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VMware Addressing Ecosystem Shortcomings

In the course of researching and writing my upcoming Aug-Sept. VMware cover story for our print magazine, I ran into the usual problem of not being able to use all of the good information I gathered. That being the case, today I am focusing on comments made to me by Raghu Raghuram, VMware vice president and general manager of Virtualization and Cloud Platforms.

The thing I like about Raghuram is that he is willing, however occasionally, to admit that VMware could have done better in certain situations. For instance, when I asked him what kind of requests, complaints and feedback the company has received from its large ecosystem of third-party technology and channel partners, he starts by citing three areas where VM had not done its best work with technology partners.

The first area is communication. "Previously, we have been, I would say, not very proactive in sharing our roadmaps and directions with our partners," he says. "That was as much a process of maturity as anything else, and we have put in a lot of effort around that."

The second area is making it easy for partners to do self-service--what he refers to as "Make it easy for us to get what we need from you. That's a matter of having scalable, self-service mechanisms."

The third area is being able to draw out and advertise solutions, or as Raghuram puts it, "Help us market solutions."

Turning to channel partners, he again notes three instances where there is room for improvement, with the first being providing more training and solution enablement. "We are rapidly moving into a lot of areas, and they want to be experts in all those areas, just as they became experts in the real core virtualization area," he says.

The second instance is what he calls the demand for competency programs. "We want partners to be able to say 'OK, I'm competent in the desktop solution from VMware or the business continuity solution from VMware.'"

Finally, he notes, "The third thing is helping the channel go to market, and that's been something that we've been aggressively ramping up as well."

VMware's shortcomings with its business partners are well known, and just as it did by listening to customers and revamping its initial vSphere 5 pricing policy, the company is again admitting to its relative weaknesses and striving to make it right for all parties.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/09/2011 at 12:48 PM


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