Saturday, May 26, 2007

Which way is NetApp going to sell more product through its resellers? Will threats increase sales more than sales incentives? Won't sales incentives merely be passed through as lower prices to customers anyway?

NetApp's CEO said that he wants Resellers to concentrate on NetApp and not any other products.
Solution providers who do not take advantage of NetApp run the risk of being left behind as that company continues to grow rapidly, Warmenhoven said. "If that doesn't happen, you will be a less significant partner of ours," he said last week. "Let's scale together."

But the worlwide sales manager said that they will work with Resellers who sell other products without any issues as long as it is to displace a competitors products.

"If the partners sells us and Hitachi Data Systems, we don't want them to drop Hitachi," Iventosch said. "We talk about what it will take to take out EMC in an account. Or if the partner sells NetApp and EMC, we'll talk about how to take out HDS. What we don't want to do is go to a partner with a significant business and do share-shifting."

Does NetApp want it both ways? Is what is good for NetApp good for Resellers? What is the best long term strategy for Reseller integrators and their end user customers? I doubt that short term sales incentives will ever be the best thing for end users, although it will produce lower prices.

The best solution for a NetApp customer who is looking for a new storage solution remains to call both NetApp and IBM and get competitive quotes. Sometimes NetApp salesman partner with a reseller for a sale, which means a customer can typically get a better price out of the IBM sales person, because there are less hands in the profit pie . Sometimes the NetApp salesperson and the IBM sales force partner, so getting different corporate divisions in different states to ask for similar systems can also produce large price differences, because of the way NetApp registers sales opportunities and different sales people are getting different sales incentives. If you are buying new NetApp storage - you should certainly get multiple quotes.


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