NetApp motivating wider portfolio adoption

Data management player keen for partners to take on more products and sell solutions that tap into customer digital transformation needs

NetApp is continuing to push partners towards selling more of its data fabric philosophy, using incentives and a revised channel programme to get more in line with that approach.

The firm has been transitioning its own business and now no longer describes itself as simply a ‘storage player’ and is going back to its channel and encouraging them to expand the portfolio they sell.

Darren Neath, channel sales manager at NetApp, said that the vendor had recently updated its partner programme and portal and was incentivising partners to take a different approach.

“I think our biggest opportunity is really around scaling our business. We've gone through and continue to go through repivoting on our portfolio,” he added “We encourage our partners to have that conversation with customers around what is their data strategy and data platform, we're not about swapping out infrastructure to create new siloes.”

“We have a really big installed base over the years served by our partner community and we want to go and revisit that installed base in terms of technical refresh opportunities and the new portfolio. So it is about expanding the portfolio into that installed base,” he said.

“Secondly it is also around customer acquisition and we have invested in a significant number of heads in our end user teams but we are also backing that up with incentivising our channel partners as well in terms of driving customer acquisition,” he added.

Some of the improvements in the channel programme have included claimless rebates, to make sure resellers do not miss out on funds, as well as trying to make it easier for resellers to get in a position to meet customer needs around digital transformation.

“We've introduced new training and certification, with the partner ecosystem. So what's new for this year, training enablement such as as a service, including backup as a service and DR as a service. It’s about how we enable our partners to have much more of that business transformation conversation and that more holistic engagement,” he said.

“When I think about how do we scale out in channel, one of the main concerns, if not the number one objective with CIO is around digital transformation. I think the importance of a channel there is to continue to drive more business solutions that drive more business outcomes,” he added.

Neath is also keen to underline the alliances that it has formed as part of its ecosystem and make them deliver tangible benefits for partners.

“We are looking at what the partner landscape has to offer partners these joint solutions,” he added “it’s absolutely about a -portfolio sale and not about driving more silo sales.”

As well as working with the large hyperscalers on the cloud front the firm also has relationships with other players in the storage and data management world, including the likes of Veeam and Commvault.

“Veeam’s partnership with NetApp is incredibly strategic because it helps both sides learn from each other’s expertise, get mutual access to wider markets and develop more integrated products and services,” said Greg Bailey, head of channel UK&I at Veeam.

“Looking ahead, investing and working with partners like NetApp will continue to be a real priority for us. We know that we are stronger together, and that fostering a partner ecosystem which rewards the mutual strengths of others is critical to achieving our own mission as a channel-focused business,” he added.

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