VMware Channel Chief Talks HPE Bond, Lenovo, And Partner Connect 2.0

In the four months since Broadcom said it would plunk down $61 billion to buy VMware, two of the company’s top channel executives have departed — with Bill Swales and Sandy Hogan taking roles at other companies.

The upheaval has thrust Vice President and Head of VMware’s Worldwide Partner and Commercial Organization Ricky Cooper in the role of “channel chief,” the conduit between the virtualization leader and its massive ecosystem of partners around the globe.

VMware’s channel is under intense scrutiny as partners have been outspoken about their concerns around Broadcom, which has historically disregarded small and midsize customers as part of its profitability strategy when acquiring software companies. Broadcom CEO Hock Tan has said repeatedly that the company plans to embrace the channel.

Cooper told CRN that VMware remains committed to creating an experience that rewards partners with an expertise in VMware commensurately with those partners who move large volumes of its products. To do that the company recently unveiled huge changes to its partner ecosystem, introducing new categories that better align its partner program with how its partners go to market. Additionally, VMware said it will balance rewards for partners, with slightly more emphasis on those providing superior professional capabilities.

“With the new Partner Portal, it increase our ability to have the right conversations with the partners who are really leaning in with VMware,” Cooper told CRN. “It’s recognizing who are your top partners and getting closer with them through information. I think at the moment, (before the portal launches in October) we haven’t got the ability to really understand every single partner and really drill down into their capabilities and help them in areas that they may not consider themselves.”

VMware also wants to help partners focus on driving operational efficiencies through the portal, by adding analytics to show partners where they might be missing opportunities for their business.

“So the discussions become a lot more pointed and a lot more, you know, a lot more insightful, as to where we can really drive profitability for our partners,” Cooper said.

Here is the full interview:


LEARN MORE: Mergers and Acquisitions 

 Learn About O’Ryan Johnson


O’Ryan Johnson is a veteran news reporter. He covers the data center beat for CRN and hopes to hear from channel partners about how he can improve his coverage and write the stories they want to read. He can be reached at [email protected]..


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