VMware's new UK channel boss Ed Dolman has called for partners of the virtualisation vendor to ramp up their focus on the SME market, vowing to provide increased support levels and offering up to 10% additional rebate on sales into net new customers.
Speaking to MicroScope at the UK leg of VMware Forum 2012 at Wembley Stadium in London, Dolman said that 2012 would be a transitional year for uptake of VMware's technology among SME customers.
"Virtualisation and virtual machines are becoming a defacto standard," he said, "and channel partners are starting to make us core to their business."
To address this, VMware is increasing the range of sales, presales and technical competencies available to channel partners and making further rebates of up to 20% available to those that have jumped through the correct hoops on their first deal with a new customer.
It has also doubled the number of heads within the business available to deal with partners to 25, which Dolman said will be sufficient to give each partner sitting within its new General Business end-user segment access to a named account manager at VMware.
VMware's latest assault on the SME market comes as research conducted on its behalf by Canalys revealed that the pace of virtualisation was increasing at a rapid rate.
Canalys quizzed 350 SME channel partners across EMEA and found that of those that had adopted some form of virtualisation, 48% had virtualised only the basic IT infrastructure of their business, but that 75% expected to expand the remit of virtualisation within their business to cover business-critical apps and more.
The resellers surveyed said that cost savings, business continuity and business agility were all high on customers' agendas when it came to adopting virtualisation technology. They also revealed an increasingly clear connection between virtualisation and cloud-enablement.
"It's a tough economic environment at the moment ... and organisations are getting pulled in many different directions, with costs being scrutinised at every step," said Canalys principal analyst, Alastair Edwards. "Virtualisation is being seen as a solution that delivers cost savings as well as broader business benefits."