Creating a Microsoft Certificate Authority Template for SSL certificate creation in vSphere 6.0

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Creating a Microsoft Certificate Authority Template for SSL certificate creation in vSphere 6.0
Jun 302015
 
In this blog post we will go over the steps outlined in the VMware Knowledgebase article 2112009 for the creation Machine SSL and Solution User certificates in a Microsoft Certificate Authority (CA). The next blog on replacing the Machine SSL certificate will reference this blog. Common Terms What’s a “Machine SSL certificate”? The Machine SSL […]]> In this blog post we will go over the steps outlined in the VMware Knowledgebase article 2112009 for the creation Machine SSL and Solution User certificates in a Microsoft Certificate Authority (CA). The next blog on replacing the Machine SSL certificate will reference this blog.

Common Terms

What’s a “Machine SSL certificate”?
The Machine SSL certificate is the certificate you get when you open the vSphere Web Client in a web browser. It is used by the reverse proxy service on every management node, Platform Services Controller, and embedded deployment. You can replace the certificate on each node with a custom certificate.

What’s a “Solution User”?
A solution user is a collection of services. Several vCenter Server solution users are predefined and authenticate to vCenter Single Sign-On.

 

Requirements

The steps are pretty straightforward. The requirements are that you are running a Windows Server and have a working Certificate Authority role configured. In my example, I used a Windows 2012 server running as a virtual machine on my Mac via VMware Fusion. You can use other versions of Windows and the UI is pretty much the same.

Lab Note

If you want to try this out yourself in a lab environment, check out my Powershell script for building a Windows 2012 Domain Controller. available on GitHub. The latest version of the script also sets up the system as a certificate authority using the following Powershell commands. (Windows 2012 only)

 

Write-Host "Set up Certificate Manager" Import-Module ServerManager Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADCS Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADCS-Mgmt Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-Online-Responder Write-Host "Add CA role" Add-WindowsFeature ADCS-Cert-Authority Write-Host "Create CA" Install-AdcsCertificationAuthority -CACommonName "Root CA" -CAType StandaloneRootCA -CryptoProviderName "RSA#Microsoft Software Key Storage Provider" -HashAlgorithmName SHA1 -KeyLength 2048 -ValidityPeriod Years -ValidityPeriodUnits 20 -force

 

Creating a new template for vSphere 6.0 to use for Machine SSL and Solution User certificates

What you’ll want to do first is log into your Windows server, click Start > Run and type certtmpl.msc and click OK. This starts up the Certificates Templates Console. You’ll see a laundry list of different certificate templates from Domain Controller to Smartcard Logon and more. We’ll be creating a new template for use by the Machine SSL and Solution Users certificates. These are what we’ll submit our Certificate Signing Requests (CSR’s) against. Let’s configure the template.

In the Certificate Template Console, under Template Display Name, right-click Web Server and click Duplicate Template.

In the Duplicate Template window, select Windows Server 2003 Enterprise for backward compatibility.
Notes:

  1. The UI may not show "Windows Server 2003 Enterprise" unless you are running an Enterprise edition of Windows. Select "Windows 2003" as seen below.
  2. If you have an encryption level higher than SHA1, select Windows Server 2008 Enterprise.

Click the General tab. In the Template display name field, enter vSphere 6.0 as the name of the new template.

Click the Extensions tab. Select Application Policies and click Edit. Select Server Authentication and click on Remove and then OK.

Select Key Usage and click Edit. Select the Signature is proof of origin (nonrepudiation) option. Leave all other options as default.

Click the Subject Name tab. Ensure that the Supply in the request option is selected. Click OK to save the template.

 

Adding a new template to certificate templates

Now that we have created the certificate template for vSphere 6.0 to use for Machine SSL and Solution User certificates it’s time to add them to the list of template that we can select when submitting our CSR’s.

From the server desktop, Click Start > Run, type certsrv.msc, and click OK.

 

 

In the left pane of the Certificate Console, if collapsed, expand the node by clicking the + or ▹ icon.

 

Right-click Certificate Templates and click New > Certificate Template to Issue.

 

Locate vSphere 6.0 under the Name column and then Click OK.
(Example shown uses "vSphere 6 test" because "vSphere 6.0" was already issued during a previous lab setup)

 

Next steps

You now have created a new vSphere 6 Certificate Template for use in creating Machine SSL or vSphere Solution User Certificates. These templates will be used in a future blog post where we will replace the Machine SSL certificate while leaving VMCA to issue certificates to ESXi hosts and Solution Users.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if it was and if you want to see more blogs like this.

mike

Creating a Microsoft Certificate Authority Template for SSL certificate creation in vSphere 6.0

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Creating a Microsoft Certificate Authority Template for SSL certificate creation in vSphere 6.0
Jun 302015
 
In this blog post we will go over the steps outlined in the VMware Knowledgebase article 2112009 for the creation Machine SSL and Solution User certificates in a Microsoft Certificate Authority (CA). The next blog on replacing the Machine SSL certificate will reference this blog. Common Terms What’s a “Machine SSL certificate”? The Machine SSL […]]> In this blog post we will go over the steps outlined in the VMware Knowledgebase article 2112009 for the creation Machine SSL and Solution User certificates in a Microsoft Certificate Authority (CA). The next blog on replacing the Machine SSL certificate will reference this blog.

Common Terms

What’s a “Machine SSL certificate”?
The Machine SSL certificate is the certificate you get when you open the vSphere Web Client in a web browser. It is used by the reverse proxy service on every management node, Platform Services Controller, and embedded deployment. You can replace the certificate on each node with a custom certificate.

What’s a “Solution User”?
A solution user is a collection of services. Several vCenter Server solution users are predefined and authenticate to vCenter Single Sign-On.

 

Requirements

The steps are pretty straightforward. The requirements are that you are running a Windows Server and have a working Certificate Authority role configured. In my example, I used a Windows 2012 server running as a virtual machine on my Mac via VMware Fusion. You can use other versions of Windows and the UI is pretty much the same.

Lab Note

If you want to try this out yourself in a lab environment, check out my Powershell script for building a Windows 2012 Domain Controller. available on GitHub. The latest version of the script also sets up the system as a certificate authority using the following Powershell commands. (Windows 2012 only)

 

Write-Host "Set up Certificate Manager" Import-Module ServerManager Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADCS Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-ADCS-Mgmt Add-WindowsFeature RSAT-Online-Responder Write-Host "Add CA role" Add-WindowsFeature ADCS-Cert-Authority Write-Host "Create CA" Install-AdcsCertificationAuthority -CACommonName "Root CA" -CAType StandaloneRootCA -CryptoProviderName "RSA#Microsoft Software Key Storage Provider" -HashAlgorithmName SHA1 -KeyLength 2048 -ValidityPeriod Years -ValidityPeriodUnits 20 -force

 

Creating a new template for vSphere 6.0 to use for Machine SSL and Solution User certificates

What you’ll want to do first is log into your Windows server, click Start > Run and type certtmpl.msc and click OK. This starts up the Certificates Templates Console. You’ll see a laundry list of different certificate templates from Domain Controller to Smartcard Logon and more. We’ll be creating a new template for use by the Machine SSL and Solution Users certificates. These are what we’ll submit our Certificate Signing Requests (CSR’s) against. Let’s configure the template.

In the Certificate Template Console, under Template Display Name, right-click Web Server and click Duplicate Template.

In the Duplicate Template window, select Windows Server 2003 Enterprise for backward compatibility.
Notes:

  1. The UI may not show "Windows Server 2003 Enterprise" unless you are running an Enterprise edition of Windows. Select "Windows 2003" as seen below.
  2. If you have an encryption level higher than SHA1, select Windows Server 2008 Enterprise.

Click the General tab. In the Template display name field, enter vSphere 6.0 as the name of the new template.

Click the Extensions tab. Select Application Policies and click Edit. Select Server Authentication and click on Remove and then OK.

Select Key Usage and click Edit. Select the Signature is proof of origin (nonrepudiation) option. Leave all other options as default.

Click the Subject Name tab. Ensure that the Supply in the request option is selected. Click OK to save the template.

 

Adding a new template to certificate templates

Now that we have created the certificate template for vSphere 6.0 to use for Machine SSL and Solution User certificates it’s time to add them to the list of template that we can select when submitting our CSR’s.

From the server desktop, Click Start > Run, type certsrv.msc, and click OK.

 

 

In the left pane of the Certificate Console, if collapsed, expand the node by clicking the + or ▹ icon.

 

Right-click Certificate Templates and click New > Certificate Template to Issue.

 

Locate vSphere 6.0 under the Name column and then Click OK.
(Example shown uses "vSphere 6 test" because "vSphere 6.0" was already issued during a previous lab setup)

 

Next steps

You now have created a new vSphere 6 Certificate Template for use in creating Machine SSL or vSphere Solution User Certificates. These templates will be used in a future blog post where we will replace the Machine SSL certificate while leaving VMCA to issue certificates to ESXi hosts and Solution Users.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if it was and if you want to see more blogs like this.

mike

Put another pizza in the oven, these kids are hungry

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Put another pizza in the oven, these kids are hungry
Jun 302015
 
Youth sports are all about kids having fun. They play, they sweat, and hopefully have a great time. And boy do they build up an appetite. Choosing the right refreshments during halftime, or the right restaurant after the game can be difficult. Are a couple large pizzas going to be sufficient, would a pizza buffet […]]> http://blogs.vmware.com/storage/2015/06/30/put-another-pizza-in/feed/ 0 Encrypting VSAN VMs with HyTrust http://blogs.vmware.com/storage/2015/06/30/encrypting-vsan-vms-hytrust/ http://blogs.vmware.com/storage/2015/06/30/encrypting-vsan-vms-hytrust/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:56:04 +0000

Put another pizza in the oven, these kids are hungry

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Put another pizza in the oven, these kids are hungry
Jun 302015
 
Youth sports are all about kids having fun. They play, they sweat, and hopefully have a great time. And boy do they build up an appetite. Choosing the right refreshments during halftime, or the right restaurant after the game can be difficult. Are a couple large pizzas going to be sufficient, would a pizza buffet […]]> http://blogs.vmware.com/storage/2015/06/30/put-another-pizza-in/feed/ 0 Encrypting VSAN VMs with HyTrust http://blogs.vmware.com/storage/2015/06/30/encrypting-vsan-vms-hytrust/ http://blogs.vmware.com/storage/2015/06/30/encrypting-vsan-vms-hytrust/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:56:04 +0000

Windows 10 unifies the app experience for end-users and developers

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Windows 10 unifies the app experience for end-users and developers
Jun 302015
 
The AirWatch Blog recently detailed the 10 things IT pros need to know about Windows 10 and let readers know that Microsoft isunifying the app experience. To simplify the app experience, Windows 10 includes an updated Windows app store and app submission process. These updates combined with AirWatch integration enhance Windows MDM and create a […]]> http://blogs.air-watch.com/2015/06/windows-10-unifies-app-experience-end-users-developers/feed/ 0 IDC confirms: AirWatch by VMware holds largest EMM market share http://blogs.air-watch.com/2015/06/idc-confirms-airwatch-vmware-holds-largest-emm-market-share-2/ http://blogs.air-watch.com/2015/06/idc-confirms-airwatch-vmware-holds-largest-emm-market-share-2/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:14:36 +0000

Windows 10 unifies the app experience for end-users and developers

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Windows 10 unifies the app experience for end-users and developers
Jun 302015
 
The AirWatch Blog recently detailed the 10 things IT pros need to know about Windows 10 and let readers know that Microsoft isunifying the app experience. To simplify the app experience, Windows 10 includes an updated Windows app store and app submission process. These updates combined with AirWatch integration enhance Windows MDM and create a […]]> http://blogs.air-watch.com/2015/06/windows-10-unifies-app-experience-end-users-developers/feed/ 0 IDC confirms: AirWatch by VMware holds largest EMM market share http://blogs.air-watch.com/2015/06/idc-confirms-airwatch-vmware-holds-largest-emm-market-share-2/ http://blogs.air-watch.com/2015/06/idc-confirms-airwatch-vmware-holds-largest-emm-market-share-2/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:14:36 +0000

VMware User Environment Manager: Taking Horizon Air to the Next Level!

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für VMware User Environment Manager: Taking Horizon Air to the Next Level!
Jun 302015
 
By Stephane Asselin, Senior Architect, End-User-Computing Technical Enablement, VMware Customers are using VMware Horizon Air with great success to drive down the total cost of ownership (TCO) for desktops by providing their end users with a virtual desktop. A recent addition to Horizon Air is the inclusion of hosted applications, which means that users through […]]> By Stephane Asselin, Senior Architect, End-User-Computing Technical Enablement, VMware

Customers are using VMware Horizon Air with great success to drive down the total cost of ownership (TCO) for desktops by providing their end users with a virtual desktop. A recent addition to Horizon Air is the inclusion of hosted applications, which means that users through their Horizon Air Web portals can now choose a virtual desktop or a published application. Also, with the VMware acquisition of Immidio, IT administrators can now use VMware User Environment Manager (formerly called Flex+) to deliver persistence to a nonpersistent desktop environment.

What UEM Adds to Horizon Air

Using a smartphone, tablet, Mac, or PC, a user logs in once to Horizon Air, and then can use the desktops and applications there without additional logins to VPN or other security mechanisms. In the screenshot that follows, you can see that the end user who is logged in to the Horizon Air Desktop Portal has access to three hosted applications and one virtual desktop.

With VMware UEM, end users can retain their personal configurations and settings across physical, virtual, and cloud-based environments, including Horizon Air. This capability also extends to hosted or published application solutions such as Horizon Air hosted applications and Citrix XenApp published applications.

The IT administrator stores the user’s Windows and application configurations and settings outside of the user session. This enables the settings to follow the end user wherever they go. If the end user logs in to a virtual desktop, the application configuration settings will be there when the application launches. If the user connects to a Horizon Air hosted application, the same settings also follow them, providing the consistent user experience that everyone wants.

Higher-Education Solution

VMware recently deployed Horizon Air with User Environment Manager for an institute of higher education. The main goal was to reduce the cost of a student desktop and applications, while retaining the student-customized environment. In the higher-education sector, students are tech savvy and they want to be able to log in from any device at any time while keeping the same look and feel for their applications. Students customize their application toolbars, change the personalized skins of their applications, add plug-ins, and so on. If a student had to reconfigure all of these settings every time they opened an application, they would stop using the solution.

The institute of higher education had already deployed Horizon Air using the virtual desktop functionality. Next, we added Horizon Air hosted applications to their environment and, then, within an hour, we added the VMware User Environment Manager solution, with everything configured to work together.

The result? The end users now have persistent application settings across their Horizon Air desktops, their Horizon Air hosted applications, and their physical desktops, all with the built-in functionality of User Environment Manager. Watch the video Horizon Air with UEM for a quick look at the consistent user experience across different login types.

Next Step for Horizon Air

VMware is looking at expanding the applicable use cases of Horizon Air and UEM with more End-User-Computing solutions. Predictable cost of a desktop, always on, and always reachable—these are qualities you find in Horizon Air. Keep checking the Horizon Air website often—a lot more announcements are coming in the future.

Every IT administrator wants the same thing—to manage only one configuration setting per application per user and not worry about the past jumble of user settings, which were considered exceptions. (All IT administrators want to avoid configuration sprawl!) With VMware User Environment Manager, personalized settings become a manageable norm.

For more information about VMware User Environment Manager, we encourage you to watch the training videos on our YouTube End-User-Computing Channel.

VMware User Environment Manager: Taking Horizon Air to the Next Level!

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für VMware User Environment Manager: Taking Horizon Air to the Next Level!
Jun 302015
 
By Stephane Asselin, Senior Architect, End-User-Computing Technical Enablement, VMware Customers are using VMware Horizon Air with great success to drive down the total cost of ownership (TCO) for desktops by providing their end users with a virtual desktop. A recent addition to Horizon Air is the inclusion of hosted applications, which means that users through […]]> By Stephane Asselin, Senior Architect, End-User-Computing Technical Enablement, VMware

Customers are using VMware Horizon Air with great success to drive down the total cost of ownership (TCO) for desktops by providing their end users with a virtual desktop. A recent addition to Horizon Air is the inclusion of hosted applications, which means that users through their Horizon Air Web portals can now choose a virtual desktop or a published application. Also, with the VMware acquisition of Immidio, IT administrators can now use VMware User Environment Manager (formerly called Flex+) to deliver persistence to a nonpersistent desktop environment.

What UEM Adds to Horizon Air

Using a smartphone, tablet, Mac, or PC, a user logs in once to Horizon Air, and then can use the desktops and applications there without additional logins to VPN or other security mechanisms. In the screenshot that follows, you can see that the end user who is logged in to the Horizon Air Desktop Portal has access to three hosted applications and one virtual desktop.

With VMware UEM, end users can retain their personal configurations and settings across physical, virtual, and cloud-based environments, including Horizon Air. This capability also extends to hosted or published application solutions such as Horizon Air hosted applications and Citrix XenApp published applications.

The IT administrator stores the user’s Windows and application configurations and settings outside of the user session. This enables the settings to follow the end user wherever they go. If the end user logs in to a virtual desktop, the application configuration settings will be there when the application launches. If the user connects to a Horizon Air hosted application, the same settings also follow them, providing the consistent user experience that everyone wants.

Higher-Education Solution

VMware recently deployed Horizon Air with User Environment Manager for an institute of higher education. The main goal was to reduce the cost of a student desktop and applications, while retaining the student-customized environment. In the higher-education sector, students are tech savvy and they want to be able to log in from any device at any time while keeping the same look and feel for their applications. Students customize their application toolbars, change the personalized skins of their applications, add plug-ins, and so on. If a student had to reconfigure all of these settings every time they opened an application, they would stop using the solution.

The institute of higher education had already deployed Horizon Air using the virtual desktop functionality. Next, we added Horizon Air hosted applications to their environment and, then, within an hour, we added the VMware User Environment Manager solution, with everything configured to work together.

The result? The end users now have persistent application settings across their Horizon Air desktops, their Horizon Air hosted applications, and their physical desktops, all with the built-in functionality of User Environment Manager. Watch the video Horizon Air with UEM for a quick look at the consistent user experience across different login types.

Next Step for Horizon Air

VMware is looking at expanding the applicable use cases of Horizon Air and UEM with more End-User-Computing solutions. Predictable cost of a desktop, always on, and always reachable—these are qualities you find in Horizon Air. Keep checking the Horizon Air website often—a lot more announcements are coming in the future.

Every IT administrator wants the same thing—to manage only one configuration setting per application per user and not worry about the past jumble of user settings, which were considered exceptions. (All IT administrators want to avoid configuration sprawl!) With VMware User Environment Manager, personalized settings become a manageable norm.

For more information about VMware User Environment Manager, we encourage you to watch the training videos on our YouTube End-User-Computing Channel.

Uncover 5 Powerful Tips to Improve Your Partner Marketing

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Uncover 5 Powerful Tips to Improve Your Partner Marketing
Jun 302015
 
As seen on The VAR Guy: From Sherlock Holmes’ age-old tales of intrigue to today’s fascination with television dramas like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, we are drawn to solving mysteries – of following the clues to determine, “Who Done It.” We’ve also seen this love affair of detective work spill over into the tech space. […]]> As seen on The VAR Guy:

From Sherlock Holmes’ age-old tales of intrigue to today’s fascination with television dramas like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, we are drawn to solving mysteries – of following the clues to determine, “Who Done It.” We’ve also seen this love affair of detective work spill over into the tech space. When customers are choosing a vendor, they are following online bread crumbs to see if you are the right partner for them. They scour your website, blog, LinkedIn profiles, and even customer reviews. In fact, according to a 2014 study of B2B commerce, 94% of buyers do research online before making their purchasing decision. The study also revealed that 71% of B2B buyers prefer to conduct research on their own – without ever meeting a sales representative. These staggering statistics reinforce the need to ramp up and promote your business across the channel.

So, are you leaving the right bread crumbs for your customers?

Here are 5 powerful tips to improve your online marketing:

  1. Evaluate your brand. With so many vendors to choose from, potential customers will surely be weighing your brand, services, and support against the competition. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Would you want to do business with you? Why or why not? What brand decisions or online improvements could you make to ensure that your prospects decide they want to reach out to you? Is your site too busy or too blank? Make sure it’s designed with your potential customer in mind.
  2. Put your best foot forward on social media. LinkedIn is largely accepted in B2B as the go-to place for first impressions. So, if you’re meeting with a customer for the first time, chances are good that they’re going to look at your profile before your meeting. Keep that in mind and view your profile with a critical eye. Make sure you, your executives and sales team have a professional headshot, updated/edited profile links, complete contact information (IE Skype and Twitter), as well as short descriptions with keywords for each of your past positions. People are always looking for things you have in common, so the more you tell them, the more opportunities for discussion topics. Make sure that these same underlying principles are applied with 100% consistency across social media -- from your Twitter profile, website, Facebook page, Google+ account, and YouTube channel.
  3. Rally the troops. Getting your employees involved is a great way to cast a wider marketing net. Encourage employees to update their profiles and write blogs on topics that matter to them. You can also create content on a weekly or monthly basis for your employees to post out across their social sites. This way, you have a unified message that has a much further reach. Just think of the possible retweets and click-throughs you can generate. Did you know that Google monitors this newfound traction and gives you higher search ranking as a result? Ultimately, employee involvement can be the key to making your company significantly easier to find online.
  4. Make your website a lead generating machine
    All of your marketing activities, whether it’s an email campaign or a post on LinkedIn, should highlight your business and give a clear route via links to your website. But, is your website ready for those visits? In order to make your website a lead generation machine, you need to ensure that when prospects arrive they intrinsically know how to navigate your site, understand how you can solve their pain points and, finally, quickly see how to contact you. Also, today’s B2B consumers are tired of stock photography on vendor sites; they’d much rather see the real people they’ll be working with. It’s a little detail, but it can impact their evaluation of your site and your company.
  5. Continue to leave bread crumbs to gated content
    Use gated content (white papers, e-Books or videos) in exchange for visitors giving you their email address and contact information. Gating some of your information will allow you to capture user data. You can then use that data to generate demand with lead nurturing newsletters and other email correspondence. Through our Partner Demand Center, VMware partners can use highly-customizable email campaigns with landing pages for demand gen while also driving traffic to their site. And, through website content syndication, partners can use high quality assets as additional sources of gated content for capturing emails or free product trials to generate leads. Just think of the time these resources can save your company.

Feel like there are still more clues to discover? VMware has partnered with Channel Maven Consulting to create 15 bite-sized videos to help you navigate your social demand roadmap. Visit the Marketing Resources section of the Partner Demand Center to view these insightful videos, learn marketing best practices and download toolkits to help build your business.

The VMware Partner Network Team

Uncover 5 Powerful Tips to Improve Your Partner Marketing

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Uncover 5 Powerful Tips to Improve Your Partner Marketing
Jun 302015
 
As seen on The VAR Guy: From Sherlock Holmes’ age-old tales of intrigue to today’s fascination with television dramas like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, we are drawn to solving mysteries – of following the clues to determine, “Who Done It.” We’ve also seen this love affair of detective work spill over into the tech space. […]]> As seen on The VAR Guy:

From Sherlock Holmes’ age-old tales of intrigue to today’s fascination with television dramas like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, we are drawn to solving mysteries – of following the clues to determine, “Who Done It.” We’ve also seen this love affair of detective work spill over into the tech space. When customers are choosing a vendor, they are following online bread crumbs to see if you are the right partner for them. They scour your website, blog, LinkedIn profiles, and even customer reviews. In fact, according to a 2014 study of B2B commerce, 94% of buyers do research online before making their purchasing decision. The study also revealed that 71% of B2B buyers prefer to conduct research on their own – without ever meeting a sales representative. These staggering statistics reinforce the need to ramp up and promote your business across the channel.

So, are you leaving the right bread crumbs for your customers?

Here are 5 powerful tips to improve your online marketing:

  1. Evaluate your brand. With so many vendors to choose from, potential customers will surely be weighing your brand, services, and support against the competition. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Would you want to do business with you? Why or why not? What brand decisions or online improvements could you make to ensure that your prospects decide they want to reach out to you? Is your site too busy or too blank? Make sure it’s designed with your potential customer in mind.
  2. Put your best foot forward on social media. LinkedIn is largely accepted in B2B as the go-to place for first impressions. So, if you’re meeting with a customer for the first time, chances are good that they’re going to look at your profile before your meeting. Keep that in mind and view your profile with a critical eye. Make sure you, your executives and sales team have a professional headshot, updated/edited profile links, complete contact information (IE Skype and Twitter), as well as short descriptions with keywords for each of your past positions. People are always looking for things you have in common, so the more you tell them, the more opportunities for discussion topics. Make sure that these same underlying principles are applied with 100% consistency across social media -- from your Twitter profile, website, Facebook page, Google+ account, and YouTube channel.
  3. Rally the troops. Getting your employees involved is a great way to cast a wider marketing net. Encourage employees to update their profiles and write blogs on topics that matter to them. You can also create content on a weekly or monthly basis for your employees to post out across their social sites. This way, you have a unified message that has a much further reach. Just think of the possible retweets and click-throughs you can generate. Did you know that Google monitors this newfound traction and gives you higher search ranking as a result? Ultimately, employee involvement can be the key to making your company significantly easier to find online.
  4. Make your website a lead generating machine
    All of your marketing activities, whether it’s an email campaign or a post on LinkedIn, should highlight your business and give a clear route via links to your website. But, is your website ready for those visits? In order to make your website a lead generation machine, you need to ensure that when prospects arrive they intrinsically know how to navigate your site, understand how you can solve their pain points and, finally, quickly see how to contact you. Also, today’s B2B consumers are tired of stock photography on vendor sites; they’d much rather see the real people they’ll be working with. It’s a little detail, but it can impact their evaluation of your site and your company.
  5. Continue to leave bread crumbs to gated content
    Use gated content (white papers, e-Books or videos) in exchange for visitors giving you their email address and contact information. Gating some of your information will allow you to capture user data. You can then use that data to generate demand with lead nurturing newsletters and other email correspondence. Through our Partner Demand Center, VMware partners can use highly-customizable email campaigns with landing pages for demand gen while also driving traffic to their site. And, through website content syndication, partners can use high quality assets as additional sources of gated content for capturing emails or free product trials to generate leads. Just think of the time these resources can save your company.

Feel like there are still more clues to discover? VMware has partnered with Channel Maven Consulting to create 15 bite-sized videos to help you navigate your social demand roadmap. Visit the Marketing Resources section of the Partner Demand Center to view these insightful videos, learn marketing best practices and download toolkits to help build your business.

The VMware Partner Network Team

How vRealize Suite can accelerate your career

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für How vRealize Suite can accelerate your career
Jun 302015
 
The benefits experienced by deploying vRealize Suite are widely acknowledged. We decided to go the extra mile to get a better understanding of what our customers truly think of our product. We conducted focused interviews followed by an in-depth analysis. This gave us a pulse of what benefits our customers derive from these products and […]]> http://blogs.vmware.com/management/2015/06/vrealize-suite-can-accelerate-career.html/feed 0 Capacity Management in SDDC – Part 9 http://blogs.vmware.com/management/2015/06/capacity-management-sddc-part-9.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=capacity-management-sddc-part-9 http://blogs.vmware.com/management/2015/06/capacity-management-sddc-part-9.html#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 13:00:32 +0000

How vRealize Suite can accelerate your career

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für How vRealize Suite can accelerate your career
Jun 302015
 
The benefits experienced by deploying vRealize Suite are widely acknowledged. We decided to go the extra mile to get a better understanding of what our customers truly think of our product. We conducted focused interviews followed by an in-depth analysis. This gave us a pulse of what benefits our customers derive from these products and […]]> http://blogs.vmware.com/management/2015/06/vrealize-suite-can-accelerate-career.html/feed 0 Capacity Management in SDDC – Part 9 http://blogs.vmware.com/management/2015/06/capacity-management-sddc-part-9.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=capacity-management-sddc-part-9 http://blogs.vmware.com/management/2015/06/capacity-management-sddc-part-9.html#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 13:00:32 +0000

New Videos Added to the VMware Learning Zone

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für New Videos Added to the VMware Learning Zone
Jun 302015
 

Interested in learning about how Virtual Volumes is revolutionizing the storage industry? Join us for the next installment of the ViewPoint Webinar Series, A Technical Overview of Virtual Volumes, on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. ET.

During this webinar, Joe Cooper, VMware Technical Instructor will explain how Virtual Volumes:

  • Simplifies Storage Operations
  • Simplifies Delivery of Service Levels
  • Improves Resource Utilization
  • Enables application-centric storage automation.
  • Allows the requirements of your application to control demands for storage resources.

Webinar Details
A Technical Overview of Virtual Volumes
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
8:00 a.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. ET

Featured Speaker
Joe Cooper
Technical Instructor at VMware
Register today

The free ViewPoint Webinar Series connects you with VMware experts and is a great addition to your VMware training. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from VMware Certified Instructors and find out how VMware training can extend your expertise.

New Videos Added to the VMware Learning Zone

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für New Videos Added to the VMware Learning Zone
Jun 302015
 

Interested in learning about how Virtual Volumes is revolutionizing the storage industry? Join us for the next installment of the ViewPoint Webinar Series, A Technical Overview of Virtual Volumes, on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. ET.

During this webinar, Joe Cooper, VMware Technical Instructor will explain how Virtual Volumes:

  • Simplifies Storage Operations
  • Simplifies Delivery of Service Levels
  • Improves Resource Utilization
  • Enables application-centric storage automation.
  • Allows the requirements of your application to control demands for storage resources.

Webinar Details
A Technical Overview of Virtual Volumes
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
8:00 a.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. ET

Featured Speaker
Joe Cooper
Technical Instructor at VMware
Register today

The free ViewPoint Webinar Series connects you with VMware experts and is a great addition to your VMware training. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from VMware Certified Instructors and find out how VMware training can extend your expertise.

Encrypting VSAN VMs with HyTrust

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Encrypting VSAN VMs with HyTrust
Jun 302015
 
For more than a few IT shops, data-at-rest encryption is mandatory for many of their workloads. It's one of those things that just isn't up for discussion. While VSAN currently supports hardware encryption that's largely transparent to VSAN (or anything else that uses an internal storage device), many customers have expressed a desire for a […]]> http://blogs.vmware.com/storage/2015/06/30/encrypting-vsan-vms-hytrust/feed/ 0 Virtual Volumes Overview Video http://blogs.vmware.com/storage/2015/06/29/virtual-volumes-overview-video/ http://blogs.vmware.com/storage/2015/06/29/virtual-volumes-overview-video/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 17:55:49 +0000