NetApp Adds Service Providers To Partner Program

Vendor says move prompts more collaboration between VARs and cloud services providers to address technology needs of enterprise customers.

NetApp Inc. said that it will extend its partner program to service providers, a move the vendor contends will prompt more collaboration between its value-added resellers and cloud computing suppliers and broaden the reach of its enterprise storage and data management portfolio.

Officials said that formally adding service providers to the vendor’s partner program will help to secure a place for solution providers in its cloud sales structure. Industry observers repeatedly have questioned whether or not a purposeful role exists for solution providers as cloud computing takes root among enterprise customers.

“A fundamental component of the NetApp growth strategy is our ability to develop differentiated pathways to market,” said Julie Parrish, NetApp vice president, Global Channel Sales.

The company, which segments its base of solution providers by their role in the sales process, lists in its database resellers, service providers, system integrators, vertical solution integrators and channel partners that fulfill government contracts.

Parrish said that integrating service providers into NetApp’s partner program will enable the vendor’s solution providers to more readily help enterprise customers move to cloud computing.

In addition, the company believes that its solutions for service providers, which include a series of design guides for common services sought by enterprise customers, will help program participants speed up the development and delivery of differentiated cloud services.

The company has produced service design guides for data protection, infrastructure, storage, desktop and software.

“Integrating service providers into our innovative NetApp Partner Program is key to this strategy and provides important focus on partners that can enable our enterprise customers’ move to cloud environments,” Parrish said.

“Today’s enhancements to our NetApp Partner Program combined with our go-to-market approach are further testaments to our commitment to provide opportunities for partners to participate in the latest end customer trends,” she said.

At this point, only Rackspace Inc., based in San Antonio, TX, and Terremark Worldwide Inc., headquartered in Miami, FL-based, have joined NetApp’s Service Provider Partner Program. Rackspace and Terremark both provide managed hosting and IT infrastructure services.

Parrish said that service providers in the program will be afforded access to technical support, training, and marketing and sales assistance.

Service providers boost overall partner program

Inasmuch as NetApp does not offer its own proprietary cloud services in competition with service providers, the vendor believes that its approach benefits its entire partner program, a contention supported by Terremark and Rackspace.

“NetApp’s unique approach to working with its partner community is proof that they are committed to helping us accelerate our own business,” said Stacy Hayes, Terremark vice president, strategic alliances.

“As a member of the NetApp partner program, we now have access to a variety of tools and support that not only help us differentiate our services and improve time to market but also allow us to more effectively address our customers’ cloud service needs,” Hayes said.

Rackspace, which recently signed a cloud services agreement with distributor Ingram Micro Inc., said that NetApp’s partner program will expand its sales channels.

“The NetApp partner program opens up sales channels for us that previously did not exist,” said Robert Fuller, Rackspace vice president, worldwide channel sales.

“The collaborative sales model is truly unique, and strengthens our relationship not only with NetApp but also with NetApp VARs, allowing us to work together to secure new cloud customers and help our joint customers make a smooth and successful transition to the cloud,” Fuller said.

Solution provider Insight Integrated Systems, a division of Insight Investments Corp., based in Orange, CA, said that a significant benefit of NetApp’s partner model is that solution partners can avoid costly investments in the infrastructure required to become a provider of cloud services and instead leverage the service providers in the vendor’s program.

“With an already established base of major cloud computing contracts, we have an excellent understanding of the technology, integration, and service needs of today’s customers and we believe that the relationships with service providers like Rackspace will dramatically accelerate and improve our ability to deliver NetApp solutions in this growing market,” said Chris Aliberti, Insight senior vice president, national sales.

TAGS: cloud computing,Enterprise,NetApp,Rackspace,service provider

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