NetApp extends ties; remains selective

NetApp extends ties; remains selective

Although it is extending relationships with more channel players locally and has fleshed out its partner programme, Network Appliance is not yet ready to establish a broad reseller base here.

In the past six months, the data management vendor appointed Revera as a second tier-one direct partner, alongside Infinity Solutions, which has been on board for 10 years. It has also established links with IBM partners, who can now sell NetApp products branded as IBM’s N-Series, following an OEM agreement signed between the two vendors last year.

However, recently-appointed partner director for Australia and New Zealand Scott Morris says the company will cement these relationships before establishing any new ones.

“Our focus is on a small number of direct tier-one partners to take NetApp-branded products to market and we are looking at establishing very strong relationships with IBM distributors and key IBM resellers,” says Morris.

While acknowledging that NetApp would look at developing a value-added distributor model locally, as it did in Australia last year, Morris says this is still some way down the track. “We are a good six months away from having to hit those discussions in earnest.”

Such a model would enable the company to gain access to the mid-market, says Morris.

The company meanwhile held its second Australia/New Zealand partner summit last month, attracting a strong local contingent, including representatives from the IBM channel, such as Valued Added Distributors, says Morris.

“Attendance at the summit was up 60 percent over last year.”

Last year’s event was used as a defining process to bring an emerging set of partners into the company VIP partner programme, says Morris.

Company president Tom Mendoza attended the event and spoke of the importance of partnerships to NetApp and offered personal thoughts on striving for continued improvement, says Morris. “Partners were able to hear leadership coaching from someone who has the capability to give guidance on how to be successful. They left the presentation highly motivated.”

The company also held its inaugural partner awards with Infinity Solutions scooping the New Zealand reseller of the year prize.

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