NetApp consolidates its partner base

The storage vendor will shave 25 per cent of its reseller network and wants to only deal with strategic partners as it introduces program changes

Storage and data management vendor, NetApp, is slashing 25 per cent of its partner base in an effort to build strategic relationships with its remaining resellers.

The cuts are just one of the many changes being done by the vendor to refresh its partner strategy.

NetApp channel sales and marketing director, Todd Parsons, explained its main focus this year was to focus on relevancy and co-dependency with its partner network. Around 65 partners will remain throughout A/NZ.

“Those partners can still talk to us about being a NetApp reseller, but we’re not going to automatically renew our agreements with them because they haven’t been active with us,” Parsons said. “We want to work with partners on a strategic basis.”

The vendor has also changed the financial incentives on offer for its partners as it focuses on channel profitability. The program is split into Platinum, Gold and Silver tiers. NetApp is distributed via Distribution Central division, SAN Systems.

“We’re also trying to focus on enablement to make sure our channel has stronger post and pre – sales resources around the NetApp product set,” he said. “From a financial point of view, we’re trying to provide incentives for partners around new business development.

“We’ve got a big focus on enablement this year and we’ve put them on notice that we want all of them to be up-to-date with certifications and meet the requirements of the program to ensure they maintain their status level.

"In the past we’ve been more flexible with that, but this year we want to make sure that’s pretty strongly enforced.”