Monday, March 13, 2006

How many technology companies have been able to manage four big projects at once successfully?

Currently it looks like NetApp is trying to manage two operating systems, a sales distribution relationship with IBM, the integration of the Decru security business with its core storage business, and storage virtualization. It might be that they can run two or three but I see serious trouble ahead for NetApp.

In the operating systems they have been telling us for years that they were going to be able to integrate their Ontap and the Spinnaker stuff, but that seems to have been a dream as can be seen by NetApp's Steve Gomo's statements.
Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Semiconductor and Systems Conference in Dana Point, California, this week, NetApp CFO Steve Gomo promised that it will be a long time before GX, which is aimed at data intensive applications such as seismic research, converges with 7G. "It could take years," he said, adding that, over time, the two products will eventually share more and more features.

The Distribution agreement with IBM is running into trouble at the street level where savvy customers are playing the sales reps against each other, and the sales reps are selling what they can get the highest commissions on.
How is the IBM/NetApp deal working out? I hear it's going nowhere. -- B.P., San Jose.

The integration of Decru is taking NetApp's best Sales Engineers and Sales reps as they move to a higher margin product, as is illustrated clearly b the migration of sales reps and SE's in NetApp's DC office for Decru

And finally there is the whole concept of integrating virtualization of name space into NetApp's products, which Hu Yoshida of HDS seems to think is going to be impossible with a PC based architecture.

NetApp should pick one or two initiatives to work on and do it well.

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