NetApp has confirmed a new eight-man team dedicated to channel enablement.
Announced as part of a broader channel investment plan at its partner conference in May, the storage distributor has separated indirect headcount into two areas – enablement and development. The new enablement team aims to assist partners skill-up and sell its products and solutions. NetApp valued the investment at $2 million.
Director of partner sales, Scott Morris, said it was important to divorce partner enablement initiatives from generic channel development and recruitment.
In May, he appointed former professional services program manager, Tanya Pugsley, to head up the newly formed partner enablement team. The team will focus on providing training resources for technical and sales certification as well as technical consulting support.
“If you don’t drive education and things such as pre-sales skills in partners, you can’t expect them to be the frontline in driving your business,” Morris said.
Over the past six months, NetApp has brought on five new people in its channel enablement team. They include partner development manager southern region, Daniel Reinhardt, who was previously with IBM’s channels team, and partner development manager for northern region and New Zealand, Paul Charlaff, formerly of XSI. It has also brought on technical partner advisory, Grant Woodbury, to sit alongside southern regional technical partner advisor, Aman Dhillon. There are also two dedicated training providers, Steve Pemberton and Amie Richards.
Morris said 45 per cent of NetApp’s revenue was now coming through channel and reported over 100 per cent growth in partner sales in the last year. He added it was important to continue creating new leads and opportunity for channel.
“It’s about providing real value for our partners in creating new leads and moving our business forward,” Morris said.