VMware vows to end "painful" renewal process

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VMware vows to end "painful" renewal process

Paul Kunert

VMware is finally looking to end a calamitous six months where partners have had to wait up to 21 days for renewal quotes to be authorised following an overhaul of its internal systems to scale with demand.

In May, the virtualisation giant warned partners of "challenging months ahead" as it transitioned to Oracle ERP which created delays in the booking of POs and replying to quotes passed through by resellers.

The renewals quote process was taking roughly 20 days in October so VMware asked partners to use a web form, giving its staff information upfront to build a proper quote as it sought to cut the backlog.

Things improved but the goal of a three day turnaround slipped again last month and is now at seven to nine days, as the level of renewals were higher than expected, said VMware in a note to dealers sent early this month.

"Unfortunately due to a surge in requests in January of 2 to 3 times what was anticipated, we have fallen outside of SLA in EMEA and Americas," the vendor said.

The short term solution includes doubling in size the 16-strong team that is dealing with the backlog across EMEA in March, asking existing members to work overtime.

In addition, from next month partners will be able to report problems online, and VMware said it plans to make "significant fixes" to the Oracle system and underlying data structure to be able to quote faster and closely track users.

It is also preparing to roll out Smart Quote - a renewal portal - to partners that will enable VMware to get quotes to staff in the preferred format to reduce the revised requests or duplication.

Taking time out of the VMworld conference in Cannes, Mark Groetelaars, director for the northern EMEA partner organisation, said it was currently taking seven to eight days to turnaround quotes.

"This has been a painful situation and process for VMware and our partners," he told MicroScope, "to an extent it's a similar challenge that other enterprise software companies have experienced when they were facing hyper growth".

Customers stuck in the renewals queue will not be charged a reinstatement fee if the delay was VMware's fault, he added and the company has extended support on a limited basis for these user-organisations.

Even after the long saga, customers have remained loyal to VMware, said one partner, adding: "It has been trying everyone's patience; we need to see the renewals process taking hours not days."

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