A month after CenturyLink said it would offer its channel partners access to data center solutions, the telecom provider announced that it has joined storage vendor NetApp's Unified Partner Program, the first step toward giving CenturyLink partners access to resell NetApp's storage hardware and services.
By joining NetApp's partner program, CenturyLink is expanding its original partnership with the vendor, combining CenturyLink's global network and hosting business with NetApp's hardware and licensing storage solutions.
While the access to the NetApp offerings will not be immediately available through the channel, CenturyLink told CRN that it's working to extend that deal to its partners, who will be able to resell CenturyLink's and NetApp's managed storage solutions.
"We’re at a point where business leaders know they need to store and transport data, and the alliance between NetApp and CenturyLink brings together two companies that specialize in these solutions," Terence Gleeson, vice president of strategic partner alliances for CenturyLink, told CRN. "The expanded relationship will offer our partners a way to deepen relationships with customers and build trust by meeting their customers growing demands for bandwidth and data storage."
The combination of CenturyLink's managed services and network with NetApp's storage services and hardware will give partners and end customers a more complete managed storage solution, CenturyLink said.
CenturyLink plans to take these solutions to large enterprise, SMB, and government and education customers.
The opportunity around cloud storage is "enormous," and NetApp is at the center of that conversation, according to Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president of cloud transformation for Petaluma, Calif.-based Intelisys, one of CenturyLink's largest partners.
"It makes total sense that CenturyLink would do this deal with NetApp. Customers are demanding complete solutions and our partners are looking for the right blend of hardware and services to solve problems," he said.
Intelisys will be waiting on compensation details on the CenturyLink/NetApp managed storage solution for its entire partner community, Pryfogle added.
"Both agents and VARs stand to win with a bundle like this," he said.