At VMworld 2018, VMware's EMEA and UK channel bosses tell CPI that pushing services offering through partners is a priority for the next three to five years
VMware claims that getting its partners to sell more of its hybrid cloud services is a "critical" focus for the next three to five years.
Speaking at VMworld Europe in Barcelona this week, the vendor's UK channel boss Alanzo Blackstock highlighted convincing partners to fully embrace offering a wide range of VMware services as a key priority.
"It's because customers need to see the full value of what they get from doing business with us as a vendor. With the capabilities we have now, that can only happen by partners delivering services which give that value," he said.
"They're in such a critical position, and we have to enable them."
Blackstock added that becoming a services partner of the vendor will help the channel maintain healthy margins.
"Our margins are quite healthy, but partners need to pivot more to services to really get that high margin and customer relevancy," he said.
VMware's EMEA channel VP Jean-Philippe Barleaza (pictured) pointed to the way in which it has extended its professional services capability to partners to help with the transition.
"We've opened that up to include our partners to give them the skills and capabilities they need to drive a services business," he said.
"We've also developed services competencies for our partners… So we're helping them in terms of certification as well.
"A year ago we invested in a team of practised development managers to support our partners in exactly these services."
Much was made at the VMworld 2018 keynotes of how VMware has drastically evolved from its one-product legacy roots. The messaging is one that has been repeated at previous VMworld conferences.
Two years ago, the former UK channel boss Phil Croxford told CPI's sister site CRN that partners risked "drifting apart" from the vendor if they didn't keep pace with adopting the vendor's new technologies.
His successor conceded that being a VMware partner today is vastly different to being one even just a few years ago.
"The challenge is the complexity of our portfolio whereas our heritage is a single product portfolio… I'd say that there are so many more opportunities now," he said.
"I was speaking to a few of my partners this week, and they were saying that they're not interested in the licensing revenue any more.
"And it makes sense. We've got this challenge in the industry in terms of the shift into the cloud and that's a difficult journey for customers. Our partners are seeing the opportunities of being that cloud advocate.
Blackstock highlighted some of the vendor's biggest partners including Computacenter, Softcat, and Bytes as ones that are actively building service practices using VMware cloud on AWS.
Barleaza said that VMware transacts more than 90 per cent of its business in EMEA with partners.
"The channel model is becoming more complex because the world of a one-stop-shop vendor is over', he said.
"We've always been a very channel-centric company. And this evolving complexity means that we will continue to be committed to the channel."