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NetApp Expands Channel Program

Network storage vendor NetApp this week launched an expansion of its channel program in a bid to expand its market share against EMC and other storage vendors by giving its partners the tools to deliver more profitable services surrounding NetApp's storage devices and software. Of the four initial service focus areas for NetApp partners in the program, one is specifically for Microsoft applications.

The new NetApp channel program is called the Authorized Professional Service Partner Program. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, which on Wednesday announced 21 percent revenue growth for the quarter, claims about 1,000 partners worldwide in its long-standing channel program, with indirect sales accounting for about 70 percent of the company's revenues.

Rick DeTurck, senior director of services marketing for NetApp, says that NetApp hopes to bring about a quarter of its channel partners into the Authorized Professional Service network in the first year, and up to half of its partners into the program eventually.

At the same time, the company is trying to bring in systems integrators who haven't worked with NetApp. “We absolutely expect that this will attract partners from other vendors into the NetApp ecosphere,” DeTurck said.

DeTurck estimated that a third to a half of existing NetApp partners also belong to the Microsoft Partner Program. “There's a fairly good overlap,” he says. “The thing about NetApp is that the Microsoft applications really do well on NetApp storage. We've customized our software to take advantage of [Microsoft] operating system and the applications, so they can do snapshots and backup recovery and instantaneous recovery of mailboxes for Exchange or Web sites for SharePoint.”

According to NetApp's announcement: partners who meet the authorization requirements can sell partner-branded professional services of NetApp technologies, specialize in a NetApp solution area, gain access to training, methodologies and best practices. The solution areas are based on practice areas that NetApp's internal professional services team has already implemented with customers.

The first set of specialty solution areas for partners are:

  • storage system design and implementation,
  • network storage for virtualized infrastructure,
  • virtual tape library design and implementation and
  • Microsoft applications.

Later, NetApp plans to roll out specialty solutions for the channel in disaster recovery, backup and recovery, metrocluster, security encryption and data assessment.

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 13, 2008 at 11:58 AM


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