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NetApp focusing partners on cloud and flash

Launch of partner programme that rewards expertise in those areas offers support and co-selling options to the channel

NetApp is aiming to get its channel base in a position where they can support customers looking to adopt more flash and cloud-based data management tools.

The vendor has cut the ribbon on its Partner Sphere programme, which encourages greater collaboration and support to drive flash revenues, cloud adoption and promote the services and capabilities that the channel can deliver.

NetApp is giving the channel flexibility to move between different models – sell to, sell through and sell with – to make sure it can pick up those that otherwise might have shied away from pitching.

“We view partnership as a power play and, with the Partner Sphere programme, NetApp is redefining how we work with partners to create real competitive advantage and drive appreciable business outcomes for both our partners and our customers,” said Jenni Flinders, senior vice-president of worldwide partner organisation at NetApp.

“Our new engagement models and tiering system incentivise and accelerate our partners’ reach in flash and cloud with reciprocal value that increases as partners move up programme tiers,” she added.

The nuts and the bolts of the programme include 11 services certified tracks and 19 solution competencies aligned to three key focus areas that will put partners in a position to confidently support cloud and flash demands from users.

That decision to lean on competencies and reward those that have invested was welcomed by Bob Olwig, executive vice-president of global partner alliance at World Wide Technology.

“NetApp’s transformation to a solution competency-led program demonstrates their commitment to providing customer-focused outcomes. It aligns extremely well with WWT’s engagement approach to provide best-of-breed solutions and services offerings, holistically focused on data management simplicity and security,” he said.

The offer of more support driving campaigns and co-selling was also welcomed by Matt Collins, vice-president of strategic alliances at Insight.

“With a keen understanding of Insight’s business objectives and priorities, the NetApp Partner team continuously strives to improve relevance, develop internal and external relationships, and create joint offerings with Insight to meet the needs of our collective clients.

“Together, we share a constant desire to “lean in” to emerging technologies that offer a unique and differentiated view; from as-a-service, to integrated multi-hybrid cloud first, to leveraging artificial intelligence across the industry landscape, the desire to create and execute campaigns to raise awareness and deliver projects is a constant that cannot be overstated,” he said.

NetApp’s UK channel boss talked earlier this year of an ambition to take market share with its channel and increase the business.

Speaking back in April, NetApp channel lead for the UK and Ireland, Sonya Mathieu, said that there were opportunities its partners could target.

“We and our channel partners are going through a massive transformation when we’re looking at changing our business models or adapting to the massive demand and opportunity in public cloud,” she said.

“NetApp is ruthlessly focused, and I am ruthlessly focused, on taking market share, and doing that by leveraging our partners’ capability and meeting our partners, as well as our customers, wherever they are on the journey,” she added.

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