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Peter Howard, senior director of data center alliances at NetApp, Sunnyvale, Calif., said ePlus' investment in architectures -- its ability to cut across multivendor stacks of products and services -- is what sets the company apart.
"We've got a lot of VARs out there who sell point products and their business model is still very heavily dominated by product sales," Howard told CRN. "They've indicated they want to become trusted advisers to customers about not only private cloud but also talk about at what point we begin to move application workloads to the public cloud. There's a lot to be said for integration work, but I would also expect these guys to invest significantly in professional services on that kind of implementation."
In June, ePlus became a FlexPod Premium Partner, a designation that stations ePlus among elite providers of the prevalidated, NetApp-centric FlexPod architecture for combining storage with Cisco networking and servers, and VMware virtualization. Howard said ePlus' NetApp business, which launched seven years ago, is "well on its way to $100 million-plus" but agreed that ePlus' relative neutrality with major vendors positions it to support both a best-of-breed stack go-to-market model and capture opportunities related to converging infrastructure.
"I think they see a real opportunity to be a platform integrator," Howard said. "That puts them in a small class of [solution providers] that can say that."
PUBLISHED ON AUG. 28, 2012