WHD 2012 – VMware Grows Cloud Hosting Ambitions for Service Provider Partners

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In one of the morning sessions Thursday at World Hosting Days, Graham Crich of VMware revisited some of the themes from his 2011 presentation at the same spot.

Last year, he talked about the opportunities in the cloud hosting market for VMware partners.

This year, he started by trying to illustrate how many acquisitions have taken place in the first few months of 2012, with hosting providers buying software companies, and vice versa. The point it makes is that collaboration and partnership is a real driving force in the market.

VMware, he says, has started hosting “speed dating” events, in which it attempts to introduce its software partners with its service provider partners.

He reiterates a point from last year’s presentation – that you could say this year is the year of virtual desktop, again. There are a few technological hurdles, he says, but the company has seem some real successes there.

VDI is one of the key technologies in what he calls VMware’s mobility platform for the post-PC era. It is becoming vital to provide access to applications on whatever device the end user wants from wherever they want. He mentions a few technologies the company is working on, including an enterprise version of Dropbox, which will have functions around security policies.

All of these are key technologies that service provider partners are going to be able to deliver.

A main point here is that hosting providers are going to have to start working more closely with software companies, because application delivery gets at the actual decision-making processes, which are based around business needs.

The purchasing decisions inside businesses that are ultimately resulting in servers being purchased are based on those needs, the functions of the application and the pricing.

Get to know software companies, he says.

VMware is working hard to build out its service provider partners, and is seeing success in the form of growth. But he says VMware can do more. The company is doing well at building its channel, but it needs to do more to get strategically involved with what its service provider partners are doing, understand what is unique about those partners, and let its enterprise customers know what its service provider partners are doing.

Its customers are a big part of its strength, and VMware wants those workloads to go to service providers running VMware clouds.

This year, VMware intends to do more. Right now, the company is giving accelerated commissions to end-user sales team members who bring customers onto service provider partners. The company wants service providers to be its hybrid cloud, he says.

Ultimately, this was the thrust of the presentation. End users buy from trusted partners. VMware is a trusted partner for a whole lot of enterprise customers, and the company wants to use that brand to bring customers to its service provider partners, in time to meet the demand for hybrid cloud, which is here, now.

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