Tech Prediction 2022

A Forward-Looking Approach to the Cloud

Raghuram Krishnan, Director, Channels and Partner Sales, VMware India

With its cloud-agnostic approach, VMware is distinctively positioned to meet its customers where they are and empower them to achieve their cloud objectives

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“We enable our partners to render pre-sales and post-sales support to their customers. We also conduct our quarterly training programs across all our offerings to Partners who are keen in investing and growing their skill levels around VMWare offerings.”

Raghuram Krishnan,
Director, Channels and Partner Sales,
VMware India

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The Cloud technology has been gaining momentum over the last several years. But the Pandemic and the ensuing shift to online operations and massive adoption of work-from-home-culture and online learning gave it a much needed shot in the arm. As the India market remains in the eye of a major digital transformation buoyed by a tech-centred Union Budget, SME Channels embarks upon recording the voices of the who’s who of the Cloud scape.

As part of our effort to make the voices of major cloud players heard by the channel community, we have brought in this for you as first of a series of Cloud Predictions by major vendors and stakeholders of the cloud industry.

In a special interaction with SME Channels, Raghuram Krishnan, Director, Channels and Partner Sales, VMware India, reveals his organization’s strategy for growing the cloud industry, his predictions for the industry in 2022 and his vision and plans for the channel community. Edited excerpts…

The pandemic has forced businesses to take a giant leap to go online. As a leading cloud player, how do you plan to leverage the immense market opportunity created by the pandemic?  

The arrival of COVID-19 accelerated the pace of many critical technology decisions and led to actively seeking out more flexible and reliable ways of working managing operations, and ensuring businesses were least disrupted. As a tech company with hundreds of thousands of customers, we saw that our customers were going through the same challenges – they too are worried about their families, finances, and their futures.

We embraced this moment to help the business move forward with the right digital approach. Our digital workspace solutions have been at the disposal of the customers when they needed to shift to remote work environments. It was an opportunity for us to create a better world, a greener planet, and a more diverse and inclusive workforce. We have also been able to help enterprises globally to adopt the latest technologies, move to the cloud, explore newer business functions and enhance customer engagement models with advanced security measures.

Our forward-looking approach for an evolving business environment has led technology leaders to set up businesses for the future and help organizations focus on building agile and resilient practices to ensure an effective and sustainable future of work.

As a major cloud player, what market trends do you foresee in 2022?  

The future of digital business is not one cloud, but multi-cloud and this is a fundamental trend that we are foreseeing in the years to come. We will see the emergence of a cloud-agnostic federated data fabric, which will enable organizations to mitigate data gravity as a key inhibitor to successfully operationalizing a multi-cloud architecture. The increased adoption of multi-cloud will help businesses to leverage Al, ML, and data capabilities. To step up their digital game, organizations need to relook at their security architectures as well and deploy cloud-native endpoint security to prevent emerging threats to an organization’s business.

Going forward, enterprises will progressively focus on modernizing applications to ensure agility, resilience, and scale to serve their end customers better. To develop modern apps using containers and microservices, organizations will need essential skills and a cloud-native approach to enable automated cloud platforms that improve the overall quality of application development.

Please shed some light on your cloud offerings.  

With VMware’s cloud-agnostic approach, we are distinctively positioned to meet our customers where they are and help them achieve their cloud objectives. With our solutions, we empower customers to accelerate innovation in the multi-cloud era with freedom, flexibility, and security.

Through our offerings we help customers:

  • Migrate to the Cloud – Move apps to the cloud faster, without rewriting them.
  • Scale Capacity on Demand – Optimize capacity with a scalable and seamless extension in the cloud.
  • Modernize the Data Center – Evolve your data center to work seamlessly with other clouds.
  • Operate Multi-Cloud – Manage and operate workloads across different clouds and platforms.
  • Enable Hybrid Cloud – Build and operate across clouds with consistent infrastructure.
  • Streamline Hybrid Cloud Management – Simplify and optimize the management of your hybrid infrastructure.
  • Optimize Multi-Cloud Costs – Analyze and manage cost and resource use across multiple clouds.
  • Manage Multi-Cloud Security & Compliance – Manage security and mitigate risk across different cloud environments.
  • Plan And Modernize the Cloud Environment – Get guidance and best practices to build efficient cloud environments.
  • Support Business-Critical Apps – Consistent infrastructure and operations for your critical workloads
  • Deploy 5G – Deploy on-demand services with a unified, multi-cloud 5G network
  • Innovate through Edge – Drive innovation with a consistent platform from the core to the edge.

What is the USP of your offerings?   

It’s no longer about a ‘cloud-first’ approach — it’s about being ‘cloud-smart’. Organizations should have the freedom to choose the ‘right’ cloud, based on their strategic business goals. Our offerings support this choice and enable organizations to accelerate multi-cloud strategies in the face of rapidly evolving business requirements. VMware can uniquely accelerate app modernization, delivering powerful applications on any cloud, migrating apps to any cloud and transforming apps with the most innovative cloud services. VMware is committed to helping its customers continually drive successful outcomes and to move faster to the future with our technologies, throughout your digital transformation.

What major channel trends for the cloud would you forecast for the year 2022?

2021 has been a year of transformation with accelerated cloud adoption by organizations. In 2022, we expect to see the channel ecosystem also transforming with a huge focus on customer success. Channel partners will see value in adopting a mix of technology solutions with a deep understanding of areas that will help generate profitable results.

At VMware, we are seeing our partners having two times to three times the profitability because of the growth opportunities and skillsets we provide for our customers. We are helping the customers expand in their traditional business, leveraging tech spending in new areas like modern applications, cloud, security. As part of our effort to be a world leader in multi-cloud computing, we are working with our channel partners in areas such as the core, data center, VMware Cloud foundation, hyper-converged, software-defined networking, software-defined storage.

Looking ahead, channel partners will continue to evolve, empower customers, and give them an optimized experience for new opportunities.

What all a channel partner needs to have to adopt cloud business and what are the steps to start cloud practice? 

Partners who want to adopt cloud business must understand that this is a subscription-based business model and to stand out they must create a differentiation through the services that they offer wrapped around the cloud offerings. One easy way to kick start the cloud business is to reach out to existing customer base and position cloud to customers who are looking to refresh their on-prem solution. However, to continue creating value for their customers it is critical that partners start wrapping their services around these cloud offerings.

We at VMWare position our partners to deliver more value to our customers than any other vendor. This outcome-driven approach focuses on co-selling, co-innovation, and co-developed services models. In today’s era of Multi Cloud and Cross Cloud services the potential for partners to build and grow their services business around VMWare offerings is at its all-time highest and we believe that our partners will see this multiplier effect which is unique to VMWare.

In a nutshell VMWare with its Multi Cloud and Cross Cloud Services is about to increase opportunities for partners to achieve above-market growth with us.

Would you please brief us on the kind of service support you extend to your channel partners? What sort of pre as well as post-sales support do you offer to your partners?  

VMware’s business is truly empowered by the strong network of channel partners. Our service support aims at focusing on partner business models by building new agile practices to provide an edge over their competitors in the market. We leverage the partner’s ability to build unique IP and services and differentiation that will drive more profitability for them in the long run.

We at VMWare strongly believe in enabling partners to render pre sales & post sales support to their customers and to this effect we conduct our quarterly training programs across all our offerings to Partners who are keen in investing and growing their skill levels around VMWare offerings. While trainings become an integral part of our enablement process, we also believe that hands on joint field engagements with partners help in enhancing the confidence of our partners in providing post sales support to their customers, to ensure this we have created and launched a unique offering wherein our partners are able to leverage and learn from the best practices deployed by VMWare engineers and use this to create a multiplier effect to all their customers where they position and sell VMWare.

VMWare is firmly dedicated at being a Customer First & Partner led company and to be a Partner led company, we at VMWare are focused on enabling our partners across Sales, Pre Sales and Post Sales support.

Since the cloud is a tech-intensive product, it requires proper skilling. Please detail us on the training programs offered by you to upskill your partners.  

We launched the Partner Connect program in 2020, followed by the Customer Lifecycle Incentives Program to help partners facilitate the end-to-end digital transformation for their customers in 2021. Customer Lifecycle Incentives are the result of extensive collaboration with partners to build incentives that matter to them. We are giving our partners more support and tools to differentiate and transform their business and VMware practices.

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