VMUG Insights from VMware Empower

As a VMware Empower ambassador, I had the privilege of attending all three of this year’s VMware Empower events. VMware invited its robust partner network to Atlanta, Singapore, and Lisbon as a way for partners to receive direct technical training and content. In turn, the partners can then better serve VMware’s 500,000+ customers. Here are the two most important takeaways I learned from these events:
  1. VMware, Their Partners, and Users Are All Learning Together
Next-gen IT is ever evolving, meaning VMware and their more than 5,000 partners are always learning and adapting to deliver the best solutions to users. VMware provides technical support content not only to end users, but also to partners. This is especially true on topics that users are most interested in, such as hybrid cloud, network security, and DevOps. This kind of content helps partners learn how to serve end users better by knowing what questions to ask, and determining the best path forward for their customers.
  1. For Users, Choosing a Partner Is just as Crucial as Choosing Technology
Partners have an advantage over most vAdmins. While users are on their single journey, partners are helping dozens or even hundreds of end users on theirs. By working with several users at once, partners learn and gain experience at an accelerated pace with more resources than a standard IT department. 
The VMware partner network is vast, so it is vital for vAdmins to do their due diligence when selecting partners for their business. Users should look for partners who can share the experience of many engineers sets. To help users find the right partner, VMware has created a system of certifications known as Master Services Competencies (MSC), which partners may obtain to validate their ability to deliver particular services. A partner with MSC certification ensures a high level of service capability. Though this accreditation is impressive, I would not eliminate other partners just because they have not obtained their MSC.
Many times, end users find they need the assistance of several partners. Choosing multiple partners allows you to adopt a “best-in-breed” strategy. However, be careful, because it may lead to the dreaded blame game if things go wrong. 
The VMware ecosystem is like no other I have experienced. The VMware partner network is vast, growing, and changing fast. Competitors today become partners tomorrow, and the reverse is true as well. My experience at the VMware Empower events reminded me that we are all on the journey together, so choose and use your partner network wisely. 
See you at a VMUG,


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