Inside VMware’s revamped ‘partner-first culture’

VMware is “doubling down” on creating a partner-first culture, says its new worldwide channel leader Sandy Hogan — from hiring new channel executives to building a global partner advisory council and a new Partner Lifecycle Services organization.

“One area that we are incredibly doubling down on is creating a partner-first culture,” said Hogan, senior vice president of VMware’s worldwide commercial and partner sales, in an interview with CRN.

Hogan hit the ground running when she joined VMware in May by investing heavily in the channel after speaking with channel partners from across the globe.

CRN breaks down five big new channel investments that show VMware is doubling down on creating a partner-first culture inside the $11 billion Palo Alto, Calif.-based virtualization and hybrid cloud software superstar.

New partner lifecycle services team

VMware recently built a team cantered on partner lifecycle services that is being led by Richard Steeves, senior director of Lifecycle Services for VMware’s worldwide partner and commercial organization. One of Hogan’s core strategic channel initiatives is around enabling the “value continuum” aspect for VMware customers.

“Our whole mission that we’ve created is around scaling customers for life value through a connected ecosystem. We put Richard [Steeves] to lead our partner services role, and that’s everything around defining rules of engagement across the whole life cycle. The ecosystem right now is no longer linear. It’s no longer one partner for one transaction,” said Hogan. “So it’ about building out those lifecycle capabilities, how we incentivize differently, and how we create the opportunity for partners to play any role across that continuum. So we’re aligning investments around that. We didn’t have a team that was focused on that before. Now we have a full team that we reallocated and redesigned that is 100 percent dedicated to creating that capability.”

Steeves has helped lead VMware’s partner program strategy for the past two years. Prior to VMware, he was at Dell EMC for five year, with his last position being senior director of Global Services Partners, according to his LinkedIn.

Hiring Tracy-Ann Palmer

In a boost to its partner-first motto, VMware hired Tracy-Ann Palmer last month as its new vice president of partner programs and experience.

Palmer is a longtime IT veteran with decades of executive experience working for the likes of Cisco, Salesforce and most recently at Amazon Web Services as Global Service Enablement Leader, according to her LinkedIn profile.

“We’ve had different teams focusing on different aspects of programs, initiatives, incentives – and we’ve put that all under one leader to focus on partner experience and programs. That’s Tracy-Ann Palmer,” said Hogan. “Following the theme of simplicity, we now have that all under one thread to really drive and mandate that culture and the programmatic aspects of that simplicity.”


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