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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

“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.”