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VMware charges partners for Solution Enablement Toolkits

Colin Steele, Senior Site Editor

VMware partners now have to pay for the company’s popular, and formerly free, Solution Enablement Toolkits.

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The Solution Enablement Toolkits (SETs), announced last year, contain technical resources, marketing materials and templates to help partners’ sales efforts. Previously, the only requirement for a partner to use a certain toolkit was to achieve the corresponding solution competency level. But now partner organizations must also pay -- up to $499 per year for individual toolkit libraries or $1,099 per year for all toolkits.

“It’s not a big cost, considering that partners have to pay to be partners anyway,” said Chris Kranz, senior consulting architect with B2net Ltd., a solutions provider in the U.K. “It’s easy for people to justify, because it saves a lot of work.”

Matt Liebowitz, a solution architect with Kraft & Kennedy Inc., a technology consulting firm in New York City, agreed.

“The cost is well worth it,” he said in an email. “I do think there is a ton of value in these SETs that make them well worth the money."

What’s in the Solution Enablement Toolkits?

The templates in the toolkits include designs and standard documents, such as letters of understanding and statement-of-work letters. With most of that writing work done by the vendor, partners can focus more on the deployment process, Kranz said.

The templates for standard documents are especially useful for technical staffers, who often have to write these letters themselves, said Shannon Snowden, a consulting partner at New Age Technologies Inc. in Louisville, Ky.

“A lot of good technical people hate writing anything,” he said. “Getting a good set of documentation, that’s always been a challenge.”

The toolkits also include step-by-step details for engaging customers, as well as customer-facing presentations, a return-on-investment calculator and competitive marketing information.

New Solution Enablement Toolkits and pricing

The Solution Enablement Toolkits are available in three libraries: infrastructure virtualization, desktop virtualization and business continuity. VMware Inc. announced these seven new individual toolkits yesterday:

Infrastructure virtualization library: virtualization assessment, vSphere planning and design

Desktop virtualization library: ThinApp planning and design, VMware optimization for Windows 7, View planning and design

Business continuity library: Site Recovery Manager (SRM) accelerator, SRM planning and design

“The planning and design ones, I’m really keen on,” Kranz said.

Access to four existing toolkits -- vSphere upgrade, vSphere jumpstart, View pilot and SRM jumpstart -- will remain free, but all others will fall under the new pricing plan. The infrastructure and desktop virtualization libraries will cost $499 each per year, and the business continuity library will cost $299 per year. Partners can purchase all three libraries for the discounted price of $1,099.

VMware did not make the prices public but did post them on its private Partner Central website.

The changes to the Solution Enablement Toolkits come in advance of next week’s VMware Partner Exchange conference in Orlando.


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