Last week I was at VMware EMPOWER and had some interesting conversations with other partners and VMware Education that provided an insight into how quickly the VMware eco-system is evolving. Also included was the announcement of the new VMware Partner Connect program and the planned fifth VMware on AWS Master Service Competency.
The summary – with the move to VMware Cloud SaaS services, VMware has most definitely moved from a waterfall development approach to agile sprints. Gone are the days of the 2-year development cycle and products are now being released with a quarterly cadence. This means that VMware Education and Certification has to match that cadence. And VMware Partners have to keep up if they want to maintain their Solution and Master Service Competencies. Welcome to the turbo-mode certification treadmill!
The certification and accreditation requirements of these competencies generally looks like (they do vary – check links for exact breakdown):
- Master Service Competency (5 tracks): five VCPs, two VCAPs and three verified customer project references per track.
- Solution Competency (14 tracks): two VSPs, two VTSPs, two VCPs, one VMware course per solution competency.
You can deduce from the list above, that the VCP plays a big part in how a VMware partner proves mastery of skills and solutions. And with the increase in VCP cadence, it will be difficult to keep up. However there is light at the end of the tunnel: VMware allows the upgrade from VCP6-NV to VCP-NV 2019 by completing a free online course. Bingo! This is what we need for every VCP – a free online course that allows you to quickly and cheaply upgrade your VCP from the previous version.
The table below shows that VCP-NV 2019 is the only one to provide a free upgrade with the online “What’s New” course. VCP-DCV 2019 and VCP-CMA 2019 require a hefty fee (might as well read the free documentation and spend $250 to take the new exam instead) and the EUC tracks do not support it, you have to sit the latest exam – no bueno!
You may make the argument that VMware will not generate education and certification revenue. My opinion is that every VMware partner makes a significant recurring investment in VMware training and certification to become a partner and maintain that skill-set. VMware wants to increase their revenues year-on-year and the VMware partner eco-system is responsible for a large percentage of those revenues. Remember that some vendors (e.g. Nutanix) provide all of their online and on-site training services for free; they understand that partner training is good for business.
My hope is that VMware Education modifies their upgrade policies for VCP (and possibly VCAP), to give partners and customers the ability to complete a free online course to maintain their service & solution competencies. I still have a strong opinion that the Master Service Competencies should also have a mandatory VCDX requirement (including the SDDC Service Competency).