Value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators (SIs) that are members of both EMC's and VMware's partner programs are eligible for the new benefits. The goal is to reward partners that have been selling joint EMC storage and VMware virtualization solutions all along, said Pete Koliopoulos, EMC's vice president of global channel marketing.
"The partners have been way ahead of the curve," he said. "Most of our partners have already been selling VMware for a couple of years."
EMC has owned VMware since 2004, but the companies still operate independently.
"By partnering with EMC and VMware, we've got the leaders in both fields, and they are rewarding us for the commitment we've made," said Jack Kaiser, vice president of sales and marketing for International Computerware, an EMC and VMware partner in Marlborough, Mass.
EMC plans to announce most partner-specific benefits as part of its regularly scheduled channel upgrade in July, Koliopoulos said. But some of the new training offerings are available now. They include educational podcasts about VMware virtualization solutions, half-day workshops, sales accreditation courses and pre- and post-sale support.
"The more people that we have to talk about the solution, it helps us cover more of our territory," said Mike Willard, co-founder and principal of Soccour Solutions, an EMC and VMware partner in Dallas. "So we're always happy to see educational promotions centered around solutions that are beneficial to the customers."
Virtualization brings with it heavy storage requirements, so partners can help customers make more efficient use of their storage by selling EMC storage and VMware virtualization together, Koliopoulos said. Growth in the virtualization market has "tremendously helped" International Computerware's storage business, Kaiser said.
"To get the full benefits of virtualization, you need a full storage platform," he said. "They really go hand in hand."
VMware has been one of Soccour's top sellers over the past 18 months, as more customers seek out server consolidation and virtualization solutions, Willard said.
"Everybody wants to talk about, 'Where do we host the ESX server and the VMDK files and all the guest [operating systems]?'" he said. "The EMC line definitely allows for a lot of success."
Together, EMC storage and VMware virtualization will also help partners compete against Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor, even though "Microsoft is a generation behind VMware," Kaiser said.
"It will serve VMware well to block out Microsoft," he said.