Optimize customer lifetime value

Being a successful cloud managed service provider (MSP) depends on your skills and technology, and also on how well you deliver value and drive positive business outcomes for your customers. As you scale your business and add more managed services and customers—and encounter more competitors—it becomes imperative to understand the health of your customer base, minimize customer churn, and maximize retention.

At VMware, we understand that simply providing access to a cloud management platform isn’t enough to make our partners successful. That’s why we provide the world-class VMware Aria Cost™powered by CloudHealth® Partner Success Service to make sure our partners get the most value out of their investment. Our comprehensive 120-day onboarding methodology is based on successful partner implementations around the world and focuses on “teaching to fish,” which will empower you to become an expert with the knowledge to administer and use the platform to its fullest potential.

The Partner Success Service grants you exclusive access to a technical account manager (TAM) and a partner development specialist (PDS) who will make up your account team. The TAM acts as your primary technical point of contact, a subject matter expert of the platform and best practices. The PDS acts as your primary business point of contact, securing alignment of business goals and objectives. Together, your account team will ensure you get the most value out of the platform, starting with a comprehensive onboarding process followed by ongoing enablement throughout your subscription lifecycle.

Customer responsibilities

Designate personnel for key roles

A critical component of your success will come from the resources you commit from your team. You are responsible for designating a cloud program manager, an executive sponsor, and a technical contact that will work alongside your TAM and PDS at VMware.

Cloud program manager

The cloud program manager is the main person responsible for managing a service or solution offering based on the VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth platform. They own the creation, packaging and maintenance of the offering, and work cross-functionally to go to market with it. MSPs will typically have one cloud program manager; however, larger, multi-cloud partners may have one cloud program manager per public cloud. This role is usually from the product management, cloud optimization, cloud architecture, or cloud service team.

Executive sponsor

The executive sponsor is a senior member of your team who owns the business case and has a deep understanding and awareness of how the project will help your organization achieve its goals.

Technical contact

The technical contact is a team member who is involved in the day-to-day operations of the cloud and is usually given administrative privileges in the platform.

Cloud environment setup

You are responsible for setting up your customers’ cloud environments, and configuring, maintaining and using the VMware Aria Cost platform.. Examples of functionality in the configuration process include:

  • Accounts
  • Billing families
  • Custom price books
  • Users/roles
  • Perspectives
  • Reports/dashboards/subscriptions
  • Policies/automation
  • Budgets

Platform training

We know the importance of getting your team fully engaged with a platform to maximize benefits to your business, which is why we offer role-based learning to speed your time to value during onboarding.

You are responsible for scheduling and participating in platform training. For maximum value, we recommend that all training be completed within the first 120 days and that you have six Platform Administrator Associate Certified users as well as six Partner Specialist Certified users.

The Partner Success Service package includes:

  • A review of the setup of policies for automated governance of your cloud infrastructure
  • An introduction to the VMware Aria Cost platform webinar or e-learning
  • Prescribed, role-based learning paths that consist of up to eight hours of hands-on virtual instruction
  • Participation in regional partner training boot camps
  • An annual subscription to VMware Aria Cost platform training expansion webinars

You may also elect to purchase additional training subscriptions for more users and/or custom training on the topic(s) of your choice

Participate in business reviews

At a minimum of once per year, we will conduct business reviews with the intent to focus on the status of onboarding and subsequent VMware Aria Cost adoption adoption and value realization. The required attendees for this meeting are the cloud program manager, the executive sponsor, and the technical contact(s).

VMware responsibilities

In addition to designating your account team and providing a training plan, VMware will also be responsible for the following activities.

Conduct a kickoff meeting

To start, your TAM will set up a kickoff meeting to go over your strategic implementation plan. During this meeting, your TAM will ensure the alignment of goals and the roles of each team member between both parties. The TAM will also provide a 120-day timeline for platform implementation and align expectations related to onboarding and training.

Conduct a technical review

The TAM will work with the cloud program manager and technical contact(s) from your organization to finalize the configuration of your accounts, and prioritize the work that needs to be completed as part of the 120-day onboarding process. Tasks that will be completed during the onboarding process can include:

  • Customer tenant configuration
  • Partner billing configuration
  • Perspective creation
  • Report building
  • Governance policies and automation
  • Rightsizing and reservation management

The TAM will highlight any unconfigured functionalities that will impact getting value from the platform. Areas the TAM will check on are:

  • Account configuration:

– Are all accounts healthy?
– Is Amazon CloudWatch properly configured? AWS Config? AWS CloudTrail?
– If applicable, are end-customer tenants set up per VMware best practices?

  • Performance metrics:

– Are performance metrics being pushed to VMware Aria Cost (e.g., Datadog, CloudHealth Agent, etc.)?
– Is the number of “Assets Not Allocated” acceptable?

  • Perspectives:

– Are Perspectives properly set up?
– Is the number of “Assets Not Allocated” acceptable?

  • User roles/organizations:

– Are the right user roles set up?
– If needed, are organizations set up?
– Is single sign-on (SSO) properly configured

Consult for onboarding or ongoing activity

Your TAM will consult with you on the onboarding and configuration of the platform as well as the ongoing usage and adoption of the platform: 

  • Onboarding:

– Cloud environment setup
– Customer tenant configuration
– Partner billing configuration
– Perspective creation
– Report building
– Governance policies and automation
– Rightsizing and reservation management

  • Ongoing:

– Guidance on VMware Aria Cost platform APIs
– Use and configuration of custom price books
– Guidance on billing families configuration
– Escalation management for high-priority support tickets
– Ongoing product release reviews and technical working sessions
– Advising on industry best practices
– Advising on leveraging VMware Aria Cost to support a growing customer base
– Analysis and review of benchmarking data for your top three customer

Conduct business reviews and success planning

At a minimum of once per year, your account team will conduct a business review with key stakeholders from your organization to focus on adoption of VMware Aria Cost powered by CloudHealth with your customer base go-to-market strategy, and value realization.

The initial business review will be scheduled at the 120-day mark and focus on the following:

  • Onboarding status
  • Partner-specific metrics (e.g., adoption metrics, usage metrics, etc.)
  • Results and deliverables from the previous 120 days
  • Major obstacles to success (and how to get back on track)
  • New products or features you might be interested in
  • Areas for additional adoption or value realization
  • New goals and next steps

In addition to the business review, your account team will help you develop a success plan. This is a customized activity map that considers your company profile, goals, and specific ways VMware Aria Cost can contribute to your definition of success. This evolving plan considers the following components:

  • Strategic goals – What are your overall corporate goals?
  • Business driver – What are the keys to your success?
  • Success objective – How will you measure if you’re on track to achieve business drivers?
  • Program activities – What specific activities, owners and timelines will contribute to your success?

Continuous check-ins

Your designated TAM will check in regularly to ensure usage is on track, assist in overcoming any obstacles, and point out areas that may require attention. This proactive outreach helps keep your environment healthy and identify potential savings opportunities.

Continuous check-ins happen:

  • Weekly for the first month
  • At the 30-, 60-, 90- and 120-day marks
  • A minimum of once per quarter

Measure business and customer health

The challenge for MSPs is how to define success, measure it over time, and compare it to industry peers. On a monthly basis, your TAM will provide detailed analysis of the health of your cloud business and your customers’ cloud environments. Customer Health Analytics, based on a deep, aggregate set of data points from direct customers and partners, provides key metrics for understanding the health of your business. Metrics include net retention, cloud spend per customer, changes in cloud spending over time, and variance against spending forecasts. You’ll get an aggregate score developed from detailed data you can use to evaluate business and customer health, and benchmark against peers.

Armed with this visibility, you can make more informed business decisions and increase customer lifetime value. Customer Health Analytics is a proven methodology we share with our partners so they can maintain customer health and long-term value of their customers.

Deliver annual product roadmap

Our product management team annually delivers a presentation of our roadmap and describes the VMware Aria Cost capabilities and enhancements that will be added in the next several quarters. In these sessions, we’ll explore topics. Available upon request, these sessions are typically 45 minutes long and are highly interactive. In these sessions, we’ll explore topics relevant to industry needs, common partner challenges, and our approach to solving them.

Early access to private betas

Upon request and based on eligibility, our product management team will provide you with access to new features that are still in private beta. In addition to giving you the earliest access to new enhancements, you will also provide the engineering team with input and feedback.

Provide results-driven technical support

As part of our Partner Success Service package, you will have unlimited access to our technical support team, with defined service-level agreements (SLAs) for first response time based on priority of the ticket.

Table 1: Targeted initial response (within business hours1)
Critical 1 hour or less
Major 4 hours
Minor 8 hours
Cosmetic 12 hours


Technical support includes:

  • An unlimited number of support contacts
  • Email- and web-based ticket submission
  • An online ticketing system for tracking and reporting visibility
  • Access to online documentation
  • A designated TAM for support escalation


Table 2: Summary of service activities and deliverables
Service activities2
  • Designate account team
  • Provide training
  • Schedule kickoff meeting and technical review
  • Consult for up to 30 hours
  • Conduct annual business reviews
  • Benchmark against peers
  • Provide access to private betas based on eligibility
  • Provide ongoing technical support via email and web ticket
Service deliverables3
  • Kickoff meeting presentation
  • Business review presentations
  • Product roadmap presentations

1. Business hours for support: 8 AM–5 PM PST | EST | GMT | IST | AEDT
2. Assumptions: Unless mutually agreed, all services will be provided virtually, in English, during business hours.
3. Deliverables: Any information and work product resulting from the services discussed in this document shall be deemed “results” under the agreement, and VMware hereby assigns to the customer all right, title and interest in and to such results, other than with respect to any background materials. Any reports discussed in this document will be deemed “reports” under the agreement. VMware represents and warrants that all services, reports, results and work product in this document will be provided in a professional, timely manner and conform to the descriptions and specifications in this document or otherwise made available by VMware to the customer.

The [VMware] team is always so willing to help. Anytime I reach out to our technical account manager, they always respond quickly and make it a high priority. It’s very refreshing to work with such a responsive team.
— Stephanie Jean Customer and Partner Engagement Manager Riley
For your success, you are required to designate:
  • A cloud program manager
  • An executive sponsor
  • Technical contact(s)
The VMware team committed to your success includes:
  • A partner development specialist
  • A technical account manager 
  • Customer support
A proven methodology to optimize customer health:
  • Gain visibility into your cloud business 
  • Analyze health scores 
  • Get a monthly analysis and go-to-market expertise