Fighting jet lag this weekend gave me time to reflect up on VMware Partner Exchange 2015, the last PEX as we know it. From 2016 onward, the technical part will be integrated with VMworld and there will be a new Partner Business Summit targeting Business Leaders, to be held in Las Vegas if I am not mistaken. Benefit will be that techies won’t be bothered with marketing and/or sales information trying to push more sales. On the other hand, we’ll miss the information about new developments within partnerships, like the last week announced VMware Partner Professional Services Program, which will initially be aimed at consulting partners that have expertise in providing software-defined data centre (SDDC) solutions. This program is designed to help partners to sell and deliver their own service engagements, effectively placing the focus on delivering services over simply selling licenses.
The main difference from VMware’s existing partner program is a renewed emphasis on driving service capabilities over technical certifications, said Toni Adams, vice president Global Partner and Alliance Marketing at VMware. Partners who invest in VMware’s vision of a mainstream software-defined data center ultimately stand to profit over partners who sell in large volumes, making the new program heavy on the “quality of service over quantity of sales” aspect.
The program is in direct accordance with the virtualization giant’s continuing strategy to emphasize an industry-wide migration to the software-defined data center and to encourage partners to focus on selling VMware’s virtualization subscription services.
The pilot will run through the first half of financial year 2015 with select membership, and is expected to expand in the second half of the year. Those in the program will access SDDC experts, training discounts, customer-focused labs and more. According to Carl Eschenbach, VMware president and chief operating officer, it should help ease the question of whether the company is competing with partners for professional services.
“Over the years, we had a very strong PSO (professional services organizations) group that worked directly with customers; that’s the way it was constructed to be worked,” said O’Callaghan, SVP Global Channels and Alliances at VMware. “We’re moving from a product platform to a portfolio approach with suites, and that leads to integration of services. Now we’re embracing you.”
In order to do this, VMware has hired Teri Bruns as what the company says is the first ever vice president of partner services. She previously worked as the senior director of global business development at Symantec, and is a self-described former partner of over eight years. At a Q&A, Bruns explained that Professional Services would be a value program and that VMware is only looking for service-savvy partners that can achieve high-customer satisfaction, as opposed to thousands of partners. “From a scale perspective, for us to hit the business objectives we have for growth, we have to push the friction out of the system, embrace our partners, get them enabled so that they perform with high quality with their customers,” she said.
As a former VAC-VCP (VMware Authorized Consultant) this feels like a come back of the VAC-program and is in my humble opinion a very good initiative for VMware CIPP partners.
It took some time, but I finally registered for VMware Partner Exchange 2015 in San Francisco. It took some time to fix my VMworld account, somehow the link that my company is a VMware Partner had gotten lost.
I am quite excited about taking part, looking at the content catalog, PEX 2015 will be all about new releases and all updates related. And be sure to keep an eye out for an important announcement on Monday February 2nd.
I have been very busy with inventorizing the virtual datacenters of a new tenant for our cloud, a large hospital with nice challenges, so the lines above were written several weeks ago. Tomorrow I’ll board the flight to San Francisco. It is nice to see how PEX has developed over the years and how content becomes more and more valuable from a technical perspective. I’ll be taking part in the VCDX workshop, sessions about vRealize Operations, NSX, SRM, Orchestrator and HPC. On Monday I’ll visit VMware HQ in Palo Alto with the VMware Benelux partners, Tuesday evening I’ll attend the Pernix Party and on Wednesday of course the PEX party. Thursday will be topped of by the Night Tour of Alcatraz. A week of party hard, work and network even harder.
Perhaps I’ll meet you there!
And so PEX 2012 came to an end. Lot’s of peers with small, red eyes… at least they enjoyed the party. I was quite fresh today, I had my first good night sleep! Woohoo, 7 hours in a row. I made a last minute swap and attended a session about the VSPP program and upcoming improvements. After that I had a chat with Bart Schneider, AM for the VSPP program in the Benelux. Finally I did a Hands-on Lab about Storage DRS before collecting my lunchbox and talking to some peers from Colorado and the UK. VMware PEX was definitely worth the effort of leaving my family behind for almost a week. Thank god for Skype Video Chat.
Since there was no afternoon program, I decided to walk to Macy’s Boulevard and Barnes & Noble to do some shopping before I start my travels back home. I walked from The Mirage to the shopping mall The Boulevard, about 4,5 kilometers away.
And again a good opening session by Carl Eschenbach, about how well we, as a partner community, have done in 2011. VMware after all is a channel-led company. Carl was followed by William Taylor, the writer of “Practically Radical“. He told some interesting stories about how to differentiate your company from others and the importance that every employee knows that message.
After the keynote I attended the EMEA Regional session and did two great sessions, troubleshooting VMware View and Architecting a Cloud Infrastructure, which practically was a 2 hour wrap up of the vSphere Design course. Even though we ran out of time with another 30 slides to go, this was a nice recap of best practices (old, no longer valid ones and current ones) and timely for the VCAP-DCD beat exam I’ll sit the 2nd of March. After these sessions I got sidetracked by the My VMware demo. Try to sign up for the beta if you do anything with licensing now and again. My VMware is a huge improvement. Finally I spend some time at the Solution Exchange, talking to VMware employees about the new Competencies (IaaS and Management) and Specializations and Accreditations. Unfortunately the latter ones are not yet applicable for EMEA.
In the evening I went to the Partner Appreciation Party and enjoyed the Bare Naked Ladies.
I didn’t stay till the end because I still wanted to do attend a couple of sessions and Hands on Labs on Thursday.
The day started with an act to wake us all up, followed by a good keynote by Paul Maritz and Steve Herrod, depicting the way VMware will move in the coming years. I took some pictures of the slides shown. Besides this roadmap VMware announced some new competencies (IaaS and SMB) and specializations to come in the next months. The day continued for me with a chat with Bart Schneider about the Service Provider Program. After that it was all EUC sessions for me. Some were brilliant (Project Octopus and View and Unified Communications) where others didn’t quite deliver on their promise, E.G. “The Future of EUC” didn’t reveal anything new. Other sessions kind of repeated a lot of the slides… Stage 1 View and ThinApp, Stage 2 Horizon AppManager and Stage 3 Project Octopus and Project AppBlast amongst others. I would like to retell one of the questions asked during a session, about the future of VMware View now Horizon is developing and progressing quite fast, and combined wit the forces of HTML5 and the strengths of “the dropbox for the Enterprise” do we then still need VDI?
The answer was remarkable simple. As long as the majority of applications still depend on MS Windows API’s, we will still need desktop virtualization, so View will be around for at least a couple of years. After that it might even remain as a way to provide legacy apps. VMware View 5.1 will be coming soon I understand, currently in closed beta if I’m correct, and guys at VMware are pretty enthusiastic about it, it could very well contain further improvements and enhancements, making it an even stronger contender for XenDesktop.
On the Solutions Exchange floor I had a nice demo of the upcoming Kaspersky AV solution for VMware vShield Endpoint, so soon we’ll have a choice which AV-product to use for scanning on the hypervisor level. I asked them to let Inter Acces participate in the beta, I hope we’ll be invited. The demo was promissing. The Hall Crawl /Tweetup was nice, but as jetlag caught up with me due to a skipped lunch (lunch is not an item in the schedule builder: feature request for VMworld 2012/PEX 2013?) I went back to my hotel to try and resuscitate my phone.
I wanted to add a video of the Opening Act as well, but uploading the vid just took ages…
After a long journey yesterday (door to door took me about 22 hours), today was PEX preconference boot camp day. I attended the NetApp Technical Boot camp which consisted of 5 sessions. I must say, Scott Bakers session about NetApp Cluster Mode was great. Not only is he a great speaker, he knows what he’s talking about. Data ONTAP 8.1.1 will bring some nice improvements like increased dedupe and cloning support, up to 100 TB per volume, virtual storage tiering with hybrid aggregates, but most important of all was Scotts speech about Cluster mode Technology and the announcement of VSC 4.0.
VCS 4.0 will contain a new tool to handle file misalignment, non-disruptive and have integrated Backup & Recovery! ONTAP 8.1.1 will also have VAAI fully implemented.
This afternoon will continue with some receptions, the NEMEA reception, the official Welcome reception at the Solution Exchange and the VMware PEX Unofficial Official Community Tweetup.
So many topics and so little time… but I can’t attend all sessions, so I’ll have to make some choices. And as I am the only representative of my company, I have called for the assistance of some of my colleagues ;p
In the end, here’s what I have planned:
Monday Feb 13th
09:00 – 13:00 NetApp – Technical Boot Camp: Smart Technical Partnerships for the Cloud Era
In the afternoon I’ll try to do some labs (he said wishfully)
Today I finally received confirmation: Eelco is going to Vegas to attend VMware Partner Exchange 2012! So, from Monday February 13th to Friday February 17th you can expect to find news (as long as it is not under NDA), impressions and fun facts here.