Management of digital data is essential for enterprises to innovate faster and capture new revenue opportunities in a faster changing technology landscape. But modern data management requirement is difficult with legacy systems; rather it need an IT infrastructure that is suitable for meeting their need anytime and anywhere. NetApp’s vision in the future of data management lies in the solutions offered by NetApp Data Fabric, a set of innovative solutions, designed to offer the data management capabilities organizations need to achieve success in the hybrid cloud era. In an exclusive interaction with Channel Times, Kaushal Veluri, Director – Channels & Alliances, NetApp India & SAARC, explains how NetApp Channel partners play an important role by spreading this message of NetApp’s Data Fabric vision, service and solution to its customers.
Channel Times: How is Data Fabric enabling the enterprises to overcome the day to day data related challenges?
Kaushal Veluri: NetApp’s Data Fabric vision, through its solutions and services, simplifies and integrates data management across cloud and on-premises to accelerate digital transformation. Apart from managing data across various environments, it also delivers consistent and integrated hybrid cloud data services for data visibility, insights, data access, control, data protection and security. NetApp’s Data Fabric vision, solutions and services allow its customers to understand the full potential of hybrid cloud, helping them drive speed and scale while balancing cost and risk. NetApp Channel partners play an important role by spreading this message of NetApp’s Data Fabric vision, service and solution to our end customers.
Channel Times: What is NetApp’s channel approach for Data Fabric?
Kaushal Veluri: Our partners play a critical role in taking the vision of Data Fabric to market. Partners are a critical part of our ecosystem and our simplified partner initiatives helps align our partners with the dynamic market conditions and customer requirements. We believe in an education-based approach through sharing of knowledge with our partners, who take it forward to our end customers.
To help our partners understand and articulate the Data Fabric vision to the market, we host a quarterly training and enablement session called Partner Academy in nine cities in India and SAARC. The sessions cover various facets of our solutions as well as the specific use cases where Data Fabric adds value to the end customer. As part of our Partner Academy Program, we also try to bring our ecosystem partners – Cisco, Redhat, Nvidia, Veeam, Commvault and others – together as it is important for our partners to know how our solutions integrate thereby helping them take a single Data Fabric story to the end customers. Additionally, we host regular webinars to upskill our partners on the advanced technologies, to make them industry-ready.
Channel Times: What role does specialized partners play in spreading the Data Fabric message?
Kaushal Veluri: In today’s era, data and digital transformation are accelerating business decisions for companies. In such a scenario, they need a partner who can help them harness today’s volume of data and apply it to create value across the entire organisation. We work with our partners, enabling them to understand the Data Fabric strategy of simplifying data management by harnessing the power of hybrid cloud and hybrid multi-cloud experience. Partners in turn help our customers to build data fabrics that seamlessly connect their on-premises and cloud environments and put data at the heart of their strategies. We try to deliver a powerful technology with a good customer experience so customers can consume and operate data on their own terms.
Channel Times: What are some of the new initiatives undertaken by NetApp for its channel partners?
Kaushal Veluri: Helping partners in their journey is a constant endevor at NetApp with new initiatives. For partners who have a global footprint, we now have a level that addresses their needs across the globe called Global Star Partner. Partners in India, of course, are a part of our program at various levels like Star, Platinum, Gold & Registered.
We realised that as our partners help us reach customers and close business, they should not be burderened with the need to claim their rebates as well. Taking a step forward, we have made all rebates as claimless. At NetApp, we will track their closures and automatically give them the rebates that they are eligible for. This is a step forward for the partners as well since it makes their lives easier without expending time of their resources on tracking the rebates.
Understanding that the world is changing with a Cloud focus, we have introduced specialisations around Hybrid Cloud that the partners can certify themselves on and showcase to the world. We have programs where we ensure that their resources are trained to showcase the demos of our cloud solutions to end customers.
In addition, the regular joint investment in marketing activities is a part of the effort to reach out to customer and help to generate awareness and pipeline for business.
Channel Times: What is NetApp’s Channel strategy for 2020?
Kaushal Veluri: Our channel strategy for 2020 is to empower our partners to help their customers leverage the power ofhybrid multi-cloud, flash and hyper-converged infrastructure. Since our channel partners play a dynamic role in the go-to market strategy, we ensure that they are well equipped with the right skill sets and knowledge of the technologies so that they can confidently talk to the end customers. We will continue to enable them to grow and integrate them with our strategies and product lines.
Our channel partner strategy is based on three key pillars – Ensuring they make Revenue in our business, Constantly enabling their sales and technical resources skillset to be industry ready &supporting them in their Innovation journey towards new technologies.
We work with our partners very closely in simplifying their access to our systems making it easier for them to claim; supporting them with new use cases in AI/ML, IoT etc as they innovate; running various enablement sessions to ensure up-to-date skills while at the same time investing in joint marketing activities and expanding into newer geographies.