [VMware-powered] services providers. The benefit for the reseller is they get upfront margins through the cloud credit as well as remain the trusted adviser of the customer as part of the cloud sale.

Do you have a marketplace or directory of the service providers that accept these credits?

Yes, we do. Because we just launched it in February, currently we have about 20 service providers across the world.


Hear more from VMware Vice President Toni Adams in his Keynote Address on “The Channels Journey to the Cloud” at Cloud Partners, a Channel Partners event, Sept. 11-13, in Chicago.

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