VMware (VMW) has revamped its channel program to include new enhancements, new competencies and a new rewards structure. The company made the announcement during Partner Exchange 2014 (PEX 2014) in San Francisco.

New additions were spurred from the concept of providing solution providers, service providers and distribution partners "consistency, predictability and profitability," the company said.

"We, collectively, are growing the industry," VMware President and COO Carl Eschenbach told partners, pointing out that 85 percent of VMware's revenue is generated through its partners.

To start, VMware now will allow channel partners to join the VMware Partner Network without having to identify with a specific program, a way of protecting partners from cornering themselves into an individual partner program.

An Enrolled tier is now available for new partners, replacing the company's Registered tier. This new tier was designed to train new partners on VMware solutions and assist with program selections.

"The Enrolled tier becomes a catchment base for partners who have just signed up for the program," VMware Global Partner Marketing Vice President Toni Adams said. "It's more of an accelerated onboarding mechanism for us."

VMware also introduced an introductory market opportunity called the Elite Partner Initiative for partners. According to the company, VMware qualifying partners must be "capable of leading early adoption and investment in the newest VMware technologies and markets."

While this may look like a simple beta program, Adams said it's not. Not only will partners be able to access early technology, they also will be provided with the go-to-market strategy behind it, as well as additional resources. Channel partners turned down for one particular piece of technology will have the opportunity to apply again when a new solution is ready, Adams said.

Starting in May, channel partners will be able to satisfy tier requirements by attaining any solution competency, but, additionally, VMware will obligate partners to have two sales (VMware Sales Professional) and two pre-sales (VMware Technical Sales Professional) accreditations for all solution competencies.

VMware also said it plans to offer a new Cloud Provider Solution Competency and VMware vCloud Hybrid Service Solution Competency starting in May and will also transform some of its current solution competencies.

Since VMworld 2013, the virtualization company expressed an interest in simplifying the way has rewarded partners in the past. "We are putting more money toward those who are investing more," Adams said.

To satisfy this need, Advantage+ sales rewards will now be offered at an introductory rate for professional partners and will increase in percentage as partners move up partner tiers.

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