Remote Instructor Led Virtual VMware Training

ESXLab Aftermarket VMware vSphere Training

Sales Play Book

Download this document in PDF or MS Word format:

 ESXLab VMware vSphere Training Sales Play Book (PDF format)
 ESXLab VMware vSphere Training Sales Play Book (MSWord format)


In this document, I explain how:

  • Official and aftermarket VMware vSphere 8.0 training differ
  • To tell if a customer needs authorized VMware training (most don’t!)
  • The majority of your customers would benefit from aftermarket VMware vSphere training
  • To qualify and sell aftermarket ESXLab VMware vSphere training against official VMware vSphere classes
  • To book and run ESXLab vSphere training at your center

Working With VMware

VMware can be a challenging company to work with because VMware:

  • Only works with a small number of VMware Authorized Training Center (VATC) delivery partners to deliver official VMware training
  • Uses a revenue sharing training costing model that reduces your margins
  • Doesn’t allow partners to run intermediate to advanced VMware classes
  • Will not do custom deliveries (e.g.: a 10-day, 4hr/day class)
  • Will not develop custom content to meet a specific client need
  • Offers lower margin seat sales for online delivery classes
  • Markets directly to your customers
  • Promote additional VMware products / services to your attendees during class

In November 2023, VMware was purchased by Broadcom. The new owner immediately started cutting staff, and raising prices… causing disruptions their operations.

Third Party VMware vSphere Training

The answer to these challenges is third party vSphere training from ESXLab. We have been the VMware vSphere training alternative since 2008. We offer:

  • VMware vSphere 5-day 8hr/day and 5-day 10hr/day boot camp training courses
  • High quality VMware vSphere course books and turnkey hands-on lab rentals
  • 50% reseller margins on seat sales into regularly run online live classes
  • <50+% gross margins when you run classes of 5+ attendees using our ebooks and labs
  • 10hr/day boot camp students receive our 760+pg Study Guide and 260+pg Lab Guide
  • 5-day, 8hr/day students receive our 640+pg Study Guide and 210+pg Lab Guide
  • Students get lifetime access to recorded lectures and hands-on lab demo videos
  • Attendees receive a course completion certificate to acknowledge their achievement

Qualifying VMware vSphere Training Prospects

Key Questions to Quickly Qualify a Prospect

Use these questions to help qualify your prospect for VMware vSphere training:

  • Do you use VMware vSphere in your organization, or are you planning to install it in the near future?
  • Are you planning to migrate from Microsoft Hyper-V or Nutanix to VMware?
  • Do you or your team need to skill up to effectively install / run VMware vSphere?
  • VMware vSphere is expensive. Are you certain that you have deployed it and are using it to maximize your ROI?
    If not, wouldn’t it make sense to train up your team to maximize your ROI?
  • Are you planning to upgrade your VMware vSphere installation over the next 3-6 months?
    If so, is your team prepared to take on the challenges of upgrading vSphere?
  • Have you recently lost skilled vSphere administrators?
    If so, wouldn’t it make sense to train up your remaining people to help take on more responsibility?
  • Are you attending training so that you can get VMware certified?

Does Your Prospect Need Official VMware vSphere Training?

Only people who need to achieve VMware Certified Professional – Datacenter Certification (VCP-DCV) are required to attend 5-day official VMware vSphere training. VMware Technical Associate – Datacenter Virtualization (VMTA-DCV) certification candidates, and people who are not interested in certification, do not need to attend official training.

VCP-DCV certification is usually required only for:

  • VMware resellers as a VMware technical resource. Resellers must keep VMware Certified Professionals (VCP-DCV) on staff
  • Organizations with a large VMware installation, where their VMware support contract requires that they have VMware Certified Professionals on staff
  • Independent VMware vSphere technical consultants

Before selling ESXLab aftermarket VMware vSphere training, ask your prospect if they require VMware VCP-DCV certification. If they do, sell them VMware authorized training.

If not, introduce them to ESXLab VMware vSphere aftermarket training.

ESXLab VMware Training Courses

ESXLab offers the following courses targeted at VMware’s most popular vSphere classes:

VMware vSphere 8.0 with ESXi and vCenter (sell against VMware vSphere 8.0 Install, Configure, Manage (ICM))
VMware vSphere 7.0 with ESXi and vCenter (sell against VMware vSphere 7.0 ICM)
VMware vSphere 8.0 Boot Camp (sell against VMware vSphere 8.0 Fast Track
VMware vSphere 7.0 Boot Camp (sell against VMware vSphere 7.0 Fast Track

Click the links for course outlines and to compare official and aftermarket per-seat prices.

We also offer VMware vSphere 6.7 and vSphere 6.5 classes on demand.

Benefits of ESXLab Training for Your Business

  • Much higher margins. ESXLab vSphere training delivers at least 50% margins in all of our training options. For large, dedicated classes, margins can exceed 60%
  • Our suggested prices are at least 15% lower than VMware comparable courses
  • All you need is an instructor, attendees, a room, PCs and a quality Internet connection, because we do everything else
  • Save money by using staff instructors or local contract instructors
  • ESXLab can lead your class (both on site or remote)
  • We offer free contract instructor referrals (no need to use a training broker)
  • Priority support for your class while it is running
  • Free instructor course books and presentation materials
  • Free instructor lab rentals before and during your course (for practice & demo)
  • No charge for student cancellations
  • No charge if you have to reschedule your course at the last minute
  • Add attendees anytime right up to the morning your class starts

Benefits of ESXLab Training for Your Customers

  • Objective, 3rd party VMware vSphere training.
    We don’t try to sell licenses, consulting or add on products. Our only goal is to help students build expertise with vSphere
  • Course books are distributed in PDF format without DRM. Our course ebooks can be viewed on any device with a PDF viewer including any tablet or smartphone
  • Students get dedicated remote labs available 24hrs/day during your class
  • Students get free lifetime access to professionally recorded lectures

Candidates for Aftermarket / Grey Market VMware vSphere Training

Any VMware training not offered by VMware or a VMware partner is aftermarket / gray market training – including ours. ESXLab VMware training is ideally suited to anyone who:

  • Prefers to do business with their local training provider
  • Needs vSphere knowledge / skill but does not want to get certified
  • Values the objective, independent training
  • May not be able to travel to attend authorized VMware training
  • Values free lifetime access to recorded lectures for post-class review
  • Cannot afford high-cost official VMware training
  • Has already earned VMware certification and simply wants to upgrade their skills

Essentially, anyone who does not intend to achieve VMware certification is a great candidate for aftermarket VMware vSphere training.

Good prospects for ESXLab VMware training include:

  • Long service employees who have no wish to change jobs
  • Managers who want their staff trained but who don’t want to take on the salary and retention risks of paying for employees to become VMware certified out of concern that the newly certified employee will shop their skills on the job market
  • Customers who ask for VMware official training but are put off by the price

Typical Prospect Job Titles

People with the following job titles are great candidates for ESXLab vSphere training:

  • Infrastructure Engineer / Administrator
  • IT Administrator
  • Network Engineer / Administrator
  • Windows or Linux Administrator
  • Storage Administrator
  • Windows / Linux Operator
  • Team Leads or Managers for any of the above

Essentially anyone who currently works with or will be moving into a job with VMware vSphere administrator or operations responsibilities is a great prospect for training.

Prospect Discovery / Qualification Questions

Here are some questions to ask your prospect about their current / future VMware vSphere training requirements:

  • Do you work with VMware vSphere?
  • Do you expect to be working with VMware vSphere in the future due to a promotion or your taking on new responsibilities?
  • Would having VMware vSphere skills help your career?
  • If you work with vSphere, what version to you have now (the latest version is 8.0)?
  • If you work with an older version of vSphere, do you intend to upgrade?
  • If you will be upgrading, would you like training on new vSphere features and how to perform upgrades?
  • Do you work with an older vSphere version?
    Would you benefit from a class that shows you how quickly upgrade your skills so that you can administer vSphere 8.0?
  • Do you think your organization is taking advantage of all of the features and capabilities of vSphere. If not, would training help you deliver more value?
  • How many people in your organization work with vSphere?
  • When was the last time any of them received vSphere training?
  • If we could offer a custom delivery over ½ days for 2-weeks instead of full day training for 5-days, would that make it easier to get approval for a class
  • What vSphere challenges do you face that training would help you overcome?
  • Would having conversations during training with our vSphere instructor about best practices, scalability, performance, design, etc. be beneficial to you or your team?
  • Would having lifetime access to recorded lectures and hands-on lab demo videos after training help your people retain and more effectively apply their new knowledge and skills
  • What specific objectives would you like to have met in your VMware vSphere training class?
  • What skills would you expect to acquire in your class that would benefit you in your job?

ESXLab vSphere Delivery Options

There are 3 different ways that you can offer ESXLab training to your clients:

  1. Run a dedicated class with a local employee / contract instructor
  2. Run a dedicated class with the course author or an experienced contract instructor
  3. Sell seats into our scheduled VMware vSphere 8.0 Online Live Instructor Led training

Option 1 – How to run a dedicated local VMware vSphere 8.0 class

Earn 50+% gross margins by running 5-day VMware vSphere training at your training center. Complete these steps to get your class booked:

  • Contact ESXLab and inform us of your opportunity. We will help you to close your deal and we will protect your opportunity should your prospect shop your bid
  • Download / edit / share our outlines with your client (using links in this document)
  • E-mail us with your preferred dates so we can confirm lab availability.
    We will also confirm pricing with you for course ebooks and dedicated remote labs
  • Instructors who have never run one of our classes must run through our labs at least once (mandatory) before your class runs. To assist, we will give them free course books / lab time
  • The week before the class, send us your class roster and we’ll send out ebooks and release labs to your instructor

Option 2 – Free instructor referrals for your dedicated vSphere 8.0 class

If you don’t have anyone local to lead your class? Hire the course author or get free experienced contract technical referrals to lead your class (and save money on broker fees)

  • Let us know your preferred dates
  • We’ll reach out to our team to see who is available and will let you know
  • You work directly with the contractor for fees and expenses

Option 3 – Sell seats in our upcoming Online Live VMware vSphere 8.0 classes

If you have fewer than 4 people who need training, sell them seats in our regularly scheduled VMware vSphere 8.0 Online Live, Guaranteed to Run (OLL GTR) training events. We offer both 5-day 8hr/day and 10hr boot camp online live classes.

  • To view our OLL GTR schedule, please visit
  • Your partner price is 50% of the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) posted on our site
  • E-mail us with your attendee details to confirm your seat

About ESXLab

ESXLab specializes in developing and supporting high-quality, objective VMware vSphere training. We have been offering aftermarket VMware courses since 2008. We launched our business after working as contractors to VMware (between 2004 – 2007 and again in 2012). ESXLab is lead by Larry Karnis, ESXLab’s senior IT Infrastructure consultant and trainer. He has taught over 400 technical courses for Learning Tree, Global Knowledge, ProTech, New Horizons, VMware, HPE and RedHat.

Larry leads a team of skilled professionals who develop maintain VMware vSphere courseware and remote labs. ESXLab courseware is completely original and developed with one goal in mind – To provide our customers with the best possible learning experience.

ESXLab has run courses for governments, military and businesses of all sizes. ESXLab training is available through our network of training center partners.

ESXLab Infrastructure

ESXLab has made significant investments in hardware, software, VMware licenses and datacenter space to ensure your class runs flawlessly. We offer:

  • Dedicated (not shared) access to infrastructure servers capable of supporting 100+ concurrent students per week
  • Highly redundant and generously configured servers
  • Server hosting is done at our datacenter partner. Our datacenter has fully redundant power, cooling, networking to ensure no interruptions to your class
  • 24hr/day infrastructure monitoring
  • Live support via our ticketing system and phone support

For more information or to get started with ESXLab vSphere training, please contact:

Larry Karnis
ESXLab President and Senior Instructor



(905) 451-9488

Toll Free:

(888) 451-3131


(416) 890-8191


Training Center – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use my employee instructors?<

Yes. If you have a technically strong employee instructors, we can help them develop the expertise needed to teach VMware virtualization. Experienced Windows, Linux, Hyper-V or Citrix Xen Server instructors make great VMware trainers.

Q: Can I get free contract instructors referrals?

Yes. We have a pool of talented, experienced and high scoring contract instructors. We provide free instructor referrals or sub-contract instructors as you prefer.

Q: Is there a minimum number of students needed to run a class?

No. You can run a class of any size. Typically classes using our content and labs break even at about 3 attendees and generate 50%+ profits at about 5+ attendees

Q: What is the best way to ensure that a class is financially successful?

Put the class on your public calendar. Once you have 3+ confirmed students, upgrade the class to Guaranteed-to-Run and then promote it to other customers who have expressed interest in attending a VMware class or who run vSphere at their workplace.

Q: What is the largest class you can run?

16 attendees. We have run classes of up to 24 students. However, we recommend classes of no more than 16 people to insure that students get the personalized attention they deserve.

1ICM – Refers to official VMware vSphere Install, Configure, Manage courses (any version)

Last modified: 2023-12-18, 10:46

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