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VMware has revamped its VIP channel
program in hopes of enticing VARs to join the scheme and to push its technology
further into the market.  

The program changes, announced Feb. 13 and effective immediately, offer
increased financial incentives at each partner tier, as well as online training
and education courses, and sales and marketing tools, said Julie Eades,
director of worldwide channel marketing at the virtualization vendor.

Currently, VMware has about 10,000 channel partners worldwide that drive
about 78 percent of the company’s revenue, 3,800 of which are in the United
States, Eades said.  She said that
while VMware isn’t necessarily trying to jump-start a recruitment drive, she feels
the program enhancements will inspire VARs to take another look at
virtualization technology and at VMware.  "I absolutely believe that
VARs will look at this program and find a great reason to get into this
technology," Eades said.

Under the revamp, VMware has halved the minimum sale amount for which
partners get a rebate under the Advantage+ rebate program, from the current
$20,000 to $10,000.  The vendor has also lowered the minimum sale amount
to qualify for the New Account+ rebate program to $2,995 and opened the
Influence+ rebate program to all partner levels.

Find out here why size matters for VMware. 

Currently, VIP partners receive discounts
and rebates through the Advantage+ program, which is split into three levels
that rewards partners based on the types of sales they make, Eades said.
Opportunity Registration+ rewards partners for developing sales within their
existing customer base, and New Account+ gives partners rebates for sales they
make into completely new accounts, she said. 

The minimum sale to qualify for a rebate under New Account+ has been lowered
to $2,995, which is the exact cost of VMware’s Infrastructure Acceleration Kit,
a starter kit for SMBs whose clients want an out-of-the-box virtualization
solution.  Eades said New Account+ rebates will be available to any VMware
partner who sold an Infrastructure Acceleration Kit.

The third type of Advantage+ rebate program, Influence+, rewards VARs with
rebates for "value selling," or trying to make a sale to a customer,
even if they aren’t able to close the deal and make the sale. 

"We know that partners put lots of effort into making these
sales. Maybe they spend their time and money at a client, they have done demonstrations,
etc., but they still don’t get the sale," she said. Partners in this
type of situation will still be rewarded for the effort they put in, she
said. The Influence+ program, previously available only to Premier
partners, is now open to all partner levels.