NetApp wants to become a cloud broker

The mid-size business market is in a quandary, according to NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP). A recent study found that 55 per cent of organizations need to add more people, but are unlikely to have more IT budget to accommodate them.

Jeff Goldstein, general manager of NetApp Canada, told CDN that more people will necessarily mean more data. “The stress is on the system. There’s no more IT staff and we’re not seeing the budget for IT grow dramatically to take into account all these new people,” he said.

In an attempt to address this new market transition, NetApp has set a new entry-level price for its FAS2220 unified storage system, below the $8,000 mark. This new price will kick-in on June 12 for channel partners in Canada and the U.S. And the new price point isn’t the only thing that’s new with the FAS2220. The unit will feature Flash Pool technology, which extends the virtual storage tier.

Goldstein said that Flash Pools enable customers to increase performance by three times. “This is the same product we sell to the Royal Bank, but now we do it for the mid-market on an entry-level price point,” he said.

For the channel, NetApp is making the FAS2220 another member of the product family, which means those channel partners who are trained and authorized to sell enterprise-class systems can sell this product right away. And to support the launch of the entry-level FAS2220, NetApp has unveiled new channel enablement programs.

One of the new programs is called GetSuccessful Cloud Services Program, and it will provide the channel with support offerings that connect them with NetApp’s ecosystem of cloud service providers. Currently, only Telus is available in Canada for NetApp channel partners.

“We have the largest service provider build-out on the cloud. I think the mid-size channel partners will go for a private label offering. I don’t think a company like Compugen would, but for those who are not going to build their own cloud offering why would they partner with a natural competitor like Microsoft or IBM, who each have one. They would want them to sell their capabilities; not their own,” Goldstein said.

He added that part of the deal would be that the solutions would have NetApp infrastructure.

NetApp will also provide additional programs, promotions and financing offers to help channel partners incent customers to move from legacy system to the FAS2220. The company also plans on participating in VMware’s Real World Advantage campaign that encourages channel partners to produce joint sales and marketing activities with new tools for generating leads for VMware/NetApp-based solutions.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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