VMware Canada focuses on channel enablement

Donna Wittmann, exeuctive director, channels, alliances and commercial sales, VMware Canada

Donna Wittmann, exeuctive director, channels, alliances and commercial sales, VMware Canada

With new channel chief Donna Wittmann on board and getting settled into here new role, VMware Canada is looking to focus on channel enablement with the introduction of new resources to support its partners.

Those resources will be particularly focused on some of the company’s new focus areas – cloud, network virtualization, and end user computing in particular. The goal, Wittmann says, is to help partners find their way into the company’s newest opportunities, but also to make sure the channel is at the core of the Canadian organization as a whole.

“Not only is the model [VMware Canada president] Eric [Gales] is building partner-centric, but we’re putting place a really integrated go-to-market model, with every piece of the organization talking about our go-to partners, and how to engage our partners,” Wittmann said.

Gales said that a key part of Wittmann’s role in the earl days is making sure the channel is central to the company’s overall organizational model. With more than 90 per cent of the company’s business going through partners, getting close with those partners is key, especially in times of big changes. And with the arrival of NSX network virtualization, the launch of its VSAN storage virtualization upcoming, and the rollout of vCloud Hybrid Services, there’s a lot to make sure partners are aware of.

“We have beta partners and customers on VSAN that can’t wait to get the final product in their hands. There are tremendous opportunities. We need to get more customers exposed to these technologies. It’s the same with NSX.”

With NSX new in the market and VSAN slated for debut next month, Wittmann said many of the new technical resources to the company are spending time with key partners for those new areas, setting up demo labs, and working with the company’s distributors to make sure partners can get what they need to know about the new offerings.

But perhaps the biggest opportunity for the channel right now in Wittmann’s reckoning is the company’s growing array of management software offerings, tools which she calls “the logical next step in the software-defined data centre.” That opportunity is particularly big because it cuts across technology area and partner focus, and is part of a shift that all VMware partners should be able to make. Beyond that, exactly which parts of the new VMware lineup will resonate best vary greatly from partner to partner. But Wittmann said that with the new resources either already in place or coming online, the company is ready to help get its partners ready for whatever their own journeys may be.

“Partners can expect very close alignment, not just with their PBMS, but with our entire organization,” Wittmann said. “We’re looking for people to truly team and partner wit us, and we’re going to be sending out an enormous amount of care, feeding, and love for those who are willing to invest with us.”

The move to build out the Canadian channel organization comes both as Gales continues to build VMware Canada up from its former status as a sales and marketing satellite of headquarters into a truly Canadian organization, and as VMware worldwide rolls out the first steps of global channel chief Dave O’Callaghan’s plan to create a “value channel” for the company. There were changes to incentive programs introduced at the company’s recent Partner Exchange event that are clearly designed to drive partners both in new directions, and into deeper investment in VMware. Wittmann said there’s more to come.

“This is phase one, and we’ll keep driving even further down the chain,” she said.