Cisco, VMware Add Rewards, Marketing For Channel Partners Pushing Virtualized Data Center

Vendors pledge financial incentives, training, solution bundles, marketing assistance.

Cisco Systems Inc. and VMware Inc. said that together they will initiate a marketing and support program that incents channel partners to direct customers toward buying technology associated with virtualized data centers and building private clouds.

Under the program, a participating segment of each vendor’s channel partners--specifically those commanding Cisco data center certifications also authorized to handle VMware solutions--will be eligible to receive training specific to data center virtualization solutions, bundles, financial incentives, funds to conduct virtualization assessments, online demonstrations labs, marketing assistance and product financing.

Both companies said that the incentive plan further cemented their joint virtualized data center platform, based on Cisco’s Unified Computing System, touted by the vendor for its fewer components and lower total-cost-of-ownership, and VMware’s vSphere, a cloud computing operating system.

The vendors contend that their integrated solution will reduce the complexity of data centers, drive costs down and produce a more flexible, agile model to deliver IT service.

They figure that channel partners pursuing sales of enhanced virtualization systems, software and services not only will position themselves to boost sales and profits but also stay abreast of key technology trends, including private cloud computing, virtualization, unified fabric and data center architectures.

“The launch of this initiative will serve as a catalyst with our mutual channel partner community to capitalize and accelerate on the market transition towards data center virtualization and private clouds,” said Ralph Nimergood, Cisco vice president, Worldwide Partner Organization.

Free training, solutions, marketing support available

The program offers channel partners free, online training in joint Cisco UCS and VMware vSphere solutions on a worldwide basis. The training is open to all Cisco channel partners, who will be able to sell VSphere with no additional certifications.

To complement the training, online labs demonstrating the UCS and vSphere solutions operating over a unified fabric also will be available to channel partners beginning this month.

By the close of this month, the vendors plan to unwrap a new solution bundle for channel partners to sell and support that includes the UCS C250, the Nexus 1000V distributed virtual software switch and vSphere.

In addition, the program provides reimbursement for pre-approved virtualization assessments, available to Cisco DCNI specialized channel partners in North America.

A new Cisco UCS demonstration equipment program is now open to channel partners in the U.S. to be expanded globally at the end of May 2010. Under the program, channel partners will be able to obtain the UCS and vSphere at discounted prices from Cisco.

The initiative also will supply channel partners with lead generation, including follow up, and other materials such as seminars-in-a-box.

Cisco Capital is offering financing to channel partners for purchases of the UCS with vSphere.

Bart Falzarano, chief information security officer at the Walz Group Inc., a $16 million IT services provider based in Temecula, CA, said the Cisco UCS and vSphere solution “has enabled us to horizontally and vertically scale applications extremely quickly and securely, and exponentially reduce deployment costs.”

TAGS: virtualization,data center,Cisco,Unified Computing System,channel partners

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