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VMware on Tuesday announced new master-services competencies for partners interested in deepening their practices and/or building additional practice areas. The vendor made the announcement at the invitation-only, VMware Partner Leadership Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The competencies have four components: cloud management and automation; data-center virtualization; network virtualization; and desktop and mobility.
“The Master Services Competencies [are] a way of enabling, validating and recognizing our partners that have built services practices and VMware expertise, and also to enable those who want to build additional practices and expertise based on our certifications,” Jenni Flinders, worldwide channel chief at VMware, told us.
VMware also announced a deep discount on the training program for partners who take the new master-services competencies. It’s a move to make the credential more accessible to all partners and encourage them to train more employees. Flinders also said that partners who achieve the competency will get preferential engagement status with VMware’s field engagement team, and that the company is going to promote partners who achieve the competencies with customers.
Partners can get certified in any one of the four areas, in multiple areas or in all four, Flinders said.
“Of course, we want them [partners] to stretch as much as they can to build up their practice areas,” she said.
The four areas align with VMware’s solution priorities or where the vendor wants to drive solution sales.
“We’re moving partners from more of a product focus to more solution delivery from a services standpoint,” said Flinders.
Partners interested in the master-services competencies are required to have a select number of VMware certifications and customer references. The requirements vary per certification component.
Flinders, who has been in her current role at VMware for just over a month, is a 15-year Microsoft veteran. In her most recent position at Microsoft, Flinders served as vice president of the partner group.
The new VMware channel chief joins the company at a precarious time. News about a potential reverse-merger deal between Dell Technologies and VMware, or some other merger and acquisition deal, continues to circulate.
Flinders’ goal as VMware channel chief is to look at the company’s partner ecosystem globally, and align it with the company’s strategic priorities and solution areas, as well as to transform its approach and engagement model with the channel.
“So that means building deeper capabilities around things like monetizing around the cloud, how to develop professional services across various areas of the business, and look at how we collectively grow the business,” she said. “That’s a win-win for our partners and for VMware.”
Partners can expect to see VMware assess how it augments its channel program to help get more coverage with customers, deliver additional services, and to help partners build their businesses and practices with the company.