NetApp gets behind vertical partner sales

NetApp gets behind vertical partner sales

Segmented market focus is part of ongoing efforts to grow its channel sales

NetApp is developing vertical new market opportunities with partners to help drive channel sales.

The initiative was one of many announced at the vendor's recent local Partner Summit. Director of partner and public sector sales, Scott Morris, said it had spent the past year putting its channel framework in place. The plan this year was to reinforce that message and momentum.

"We've got our VIP program up and running, set up sales targets, marketing development funds, training schedules and incentives," he said. "We've also created more online tools for training and skilling up.

"The next iteration of the VIP program is to further understand our partners and have these tools used by more of our partner community."

The vendor recently launched its Partner Centre online portal providing competitive selling information as well as its Partner Edge quotation system to help partners configure systems.

Morris said it was also working with partners on joint business strategies and has brought on three new staff to focus on market development in specific segments.

"We will take more of a consultative channel perspective which has been running successfully in the US and bring those into our establish programs here," he said. "Rather than being opportunistic and having general market segmentation, we're looking at being targeted at vertical markets such as education and healthcare. These are new market spaces for us, but we'll be leveraging off our US programs and will work with the channel on lead generation and a market development program."

Morris said it was also more focused on ramping up channel relations as a whole and would invest in more programs via distribution.

"We expect we will get to know our tier-two partners as well as we know the tier-ones," he said. "There are also other relationships besides tier-one and tier-two partners that don't get developed as significantly."

NetApp's aim is to get local partner sales up to 55 per cent of overall revenue. These currently sat at about 35 per cent, Morris said.

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