Channel Key for Overall India Development: NetApp
NetApp is upbeat about the Indian market. Sharing NetApp’s India plans, Surajit Sen, Director (Channels, Marketing & Alliances), NetApp India, said, “We have three key priorities for the India market: to increase market share, diversify pathways and to increase efficiency. For the last two priorities, we want to make maximum use of channel, while making minimal use of direct sales operations.”
“Data center operations are becoming critical and hence, outsourcing has become a key. To tap this scenario, we have global system integrators, system integrators, hosting service providers and cloud computing service providers,” added he.
While elaborating on the company’s products and solutions roadmap, Sen said, “We would be focusing heavily on Ethernet-based storage, SAN and storage management software. And as far solutions are concerned, our major thrust will lie on virtualization, enterprise applications, messaging and collaborations and back up recovery.”
While targeting enterprise and SMB markets, the vendor is looking to tap seven major cities: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune. “The key verticals would be government, PSUs, telcos, banking and finance; however, media and healthcare are also the emerging segments for the storage market,” explained Sen.
The vendor would be maintaining the six sets of partners, such as tier-I (SI partners), distribution partners, IBM (OEM partner), global SIs (TCS, Infosys and Wipro), hosting service providers and cloud computing service providers, tier-2 channel partners and distribution partners.
Talking about the partner programmes, Sen said, “We have renamed our NetApp VIP Programme to NetApp Partner Programme. Our initial programme used to focus only on resellers; however, with new programme, we will cover every set of partners.”
“Furthermore, we have APSP (Authorized Professional Services Partners) programme. This programme allows partners to offer services to the customers based on NetApp solutions. On the other hand, our Virtualization Specialization Programme provides partners with various incentives for selling NetApp solutions,” said he.
With changing times, SMBs have become a key segment to tap for every vendor. Following the path, NetApp is targeting the segment with its FAS 2000 product line and Solver Partner Programme. “While helping existing Silver Partners develop skills to sell these solutions; we’re also in the process to add new partners to this category,” explained Sen.
Adding more to the partner development, the vendor has announced new tools that will simplify the overall business process for the partners.
These tools are:
NetApp Field Portal: This tool allows partners to access company and product information to support customers throughout the buying cycle. This portal optimizes field and partner effectiveness and provided the ability to track information directly sent to the customers.
NetApp Campaign Express: This tool allows partners to set up an automated marketing system to create and execute their own specialized campaigns for NetApp solutions.
NetApp GetSuccessful Programme: Empowering partners to sell and position specific NetApp solutions, the programme also allows partners to focus on offering value-add solutions and services.
As far as partner training is concerned, the vendor conducts these programmes on a monthly basis. “We have been conducting training programmes on a monthly-basis in three cities, such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. These programmes update partners on current technologies and trends,” informed Sen.
Taking into consideration the importance of upcountry markets, NetApp is tapping them with its distributors, Redington India and Inflow Technologies. “As they have their own set of partners placed in these geographies, it becomes easier for us to tap these markets. However, we are working with our distributors very closely, and offering them all necessary support,” said Sen.
Lastly talking about the trends that are driving the storage market in India, Sen said, “We’re seeing four major trends, which are shaping the customer preferences in this market. Firstly, Ethernet storage is gaining popularity due to 10Gb Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Secondly, customers want to have maximum utilization of their storage efficiency, and want to maintain it efficiently. Furthermore, trends are evolving around virtualization and cloud computing is also gaining ground.”