Channel leads NetApp's mid-market push

Channel leads NetApp's mid-market push

Network Appliance has announced a doubling in channel sales following a concerted mid-market push.

The news follows the introduction of dedicated account managers for its partner base alongside a bid to sell high volumes of product into a concentrated customer base.

Channel sales manager A/NZ, Steve Bracken, said NetApp was in the process of building up its partner base. Recently, the vendor had struck global agreements with Fujitsu and IBM, as well as Dimension Data locally.

These were part of a deliberate move to gradually change NetApp's go-to-market model towards indirect sales, Bracken said.

"We have had an established direct business for some time but have not been able to scale at the rate we want to, so have decided to change our sales mix," he said. "We were about 10 per cent indirect last year and about 18 per cent now. We want to be 30 per cent next year and 50 per cent a year after that."

NetApp would continue to roll out its Registered Services program and take a more structured approach to the channel, Bracken said. This would include the introduction of named accounts for its direct sales force.

"Anybody outside of that is the channels' alone," he said. "Resellers can still sell in to the named accounts, however, if an account manger decides it is the best way to service the customer."

To further increase its channel sales, NetApp had also launched a new mid-market offering based on the FAS3000 series storage systems and its V3000 series virtualisation engines. A new serial ATA option for primary storage applications has also become available.

"One of the big issues for our channel is putting together block storage pricing for SAN - both fibre channel and IP," NetApp vice-president products and partners, Patrick Rogers, said. "The IP SAN bundles are only available through the channel and will give them a substantial leg-up in competing against Dell and EMC."

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