Avanade, NetApp Partnership Makes Room For VARs

Seattle-based Avanade, a joint-venture of Microsoft and Accenture, is helping enterprises migrate to messaging applications including Exchange and SQL Server and is partnering with NetApp to handle the storage requirements, said Larry LeSueur, Avanade&'s vice president of technology infrastructure.

“Several customers, whether migrating from Lotus Notes or Novell or SunOne, work with NetApp for their storage needs,” LeSueur said. “Customers need a strong service provider, and a strong storage provider.”

NetApp will fulfill customers&' requirements directly or with its solution providers, said Steve Smith, senior director of global systems integrators at NetApp, Sunnyvale, Calif.

“Any partner fulfilling NetApp products can play in this space if they have practices in e-mail and Microsoft applications,” Smith said.

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Glenn Dekhayser, vice president of technology at Voyant Strategies, a Hazlet, N.J., NetApp partner, said he attended a joint meeting with NetApp and Avanade and finds the opportunity to partner with Avanade exciting.

“Being a relatively small VAR, I can resell Avanade services in smaller accounts and know they won&'t compete with me,” Dekhayser said. “And knowing that I have Avanade for large enterprise deals that I may need help on is a big deal.”

Dekhayser said that while Avanade is partnering with NetApp on large Microsoft-specific projects, it can use help with the storage integration. “I&'m a NetApp expert,” he said. “Avanade is not. And NetApp realizes there are smaller VARs who miss out on bigger deals with large enterprises. Avanade brings those opportunities to the table for us.”

LeSueur said the Microsoft migration offers a lot of potential, as customers shift from 10-Mbyte or 20-Mbyte mailboxes to a range of 100 Mbytes to a Gbyte and need to be more concerned with compliance.