NetApp shifts to broadly-skilled partner base

NetApp shifts to broadly-skilled partner base

In growing its indirect business, NetApp is increasingly seeking partners that can offer broad, storage-based offerings to customers.

On a recent visit to Australia, vice president of global channel sales Julie Parrish said customer buying habits had changed its view of the skills required of partners.

“Companies are looking at virtualisation, datacentre consolidation and the public and private cloud,” says Parrish. “They have to consolidate neworks, servers and virtualisation software, and partners have become really key in how they pull those together and present a whole solution to customers.”

ANZ channel sales and marketing director Todd Parsons says local partners need to have this broad skill set.

“We are seeing a lot of success among partners that provide the stack inside the datacentre and more of that stack. The type of partners that are growing the fastest with us and being the most active are building the business around that play, especially with key alliance partners such as Cisco, VMware and Citrix.”

NetApp’s indirect business globally has grown in the past 18 months to 70 percent indirect and 30 percent direct, Parrish says. She expects this will remain at the current proportions, because some companies use such a large amount of Netapp technology that they prefer to deal directly with the vendor.

Parsons says the New Zealand channel base is a lot smaller than it is in Australia but adds NetApp is always open to partners.

However, he says its strategy is to be selective so that the company is building business for active, existing partners.

“We want to work with those who want to commit to us and skill up along with that. We have rationalised our channel to focus on partners that want to make a commitment.”

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