The first ever VMware Partner Advisory Council (PAC) for ANZ kicks off in Sydney tonight, with local partners expected to echo international markets pushing for more help in developing services practices, including driving virtualisation of business critical applications.
PAC is used by VMware to gauge its standing with partners, with the feedback used to design its channel programmes and ascertain where partners most want the company to invest.
Doug Smith, VMware global vice president of partner sales, says New Zealand and Australia lead the world in adoption of virtualisation – with New Zealand slightly ahead of Australia in terms of penetration. Smith says ANZ's channel programme adoption is currently six months to a year ahead of that in North America.
"Australia/New Zealand is for us the most mature virtualisation market we have. It's more mature than North America or Europe and has taken the lead in getting VMware directionally going the way we are,” Smith says.
While some variations are seen at summits around the globe, a lot of the same topics come up at PACs in North America and Europe, Smith says, and he expects to see those replicated here.
"We know one of the hot topics will be 'how are you going to help me develop my services practices and what can you do to help me accelerate my services business?’”
Smith says one example of this is VMware's new Solution Enablement Toolkit, designed to provide templates for partners to build their services practice and drive virtualisation solutions for business critical applications.
"One of the things we've noticed is that businesses often get stuck when it comes to business critical applications. A lot of customers are at maybe 60%-70% virtualisation and then they get stuck because now your internal customer is different and your requirements are different. It's no longer just raw capex, but uptime availability, system reliability and so on.”
The changes cloud computing brings to partners' businesses and to the businesses of their customers are also expected to come up.
"The way the customer does business changes and how you [the reseller] interacts with the customer also changes.
"A lot see it as a great opportunity to drive a more profitable model. But those who are relying on product sales and have not developed a robust services model will find it a challenge.”
A third topic is expected to be streamlining how information is provided to partners, Smith says.
"Everone is suffering from information overload. We often hear that we over-communicate, but also that partners might not know what's going on, so we need to find better ways to communicate with each other.”
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