NetApp plans market push with partners

NetApp plans market push with partners

Infrastucture vendor looks to significantly increase revenue from channel

NetApp plans to aggressively target the public sector in the coming year and will look to recruit new channel partners in that space.

The infrastructure vendor's managing director, Peter O'Connor, said the company is looking to increase the amount of total revenue coming through channel partners from about 35 per cent to 50 per cent within 12 months.

A key growth strategy was to broaden its target customer range, he said. O'Connor pinpointed government, healthcare and legal organisations as areas of opportunity. The vendor's traditional customer sweet spot has been within the mining, finance and telco industries.

The vendor currently has 10 key partners in Australia, as well as sells through distribution, but will look for additional strategic partners as part of its vertical push.

"We will have a strong government and partner enhancement focus from our new fiscal year on May 1," O'Connor said.

NetApp also planned to boost its headcount from 125 locally to 170 in the next 12 months and recruit staff to manage sales, marketing and professional services, O'Connor said. About 75 per cent of new sales staff will be given a channel mandate, he said.

Channel account managers currently look after an average of four accounts per state. O'Connor said it was looking to reduce this to 1-2 partners per state.

"We're investing millions of dollars in terms of headcount and marketing targeted at the channel. For us to get reach and coverage in the market, we need the channel, so building up their skills is top of mind," he said.

NetApp will continue to offer more rewards and commissions for successful partners and focus on channel enablement around professional services, O'Connor said. It was also providing lead generation through Google.

The company claims it has grown faster than the industry average over the last 12 months, and by 95 per cent in the first quarter of the 2008 fiscal year. O'Connor also said IDC had now placed NetApp second in the overall storage vendor market by revenue, with 21-22 per cent marketshare. He was confident it could surpass number one place holder, EMC, in the Australian market within six months.

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