With specifically designed initiatives NetApp empowers its partners
With a strategy to bring flexibility and simplicity of the cloud to the customers, NetApp has been working towards establishing themselves as a cloud-led data centric software company. It is focused in helping businesses unleash the power of data by bringing the enterprise-grade data services in the cloud, and the simple flexibility of cloud into the data center. This year, the company has expanded the scale and scope of the cloud business, aided by the recent acquisitions of Spot, CloudJumper, and Talon to help integrate its offerings and provide more holistic solutions to customers and partners.
In a chat with VARINDIA, Puneet Gupta, MD, NetApp India Marketing and Services has opened up about the channel partners, programs for the constant engagement and steps taken in this unprecedented time to boost customer experience.
Partner Programme to drive the business
For NetApp channel partners are the backbone and key foritsgo-to-market strategy. A robust channel partner ecosystem enables an organization to identify new market opportunities,reach, launch products and services and make the right set of tools, and resources available to help address customer requirements. In Puneet’s words they have always recognized that their success depends on the success of their partners and that they can all accomplish more by working together than they ever could on their own.
Delving deep on the channel partners, Puneet says, “It is therefore pertinent to develop beneficial partner programs to encourage the channel partners to recommend or sell our products, solutions, and associated services. The NetApp Partner Programs focus on enabling digital transformation for customers, accelerating partner profitability, and providing them a predictable business environment. Therefore, in collaboration, we develop a compelling value proposition that would resonate better with the requirements of the customer. These mutually beneficial partner programs ensure their profitability, ease of doing business, and advancing an excellent return on our partnerships”.
Constant innovation of channel engagement programs
According to Puneet, the increasing need for digital transformation has put the onus on technology service providers to cultivate their partners with the constant innovation of product portfolios as well as channel engagement programs.
At NetApp, the company review and update their partner programs on an annual basis to make them relevant and aligned to the business and market demands. To ensure a consistent approach in the sales and marketing efforts, NetAppruns ongoing partner listening activities and seek their feedback on improvising the programs. With the inputs gathered, they also make improvements to their portfolio, programs, policies, and processes.
Keeping in mind the ongoing global pandemic,Puneet explains, “We specifically designed initiatives to empower our partners to plan their business continuity, free the cash flow, as well as focus on driving business growth. Initiatives such as extending credit terms by 30 days for direct purchasing partners (distributors and direct resellers), extending eligibility for achievement in partner growth programs, delaying our next compliance review by three months and extending all certification expiries by six months – all helped us stabilize and respond to the pandemic better.
As we are working towards establishing ourselves as a cloud-led, data-centric software company, we have also set up virtual Data Visionaries Club, where we connect our partners with our global and local teams to help them understand technology better. In the coming fiscal year, we will recognize partners based on their ability to sell, implement, and support our solutions in areas that accelerate a successful digital transformation journey in a hybrid multicloud world. Our simplified, partner-first approach will enable partners to grow and succeed by providing access to a leading portfolio of hybrid cloud data services and data management solutions. These are some of the continuous, dynamic changes we have already started bringing into our programs.”
Boosting customer experience
NetApp’s channel partner strategy is based on three key pillars – ensuring the business growth aligned to partners, enabling sales and technical resources skillset to be industry ready and supporting them in their innovation journey towards new technologies.
Regarding this Puneet says, “While wecontinue to collaborate with our partners on different programs and initiatives, we also ensure a deep focus towards simplification, increased profitability, and additional ways for our partners to differentiate the offerings to boost customer experience.
We constantly and consistently work with our partners in simplifying their access to our systems, making it easier for them to claim; supporting them with new use cases in AI/ML, IoT, etc. as they innovate; running various enablement sessions to ensure up-to-date skills while at the same time investing in joint marketing activities and expanding into newer geographies.”
With the acquisition of Talon Storage, a leader in next generation software-defined storage solutions,NetApp can better provide customers a faster path to the public cloud at a better total cost of ownership. “With Spot, we are extending NetApp's vision for helping customers unlock the best of cloud. Our combined offerings enable customers to get more out of their cloud investment and gain competitive advantage by accelerating their business success .Adding CloudJumper to the NetApp suite helped us address the increased market requirement of the work-from-home model in the COVID era. The acquisition of a virtual desktop infrastructure firm enables us to provide the new NetApp Virtual Desktop Service (VDS) which is poised to solve the most challenging problems of virtual desktop services and application management,” concludes Puneet.