I’ve had an off and on relationship with the VMware Service Provider offerings over the last few years. I’ve worked for a partner, then on to VMware Perpetual Sales and now with VMware Service Provider division. I came back because I absolutely love the offering.

When I worked for a Service Provider Partner, this program was called the VMware Service Provider Program. Simple enough. Then the name was changed to vCloud Air Network. This was roughly around the time of vCloud Air becoming available. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty confusing for customers. With that confusion and some opinions on vCloud Air as a product, I’m curious if customer automatically assumed vCAN had the same reputation.

Now, vCloud Air has been sold to OVH. Who, funny enough is a VERY large vCloud Air Network Partner. It was a huge win-win in my book and really gave OVH more leverage in the US market. You see, OVH is killing it in Europe. So, when presented with the opportunity to onboard large set of new customers and operationally take on new data centers in one shot, it provided a unique opportunity.

So, this week, VMware announced that the vCloud Air Network program will now be called the VMware Cloud Provider Program. A smart move in my book to distance from the vCloud Air name as well as really driving their purpose in this Hybrid Cloud future VMware is painting. VMware wants to empower these partners and our customers with the tools to provide a great experience, whether its Infrastructure as a Service or Managed Services for those partners that want to go above and beyond. This Service Provider Program is over 4500 strong and growing each quarter.

Now, with last years announcement of VMware Cloud on AWS and it becoming generally available this week you wouldn’t be wrong to think this is another situation where VMware is competing against the service provider community. BUT! I challenge you to take another look with me.

VMware Cloud on AWS is a great offering with the ability to stand up new environments on the fly. It will help companies take advantage of AWS services using an infrastructure model they are intimitaly familier with. The idea as I see it is that companies with an IT workforce, have the engineering know-how to utilize such a service, but companies with minimal IT or who are already running on a service providers offering via MSP model may not know where to even begin.

This is where the MSP model in the future will step in. VMware is working to empower our MSP partners to resell the VMConAWS service, so they can continue to support their customers but offer the same flexibility the larger customers will now begin to enjoy. It’s not a competition when we still want our MSP partners to grow in this model with us.

I’m looking forward to watching these offerings grow, especially in how we offer them to our partners. The VCPP and MSP future is bright.