VMware picked an interesting day to launch its long awaited partner program, Partner Connect, the 29th of February, approx. 1 month after financial year switch. We have been involved in the design of this program as have many other partners over the last 1+ years. This program has been designed. It was my pleasure to work with the EMEA but also VMware HQs team to design this new program and provide feedback.
First and foremost, comdivision holds the highest rank (principal partner) in nearly all categories and we aim to close those missing (and those not even yet public) within this year. We continue to thrive to be under the top leading partners in the EMEA territory. As we were second with 4 MSCs, first with 5 MSCs, first in DE with VMC on AWS, only partner in DE with 2 VCDXs etc. etc.
What is the most important change from my/our point of view?
While for many others a more simplistic contract/delivery approach etc. was in the focus, for me it is far more important that finally continuous investment in partner employee education, as well as proof of customer success on implementations becomes a focus.
Why do we care?
We within comdivision have always been on the forefront of getting our people trained, certified and also qualified to run customer projects, as just sitting in a class or passing an exam does not make you customer ready. As we were never focused so much on license resale and more on integration, education and operations we did not get the attention from VMware local delivery, that has changed dramatically over the last 1+ years. Don't get me wrong, based on our HQ relationship we always have been a product advisor and partner, but that was more US and global focused than in our own backyard Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
How do we apply our skills?
We also over the last few years have developed our own deployment and design methodology allowing us to run customer projects at a much higher pace than most of our competitors with a much higher customer satisfaction ratio. And we continue to align this with VMware's engagements and offerings. This is getting more and more important for customers, as they want ideally fixed price engagements with a clear deliverable outcome at fixed timeline.
How has our relationship with VMware changed?
With our dedicated account manager we have bi-weekly status exchanges to ensure the strategic relationship with VMware is expanding. We discuss not only sales related topics, but also joint marketing events, professional services engagements we run for VMware, but also those were we convert the VMware credits (called VMware Partner Credit Transfer PCT), convert them into comdivision knowledge credits and run projects our way.
During an analyst session at VMworld Barcelona which was held by Jenny Flinders and Jean Philippe Barleanza I got the opportunity to talk to the analysts about the new partner program and why we think it is an important step for VMware. The new program is addressing a new market demand for higher partner qualifications and pushing deployment and implementation into the key focus of partners. I think it even is the logical ask for a new fresh set of partners, while existing ones will continue in the program, there is a group of fresh partners with a more startup like character which will drive primarily consumption, services and adoption.
We look forward into an interesting 2020, we are all set for Partner Connect, we had a great comdivision kick off in January with two VMware speakers (also something new for us), we have our targets for this year well set and are on track for new qualifications as well as growing customer demands. On top we look forward to form an even close relationship with the VMware executive team and channel folks to grow both VMware and comdivision in 2020.
And finally congratulations to Jenny Flinders, Shawn Toldo, Jean Philippe Barleanze, Veronique Nurit and not to forget Sabine Maier who always have been there to support us and listen to our feedback.