NetApp To Address Program Flaws

For instance, one Massachusetts-based solution provider said NetApp has taken some of its accounts in that region direct. “NetApp reserves the right to do as they please,”the solution provider said.

Others say NetApp does a better job elsewhere.

“The Central region is probably one year ahead of both coasts in adoption of the channel,” said Merrill Likes, president of reseller UpTime, Edmond, Okla.

Iventosch acknowledged differences in NetApp&s hard-deck implementation. “When we moved to an indirect focus, we allowed each territory to have its own list of exception accounts,” he said. “In some territories, including the Northeast, the exception list was so large it didn&t benefit the channel.”

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Iventosch said he recently met with the area vice presidents and with Senior Vice President of Sales George Bennet about the uneven implementation. As a result, Iventosch will spend the new few weeks working to make the needed changes.

“If we had a flaw in the program, it&s in not implementing it far enough,” he said. “It will take until the next quarter to tighten the program so that partners in different territories will see the same results.”

In the meantime, NetApp is improving many of its other channel efforts, starting with a new lead generation program that ties leads directly into the vendor&s corporate marketing strategy.

“Lead generation has been a weak link in our channel program,” Iventosch said. “We started it last year. But it was primitive.” New lead generation programs include campaigns specifically aimed at iSCSI storage sales, identifying new prospects and at the company&s new FAS300 array, he said.