VMware owns significant virtualization market share, with more than 350,000 customers and sales exceeding $3.7 billion in 2011. The company's virtualization software has won 2,200 technology partners and over 50,000 channel distributors. As clients increasingly explore, request, and require virtualized solutions, consultants must be familiar with VMware's vSphere virtualization products.
VMware recognizes the need to assist consultants in developing the knowledge and skill necessary to understand its products and sell appropriate solutions. The company offers free training and certification. Consultants can create a partner account, register for Web-based training, and complete five self-paced courses to earn VMware Sales Professional 5 (VSP) accreditation. The process requires approximately four hours to complete.
VSP training is not designed to teach engineers the nuts and bolts of installing, configuring, managing, and troubleshooting virtual machines; it is focused on helping consultants understand and sell VMware's virtualization solutions. Staff seeking technical training should research the VMware Certified Professional (VCP), VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP), and VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) accreditations. Desktop virtualization certifications are available, too.
VSP training begins by presenting a virtualization overview. Partners will gain an understanding of virtualization concepts and learn how the technology can be extended to help organizations better administer systems, storage, and networks.
Next the training turns to reviewing VMware's revenue potential. Consultants will learn how VMware has grown, what customers think of the products, industry awards presented to VMware, and how VMware products help organizations address clients' complex technology needs.
The third VSP module explores vSphere product technologies. Partners are taught how VMware's products provide flexibility, scalability, security, and efficiencies for clients. During the product overview course, partners will also learn differences between VMware's product platforms.
The Solutions Overview is where concept meets action. Within the fourth training module partners learn how VMware products address specific real-world technology needs. Candidates finishing the course will enjoy more confidence mapping common IT needs to specific products and describing VMware solutions' value proposition.
VSP training concludes with a course that assists partners in delivering effective customer presentations. "Delivering the message" training helps partners master the virtualization elevator pitch, conduct knowledgeable conversations, and prepare and deliver essential virtualization sales presentations.
With knowledge comes confidence
Server virtualization is only going to continue growing in importance and popularity. Consultants must maintain pace with virtualization technologies and ensure they understand the proper products and solutions to best meet clients' needs. VSP training is a solid first step in helping a consultancy maintain pace within the ever-changing technology industry landscape.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.