Many years ago when we were a succesful reseller and RSP for NetApp we introduced a large brokerage firm and mutual fund company to NetApp's technology. We made an appointment with the NetApp folks in Sunnyvale and the District Representative from the DC area met us in Sunnyvale at the new NetApp buildings & conference center. The CTO from the company we were introducing to the new technology wanted a strategic partner, and at the time NetApp was the new kid on the block. So after the meetings in California, it still took many months of missionary sales work to show the customer that NAS was a really good way to go for his storage, and Zerowait was going to be around for a long time supporting the equipment.
As time went by the customer was getting more interested in trying and buying the equipment and as it was a very big customer, we had a bunch of mutual meetings with the customer and our engineers and some NetApp folks.
As the deal got very close to closing, NetApp decided that we could not sell in that area anymore and took the customer direct. This customer is now one of NetApp's largest eastern customers and NetApp gives them very good service and from what I understand astonishingly good price discounts.
Like so many other customers we introduced to the technology they fell in love with NetApp's simplicity, but as time has gone by this cusotmer, like so many others, is wondering if there may be a way of extending their product life cycles beyond what the vendor sales force requires to keep their sales numbers up.
And so we are chatting with them again, 6 years isn't so long in the life of a growing business.