“Basically, I’m a partner advocate. Internally, externally I am committed to being the voice of our partners to influence our strategy. With or without Broadcom, that doesn’t change,” Tara Fine told CRN in her first interview since taking office.
Tara Fine, head of the new Americas channel for VMware, is uncompromising in her commitment to the partner ecosystem, promising that she will be with “the voice of the partner” that Broadcom’s $61 billion plan to buy the company materializes or not.
“Over the past six years that I have been at VMware, I have worked with my predecessor to deeply understand this business and the challenges it faces,” she told CRN in her first interview since her appointment. at this post. “I know where we need to improve. That being said, at my core I am a partner advocate, internally, externally I am committed to being the voice of our partners to influence our strategy. With or without Broadcom, that does not change.
[RELATED: Broadcom CEO Hock Tan On VMware: ‘We Can Offer Better Products Without Raising Prices’]
She said while much of her 25-year career has been centered in Canada, she looks forward to speaking and learning with partners across the continent.
“This role, while similar, has a broader scope. The difference today is that I become a trusted advisor as we go to market through our partner program,” Fine said. “For me, I just couldn’t be more excited about it. I undertake to continue to listen to our partners. I don’t know everything.
Fine reports to Senior Vice President and General Manager of Americas Sales Dan Zugelder.
Ricky Cooper remains the company’s Global Channel Manager as Head of Global Channel and Commercial Sales at VMware
Fine spent 19 years at Dell Technologies, where she was promoted to director of sales at the age of 25. She was then appointed as the first Canadian Network Manager, responsible for developing and executing the go-to-market strategy for the Dell Technologies partner ecosystem in Canada.
VMware’s partner-facing team took a few hits after chipmaker Broadcom announced in May that it would buy the company. Former VMware channel head Sandy Hogan left to become chief revenue officer at SADA Solution Providers, while former North American channel head Bill Swales left for a position at Lenovo.
The $61 billion acquisition of VMware was approved by the company’s shareholders on Nov. 4, but regulators on both sides of the Atlantic are closely scrutinizing the merger, with U.S. authorities with the Federal Trade Commission over 120 days after a “second request” investigation into the case.
Broadcom said it expected scrutiny from authorities because of the size of the potential merger.
The European Commission said this week that it had been informed of the deal by Broadcom. She, too, has just started a “phase one” investigation. He could have a decision by December 20 whether to approve the deal or conduct a longer investigation.
Fine took a break from her first moments in the role to speak with CRN.
A lot of people have talked about the value of the merger with Broadcom, and different points of view, but for you who are now responsible for the partner ecosystem, what do you say to partners when they ask you how this will help their business and help them make money?
Let me try to answer it in different ways. First, on the Broadcom question, we’re still an independent company. We are still applying our go-to-market strategy as we have developed it. I’m thinking in terms of Broadcom, from what we’re hearing, if this acquisition goes through. Hock Tan just posted a recent blog posting how important partners are to our ecosystem.
This is going to be extremely important moving forward. So I’m incredibly optimistic about the role our partners will play in our future. I also know that the leadership team here has advocated for them to be a central part of our go-to-market. So many things we don’t know. Regarding the current situation, we are “all on deck” regarding the criticality of our partners as we move forward in this multi-cloud world.
How does it feel to be in charge of an organization that has been such a big topic of hot tan conversation. Can you tell me as little as possible about your goals and how you approach this, in terms of taking on a responsibility that has made headlines?
What I can tell you is that in the last six years that I have been at VMware, I have worked with my predecessor to deeply understand this business, where the challenges lie. I know where we need to improve. That being said, at my core I am a partner advocate, internally, externally I am committed to being the voice of our partners to influence our strategy. With or without Broadcom, that does not change.
That being said, while I was part of this organization, I was part of the organization that leads the Canadian ecosystem. This role, while similar, has a broader scope. The difference today is that I become a trusted advisor as we go to market through our partner program. For me, I just couldn’t be more excited about it. I undertake to continue to listen to our partners. I don’t know everything.
In fact, I had several calls this morning seeking feedback from partners. We were at a federal partner event on Wednesday in Virginia, figuring it all out and trying to figure out what are the key areas that we need to address, so that our partners continue to make money with VMware and in fact continue to be a more integral part of how we go to market in the future.
This is where my head is focused.
What are the biggest challenges facing VMware partners in the Americas and how are you and VMware helping partners meet these challenges?
I would say the first is that we need to simplify. I think we are complex and need to simplify. I think simplification is a super power. Sounds easy. It’s not. We have to figure out how to do that. Understand where the root of the issues are in terms of challenges for partners and understand what those two or three areas are, that we urgently need to address, and focus on those maniacally.
I know we are trying to accomplish a lot. I think we really need to strive to make a real difference in some of these areas for our partners. You know, we’ve evolved a lot over the last few years, both in terms of solution set, go-to-market, routes to market, different buying vehicles, different types of partner communities . How do we work with multiple communities at the same time?
Its complex. Anything we can do to simplify this will have a direct positive impact on our partners and ultimately the customers we work with.
What are you telling partners about how to prepare for a possible economic downturn?
Something that in my experience is to always focus on what’s best for the customer. If we stay focused on that and deliver results for our clients, it resolves itself that way. I think that’s how we add value. We have to stay focused on that. We are all in the same boat. I think everyone is going to be challenged. The more we can help our customers meet these challenges, the more we will differentiate ourselves in the market.
What’s your message to partners with all the movement surrounding the VMware channel, Broadcom takeover, economic headwinds, and more? ?
I do not take lightly the fact that our partners have trusted us and invested in us. We are focused on continuing to deliver these exceptional results and on continuing to build and grow this trust with our partners.
It is at the heart and center of it all. It is my passion to help our partners succeed and build a
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