VMware has paused plans to overhaul distribution at local, regional and global levels as Covid-19 continues to impact the channel in 2020.
Channel Asia can confirm that the technology giant has temporarily postponed the process in response to the pandemic, in a move designed to “minimise disruption and best support” customers and partners.
With distributors already notified of the decision, the move will no doubt be greeted with mixed emotions in the supply chain, as incumbents breathe a sigh of relief and challengers go back to the drawing board.
As revealed by Channel Asia, the original decision was expected to be communicated during the first half of VMware's FY21, which closes on 31 July 2020. Therefore, key questions still remain.
The first centres around when the process will resume and whether the delay will span a few quarters or the vendor’s entire financial year, which ends on 31 January 2021 in line with parent company Dell Technologies.
Also, clarity is required on whether a decision has actually been made and if so, if that decision will be honoured when the process resumes. If that isn’t the case, will distributors be required to adhere to a second request for proposal (RFP)?
“VMware will notify distributors directly when we are ready to resume the process,” said Uma Thana Balasingam, vice president and channel chief of Asia Pacific and Japan at VMware, when speaking to Channel Asia.
“At this time, VMware is focused on the business continuity of our distributors, partners and customers. VMware is documenting best practices, processes and tools to ensure that our partners and customers remain productive and engaged during this time.”
In March, VMware entered a new phase of partnering through the launch of a program grounded in technical expertise, dictated by customer priorities and challenging of traditional channel practices.
Billed by many as the most fundamental ecosystem overhaul in the vendor’s 21-year existence, Partner Connect - first revealed to the market in April 2019 - is a go-to-market strategy which suggests a shift in mindset for a technology giant built on the foundations of virtualisation.
Central to such changes are an increased focus on technical and services specialisation, backed up by integrations with recently acquired businesses Carbon Black, VeloCloud and Pivotal.
Furthermore, Partner Connect is a message to the vendor’s traditional base of partners that change is on the horizon, alongside an opening of the door to a newer breed of provider nestled in the world of cloud - the global distribution review was expected to complement such a go-to-market overhaul.
“Our priorities in 2020 are anchored around reimagining partnerships to jointly transform the way Asia Pacific and Japan customers build, deliver and consume information technology,” Balasingam added.
“We are focused on executing our strategy to future proof our partners, build an industry leading ecosystem to provide end-to-end customer solutions, be the preferred vendor that provides value added partner experience and deliver this via a winning team alongside our partners. We see this supported with the launch of the Partner Connect program earlier this year.”