Interview

ACCELERATING  CLOUD ADOPTION

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

Through innovation and extended agreements with all the major hyperscalers, VMware is well-positioned to assist customers in their cloud journey.

The Pandemic has forced businesses to shift to online operations and there has been a massive migration to the cloud. This has thrown open the wider gates of opportunities for Cloud Vendors as well as Distributors. As we usher into 2023, it’s time to look back and take stock of the channel performance of leading cloud vendors and distributors, and their key channel achievements. More than this, it’s pivotal to get a hang of the key cloud predictions for the Channel Market for the year 2023.

While the industry is agog over to know what all technologies would majorly impact the cloud market, we would take you through the cloudscape to listen directly from the horse’s mouth as to what the top vendors and distributors are thinking and reflecting, what are their premonitions about the shape of things to come in 2023 and their plans to turbocharge the Partner ecosystem.

[quote font=”tahoma” font_size=”13″ font_style=”italic” color=”#262626″ bgcolor=”#f9f9f9″]

“To assist partners in facilitating their clients’ end-to-end digital transformation, at VMware we introduced the Partner Connect program in 2020, followed by the Customer Lifecycle Incentives Program in 2021.”

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

[/quote]

In a series of interactions with the poster-boys of the cloud industry, SME Channels embarks upon understanding the cloud dynamics; what drives the cloud growth engine; the key milestones for 2023 set from the channel perspective; key mega trends in the cloud market in 2023, predictions for the New Year; direction for channel partners and the growth roadmap of the cloud players for 2023.

We spoke to leading cloud player VMware to get a sneak peek into its performance in the cloud Industry. Here, Raghuram Krishnan, Director, Channels and Partner Sales, VMware India, reveals his company’s key Cloud Predictions for 2023, major achievements and the unique matrixes that design his seminal vision for the Partner Ecosystem. Edited Excerpts:

With the announcement of a slew of measures that call for massive and rapid application of cloud solutions in the country in the digital-friendly budget, how do you plan to leverage the immense market opportunity created in the country?

To quote our CEO Raghu Raghuram, “Enterprises are currently in a state of cloud chaos, and to move from chaos to order, they must become ‘cloud smart’ Despite cloud adoption showing phenomenal growth, it comprises only 10% of total enterprise IT spend due to various roadblocks…these can be fixed using a Cloud Smart approach.”

Our customers can capitalize on the power of multiple clouds with VMware Cross-Cloud services. VMware Cross-Cloud™ services enable organizations to unlock the potential of multi-cloud with enterprise security and resiliency. The economic freedom and choice offered by multi-cloud are key, allowing workloads to be moved between clouds. This requires consistency in infrastructure and application writing and is the core of what we offer our customers. The cost savings that are associated with taking the multi-cloud route are important as well – for example – we can finance workload onto the public cloud thereby making optimal usage of private cloud infrastructure as well as public without incurring additional cost.

Through innovation and extended agreements with all the major hyperscalers, we are well-positioned to assist customers wherever they are in the cloud journey. Few other players can vouch for their ability to achieve this. We work closely with our partner ecosystem to provide our customers  with the appropriate tools and support that they need during and post their digital transformation or cloud adoption journey .

As a major Cloud player, what market trends would you forecast in 2023?  

In 2023, enterprises will look for accelerated growth while reducing costs. This will happen on the back of robust pay-as-you-go technology investments.  We expect more enterprises in India to either start their cloud journeys or increase investments in cloud and related services. Customers will look to switch from disjointed dev ops and security to rapid app development on any cloud. Secondly, unified enterprise infrastructure will become more popular than fragmented cloud infrastructure. Businesses will adopt an operating paradigm that is adaptable, consistent, and built with lateral security for use across private, public, and edge clouds. Thirdly, customers will prioritize switching from a fragmented app-access experience to a frictionless experience.

How are your Cloud offerings enhanced to cater to changing business requirements?  

At VMware, we are always improving our cloud solutions to meet our customers’ changing business needs. We provide solutions that help our customers use multiple cloud platforms while still maintaining control and consistency. We believe that using multiple cloud platforms, or multi-cloud, is the future of digital businesses, and we are committed to supporting our customers in this journey.

One of the key enhancements we are making is to our VMware Cloud Foundation platform, which provides a comprehensive cloud infrastructure solution. With Cloud Foundation, customers can run their applications across private, public, and hybrid clouds with a consistent operational model. Additionally, we are making significant investments in Kubernetes-based solutions, which are increasingly in demand for managing containerized applications in multi-cloud scenarios.

We are also developing a federated data fabric that is independent of any single cloud platform, which will help customers overcome data gravity and operate in a multi-cloud environment with ease. Additionally, we are enabling organizations to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize their cloud operations and improve their business outcomes.

Overall, the flexibility, scalability, and security of our cloud offerings enable our customers to adapt as per their changing business needs and offer cutting-edge solutions to their end users.

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

Partners who are keen  to help and  support our end customers as they adopt the cloud business model will do well to be aware that it is a subscription-based business model and that, to stand out, they must offer their own services which are wrapped around the cloud offerings. Reaching out to the  current clientele and pitching the cloud to those who want to upgrade their on-premises solution are two simple ways to get the cloud business off the ground. However, partners must begin integrating their services with these cloud offerings if they want to keep adding value for their clients.

VMware puts its partners in the best possible position to benefit our customers and make the working model successful for all. The VMware method is outcome-driven and emphasizes co-innovation, co-selling, and co-developed service models.

Please brief us on the kind of service support you extend to your channel partners.  

At VMware, we are fully committed to empowering our partners and helping them build the skills and expertise they need to succeed in today’s dynamic marketplace. We offer quarterly training sessions across all of our offerings, and are a crucial role in our enablement process. However, we think that practical, cooperative field engagements with our partners are equally crucial for boosting their self-assurance and allowing them to learn best practices from our knowledgeable VMware professionals.

This includes providing comprehensive training and enablement resources, as well as access to our experienced technical teams and sales professionals. We believe that by working closely with our partners, we can help them drive better business outcomes for our customers and build long-lasting relationships based on trust and mutual success.

Our partners also work closely with VMware’s Professional Services Organization(PSO)  who engage with our  partners to provide consulting, implementation, and support services for VMware products and solutions. The PSO team ensures that customers receive the best possible service and expertise during implementation and deployment of VMware solutions.

What kind of Partner training programs are run by your company to upskill your partners?  

To assist partners in facilitating their clients’ end-to-end digital transformation, at VMware we introduced the Partner Connect program in 2020, followed by the Customer Lifecycle Incentives Program in 2021. We work closely to provide incentives that are important to partners and help them create customer lifecycle incentives. We also regularly provide assistance and resources to our partners so they can diversify and modernize their VMware processes and businesses.

Navigating global data privacy and sovereignty laws have become a big issue for global companies. How do you look at the issue?

According to the changing geopolitical landscape, global organizations are adopting laws designed to protect the privacy of citizens and local entities by defining how data can be securely collected, stored, and used. Enterprises are re-evaluating how to comply with the increased risk of data breaches by providing security, assurance, and sovereignty, while also giving them the ability to scale their services.

VMware is aware that regional cloud service providers are well-positioned to expand on their sovereign cloud capacity and create industry-verticalized solutions. We ensure VMware customers gain the assurance that their privacy is maintained, and their data is stored, secured, and protected in their specific jurisdiction, by a partner with oversight and expertise in local laws and regulations. VMware Sovereign Cloud Providers can help customers fully unlock the true value of protecting their national, corporate, and personal data. Using this risk and data classification study, VMware Sovereign Cloud Providers can determine where their proposed Sovereign Cloud offerings fall on the scale in relation to their other services, such as public hyperscale cloud. They can then decide how to use technology and processes to move everything towards the most sovereign dimension of service as needed, improving a customer’s Sovereign protection and cloud usage.

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