Storage vendor NetApp is ramping up its efforts for service providers through a dedicated program and by hiring special support staff.
In a recent interview with ARN, NetApp A/NZ director of channels and alliances Neville James explained how serious the company was in building up its service provider business in Australia.
Amid the recent global launch of NetApp's revamped partner program, the Australian arm of the company, which is the first to gain access to the program, has launched an X-as-a-Service specialisation program, offering rebates on a consumption basis rather than the traditional capex model aimed at service providers.
James explained it was all about trying to match how the vendor sells with how customers want to buy. The drive comes as NetApp estimates 30-50 per cent of its business will stem from annual recurring revenue or opex-type monthly consumption models in Australia.
“It’s a dedicated program by invitation only for Australian partners and it is the first example of where NetApp is going,” he said. “My expectation is that this program will go global and that’s a highlight for me in Australia.”
Recently NetApp boosted its dedicated service provider general development manager tally, hiring Simon Oliver based in Melbourne, who is teaming up with Sydney-based Jeremy Bolton, both of whom are supported by technical partner managers.
Prior to joining NetApp, Oliver worked for Macquarie Telecom, Bluecentral, Revaya, IBM, VMtech, Interactive and The Cloud Collective.
“It’s the biggest statement we can make about building the service provider business in Australia,” he said. “We’re really keen to gain more partners that are ‘building’ something as-a-service, based on a NetApp platform and rewarding them.”
James said both Oliver and Bolton are tasked with generating and developing new go-to-market strategies and identifying new partners that want to create an 'as-a-service' offering with a data management and storage flavour to it.
“We’ve also set aside a significant portion of our MDF budget for FY22 to help them market those services and find customers, taking a more collaborative approach,” he said.
“Almost all vendors like to sell something to a partner, but very few actually help them take it to market and find customers for that service.”
Recently, NetApp head of global partner GTM and programs Chris Lamborn said the latest program updates were just the start of a multi-phase strategy to incentivise and reward partners for their solution expertise, while delivering greater value to their customers.
Along with the specialised partner push, James said it will also be making big strides in utilising its hyper-scale cloud alliances with the likes of Google, Amazon and Azure.
“We’re really doubling down on creating hybrid cloud outcomes with our partners and hyper-scale partners, so customers can move seamlessly between any of those three - whether it’s on-premises, through our service providers or hyper-scale partners," he said.
"We’re trying to get as many of our partners as possible to take those genuine hybrid environments to market, whether it’s a geographic or specific vertical -- commercial, enterprise, government, we want to take a more targeted approach with them if we can.”