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May 27, 2011
The VCE Company has launched a new initiative to proliferate the Cisco Systems/EMC/VMware-based technology deeper into the channel by launching a partner program with four distributors. What does this mean for the channel and how does it affect the virtualization landscape? The VAR Guy has some ideas …
First, a refresher on the VCE: Formed in November of 2009 by Cisco, EMC and VMWare, which wanted to fast-track virtual cloud environments. The lovechild was the Vblock architecture — a blueprint for storage, hypervisors and other virtualization technologies. In January of 2011, The VCE Coalition changed its name slightly to the Virtual Computing Environment Company after it merged with virtualization coalition Acadia.
The key strategy of the VCE these days is to really make virtualization deployment easy. Hence, the new partner program. With it in place, the VCE has created a single registration and ordering portal, allowing for a partner to easily queue up an entire Vblock infrastructure solution for sale or deployment. VCE is also allowing “stackable” Cisco and EMC channel program incentives to encourage partners to work with VCE. Volume-based incentives exist, too. Right now, the VCE boasts 120 partners across the world, and is allegedly experiencing a doubling of registration every quarter. That accelerated momentum is the driving reason behind the VCE’s new partner initiatives.
The VCE Partner Program is available if you’re in the North America, EMEA and APJ regions, but VCE distributors are currently in the United States and Europe only. Avnet, Ingram Micro and Arrow are the big carriers in the United States, while Magirus will be the distributor of choice in Europe. No matter which distribution company a partner chooses, the VCE Vblock Infrastructure can be financed, invoiced and supported from a single point through VCE, which also will work side by side with the partner to ensure the complete Vblock package is configured correctly and achieves targeted prices, optimal for the marketplace and customer needs. Then, the whole kit gets ordered from the aforementioned distribution company the partner works with.
The word on The VAR Guy’s mind here is “holistic,” and that’s an approach he’s seeing more and more frequently as technologies merge and mesh with one another. Virtualization needs storage, storage needs networking and so on, so why not approach it as a whole? If the VCE partner program takes off, The VAR Guy fully expects the virtualization channels to become more holistic as well, with greater cooperation and interoperability across all virtualization platforms and industry players. To some extent, The VAR Guy has already been seeing that, as major virtualization players now support Microsoft, VMware and Citrix. You can be sure The VAR Guy will keep an eye on the VCE and report on its growing momentum.
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