VMware adds third tier to partner program

Quoting from Vnunet:

VMware has expanded its channel to capitalise on the demand for server rationalisation and keep Microsoft at bay.

The storage vendor, which is owned by giant EMC, is expanding its Virtual Partner Network with a new Premier Enterprise tier, it said at the VMWorld annual conference, last week.

This level comes in addition to its Enterprise and Professional partner tiers.

The vendor will offer Premier-level partners new marketing, financial and support benefits customised for each geographic region, according to Mike Mullany, vice-president of marketing at VMware.

The programme is designed for partners that have VMware Certified Professionals on staff and are members of the VMware Authorised Consulting Programme.

“The Premier Enterprise tier is designed for firms investing in VMware expertise at higher levels,” Mullany said. “Many are already authorised consultants.”

Simon Gay, consultancy practice leader at Computacenter, said increased numbers of VMware resellers will not have a huge impact on his business. “VMware has always worked in close partnership with its channel. Setting different partner levels is an excellent move,” he said.

“It enables partners to demonstrate their skill level and helps customers select the most appropriate partner for their particular needs.”

VMware claims to have 5,000 corporate customers and 2.5 million users. Still, the company is a big fish in a small but growing pond and is going up against Microsoft, which last month launched its Virtual Server 2005.

The virtual machine software business has become popular as customers try to eke out as much performance as possible from their data centres.

Jane Rimmer, VMware’s UK director of marketing, said: “The proposition is pretty simple. Companies have a dedicated server for every business process. A lot of the time those servers are idle. Our systems allow firms to pool these resources and make more efficient use of them.”

VMware originally sold this technology to test and development environments but found ‘virtualisation’ utilities could be employed by corporate IT departments.

It then produced a desktop version of the software, so that individual desktop machines could be repartitioned into separate Linux and Windows environments.