Jakub Jirsk - Fotolia
NetApp is looking to provide more support for its channel with services and vertical market assistance as its partner base continues to evolve away from relying on hardware sales.
The storage firm has outlined plans to increase the number of programmes that it can offer to partners that are looking for guidance from the vendor.
Alfred Manhart, head of EMEA Channel at NetApp, said that the landscape had changed and it was continuing to react to make sure it could help partners.
"Hardware sales created the bulk of the revenue in the millennium’s first decade. Today, our partners’ business success is dictated by the services they provide. So the value creation rests no more with resellers and distributors only. Instead, we see a more complex setup of different partners collectively serving customers in a given vertical, delivering consulting, applications, infrastructure, co-location services, and management/hosting. We are building programs and partner expertise to help the channel tackle this complexity," he said.
"Another thing we are committed to is accelerating time to market. Speed, especially for building and rolling out applications, is a key differentiator for flash vendors. It’s a great value message that partners can sell to ISVs and innovation-minded customers," he added.
The focus for this year from NetApp is very much around cloud and flash but there are also plans for more of a services push in the next round of channel partner updates.
"Looking further ahead we traditionally launch a significant portion of our channel updates in August at the beginning of our fiscal year Q2. These updates will reflect the channel shifting towards services. The challenge is to bring in partners and enable them to deliver value and contribute revenue in a time of increasing project complexity. We want to lead this behavioral change towards the modern way of doing channel business," said Manhart.
The other opportunity for the channel should be around the impact of the SolidFire acquisition, which was announced at the tail end of last year. Manhart expects the addition of the flash storage player will lead to business for resellers.
"We see the acquisition of SolidFire as a huge opportunity for NetApp and our channel in the coming year, especially with SP and advanced enterprise customers. SolidFire’s scale-out block storage has unique characteristics that accelerate automation, DevOps, or web-based business models. It really is a next-gen solution that benefits current and future channel partners looking to offer “webscale cloud provider”-type services," he added.