Reseller News

NetApp drives growth through education

The New Zealand channel is already getting behind NetApp’s efforts to upskill its partners for growth.

At its third annual partner summit across the Tasman last month, Australia and New Zealand managing director Peter O’Connor told attendees that NetApp aims to build on the 80 percent growth in the region last year by growing 50 percent this year. The company also wants to build on its number-two market share position.

“I believe this [growth] will take us to the number-one position. In six months NetApp will be the biggest storage vendor in this part of the world,” he predicts.

Trans-Tasman channel director Scott Morris says a key part of the growth will be increased training of technical and sales staff among its partner base.

The company has already trained 200 channel individuals in Australia and New Zealand and aims to double this in the coming 12 months. It also wants to have five partners from the region certified to deliver services under the recently-launched Authorised Professional Service Partner (APSP) programme.

One Australian partner has already achieved certification, with Morris saying New Zealand partners have already begun APSP training and other upskilling under the expansion of NetApp’s free training.

Kiwi partners represented at the summit were Fujitsu, Gen-i, Datacom and distributor VAD.

Other channel growth measures include increased focus on lead generation, an up-front discount for deal registration and greater emphasis on business planning between vendor and partner.

NetApp may also provide about two-thirds of a partner’s market development funds, given in advance rather than after deals are concluded.

Morris says moving all NetApp procurement and operations to its distributor SAN Systems (a business unit of Distribution Central) will be a major shift for partners in Australia. However, VAD managing director Terry Dunn says New Zealand partners are already more conditioned to working through a distributor rather than direct procurement.

The company also wants its IBM OEM revenue to reach 10 percent of its total trans-Tasman business within three years, Morris says.

NetApp and IBM signed an OEM agreement last year so partners could sell IBM-branded NetApp products.

Amanda Sachtleben attended the NetApp partner summit as a guest of NetApp.