VMware Boosts Service Provider Partner ProgramBy Sharon Linsenbach | Print
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
In response to a 450 percent growth in this program, the virtualization leader is rolling out enhancements that will make it easier for service providers to deliver solutions worldwide.
Responding to the explosive growth of its VMware Service Provider Partner
Program (VSPP), VMware today announced enhancements to the program designed to
help service providers better serve customers of all sizes.
Launched in 2008, VSPP has seen a more than 450 percent growth rate in the last six months, says Geoff Waters, director of emerging channels for VMware. The program now boasts more than 700 service providers, and VMware has expanded the program to include European and Asian service providers in addition to those in North America, Waters says.
With the increased interest in cloud-based computing solutions and the success of VMware’s virtualization technology, Waters says the market for programs geared toward service providers is strong and offers incredible growth opportunities.
"The number of service providers in the program is growing by the week, and right now we think the total market is about 5,000," he says. "This technology has a very long tail," Waters says, and recent enhancements to the VSPP will only make the program and associated technologies more enticing.
Enhancements to VSPP include a flexible, subscription licensing model that allows VSPP members to pay for as many VMware licenses as they need to deliver customized IT services to their customers, Waters says, and pay monthly for access to virtual machines. Pricing is based on a points system that varies depending on the virtual machine capabilities needed by service providers. This model provides incredible scale for service providers that may struggle to handle fluctuating customer demand or for small service providers just starting out, he says.
Service providers in the program have access to global "aggregators" that are responsible for developing centralized tools and processes for services delivery, reporting, billing and collections, Waters says. Though currently the program boasts aggregators in North America and EMEA, VMware will be announcing further expansion into emerging markets in the third quarter of this year, Waters says.
VSPP partners also have full access to VMware Partner Network benefits, including free demonstration and evaluation products; marketing and sales tools; and collateral, training and competency programs, and access to VMware’s online partner portal, Partner Central.
Waters says VSPP also provides a great entry point for service providers to ramp up to VMware’s recently announced vSphere 4.0 platform and to the company’s vCloud initiative, which helps service providers develop and deploy both internal and external cloud computing services for customers.
VSphere 4.0 offers service providers the ability to scale their offerings to include a much greater number of customers with fewer service interruptions, Waters says. This can be crucial for service providers experiencing rapid demand from new and existing customers for virtualization services, and the solution also does away with some of the service interruption issues providers experienced when moving data between storage arrays.
"With Vmotion storage, for example, this helps service providers eliminate some of the downtime issues they’ve experienced when moving from array to array, and also fulfills their need for multitenancy," he says.
And as service providers are successful with entry-level solutions, Waters says, the program can help them develop even more complex practices and acquire more and more customers.
"From a service provider perspective, this is the entry point for many of our other technologies," Waters says. "We have really embraced this community, and we make it a point to understand what service providers’ needs are and to help them with the tools and support they need."