As organisations across EMEA take their next steps into the cloud, Graham Crich, EMEA Director Cloud and Service Provider Partners, talks through four recent developments to our Cloud Provider Program– helping better establish our thriving ecosystem to serve our customers
VMware refeined its cloud strategy around two years ago and has been working since then to take customers through from their private and hybrid clouds to truly multi-cloud environments, supporting them as they access the IT environment of their choosing, based on their needs. So, what’s the current state of play? We’re seeing organisations across the region in a position where, having taken some initial steps into the cloud, often via the private route, they are now looking to shift into phase two. For most, that shift is manifesting itself as an exploration of hyperscale-cloud options – looking for a way to expand on their initial cloud set-up and find a way to keep that control, but while taking advantage of the scalability benefits of the public cloud, such as AWS. Working closely with our 4,400 cloud partners is going to be imperative – we need them to work alongside us to help customers enter this phase two. After all, our partners already have expertise in creating solutions that operate across multiple platforms, tailored to requirements befitting specific industries, so are the most skilled at finding the right solutions for the right organisations.
To that end, our Cloud Provider Program has seen some exciting changes over the past couple of months, helping bring more definition, accreditation and competitiveness to the partners that work with us:
- Becoming the Cloud Provider Program
One of the biggest changes to the programme came during VMworld in Barcelona in October and it feels remiss not to mention it. We announced at the show that we’d be changing our name. We made the decision to move from being the ‘vCloud Air Network’ to the ‘VMware Cloud Provider Program’ – an alteration we made as we feel the new name gives more clarity about the programme and what being a part of it actually entails.
- Making it easier to find the right partner for an organisation’s needs
We have a huge network of Cloud Provider Partners, so want to help drive more awareness for it and also ensure our customers are finding the right partners to work with, based on their business needs. We’ve therefore updated our website for the programme, in which existing and prospective customers can type in their location, cloud requirements, industry and required accreditation before being taken to a list of the most relevant cloud providers in their region. We relaunched the site across Europe last month, also offering a trial ‘try before you buy’ option available from select partners.
- Introducing VMware Cloud Verified
Another big update to the programme was when we announced VMware Cloud Verified. The initiative started with five of our partners and we’ve built it out with them accordingly, following their feedback and experiences, agreeing the criteria befitting of making a partner verified. The verification means, if a partner builds any architecture that adheres to our Certified Reference Design or VMware Cloud Foudnation guidlines, we acknowledge it as best practice via the Cloud Verified Branding. This both gives them credit for creating clouds based on our platform, but also leaves end user customers safe in the knowledge that they’re working with a provider who can create the best cloud to support their business needs.
- Pivotal and Google Collaboration for Kubernetes Container Services
As we continue to support customers move to phase two, multi-cloud environments, we, via our partners, need to find a way to empower them with a way to build new, cloud native applications. A lot of our customers have done the simple part of building their applications – developing it in a private cloud environment – but when it comes to full production and integration, with clouds outside of the organisation, that’s when things start to get complicated.
For that reason, another exciting announcement for the programme was made at VMworld US, where we revealed partners would be able to deliver services based on VMware, using Pivotal Container Services. We’ve already seen a lot of interest from partners around this. It means they can quickly deploy enterprise-grade Kubernetes in their own data centers, modernising applications by repackaging them into a container format and then offer customers a choice of frameworks and tooling, so the applications can be deployed across private and public clouds. All helping them be quicker to market and more competitive with the way they can offer our solutions. We will provide more details very shortly on the timeline for bringing these new products and services into the program.
It’ an important time for our Cloud Provider Program as we help organisations across the region take the next step on their cloud journey. We’re constantly looking for ways to make selling easier for our partners and more announcements on the programme are sure to follow over the next couple of months.