NetApp Changes Channel Program To Focus On Partners' Changing Customer Needs

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Howard said the unified approach helps partners move in any direction their customers need, including consulting, resale and service provider.

"We recognize that, like other vendors, the industry is moving to a hybrid approach, including selling cloud services and advising customers how and when to adopt those services," he said.

In response, NetApp is now enhancing its reseller contracts with a series of click-through addendums that let solution providers quickly add new practices such as systems integration or first-line support.

Also new is changing how NetApp sales reps are compensated to a system that pays them based on what partners want to do.

"Before, if a partner wanted to stand up a Storage-as-a-Service offering, it required a separate service provider contract, after which we would have to look at how we could offer that capability," Howard said. "So for partners looking for access to the right people, we weren't as responsive to their needs."

To fix that, NetApp has broken down the process, Howard said. "So if a partner wants to explore a new business area, we can get them the right resources at the right time."

NetApp also has programs to help customers find partners based on their overall business models, whether they are services brokers or doing their own services, Howard said.

For NetApp solution providers, the services business is a great opportunity given that NetApp made it clear years ago that it would not focus on its own services capabilities, and instead would get out of partners' way, Howard said.



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