NetApp goes on aggressive local march

Storage vendor's local business reported to grow at roughly 50 per cent, compared with 36 per cent worldwide

NetApp's local boss plans to oust EMC from the number one storage spot as it continues to see robust growth and fine-tunes its channel strategy.

Speaking at a local press briefing, managing director, Peter O'Connor, said the storage vendor's local business grew at roughly 50 per cent year-on-year locally, compared to a slower 36 per cent worldwide.

"We will go past EMC in the next 18-24 months in terms of total revenue," he said. "We're right on their heels. We've hurt them this year in terms of installed customers."

IDC associate vice-president storage, Graham Penn, said that while it was a worthwhile and possible goal, he doubted NetApp would be able to out-do EMC as that vendor would not be standing still either.

Penn said EMC had greater diversification in software and services and potentially more revenue prospects. NetApp's revenue was also heavily reliant on a contract with Telstra.

"It will be really interesting to see how much NetApp can gain," he said.

While he couldn't give specifics, O'Connor pegged its Telstra business to represent more than a quarter of its revenue.

"Telstra is one of the biggest storage spenders," he said. "The challenge for us is to get a broader reach. We want to spread our wings and go after a broader market."

While strong in financial services, insurance and telco arena, he said NetApp now aimed to attract customers in government, health and manufacturing.

In a bid to crank up the heat in the local market, NetApp recently promoted Scott Morris to the director of partner and public sector sales and opened an office in Brisbane. The office would provide channel partners with a Queensland-based point of contact and offer a dedicated local resource, Morris said. The company had appointed Cathy Conroy as Queensland state manager.

"Two-and-a-half years ago, business sold through the channel was five per cent, whereas it was around 30 per cent out of the last financial year," Morris said. "The channel is the key to selling the fundamentals of simplified data management."