Is this strategic thinking?
In 2005 NetApp instituted its hard deck program, and now in 2007 NetApp is instituting a new Foundation for its sales program. It looks pretty much like the old program to me.
"Besides its channel programs, NetApp will soon introduce new channel-specific product bundles, including its first iSCSI bundle and an upgrade to its Fibre Channel bundle. The bundles offer good margins without the need for special pricing, Iventosch said."
"The first thing that NetApp has done is created a series of base system configurations that reflect more the way people are actually buying and paying for their products, rather than the way most bundles have been created in the past--which usually reflect deals on products that the vendor is trying to move in the absence of real demand. The base configurations are flexible, however in that there are still enough a la carte options to allow the solution provider to order a customized solution without having to haggle over every unique element of the bundle."
It shouldn't be a surprise that NetApp resellers want to make a reasonable profit on their services, it seems that resellers were trying to make a profit two years ago with NetApp products and they are still struggling to make a profit.
"When you put all this together, Ivantosch appears to be doing something radical in the channel. He's trying to make NetApp a pleasure to do business with in the channel. Time will tell if he's successful, but after years of watching vendors consistently fail to create programs that enhance the business models of their partners, the NetApp approach is a refreshing change."
What is a surprise is that NetApp considers renaming their programs and using different words is somehow considered a radical change in Silly Con Valley.