NetApp is redefining its Channel Commitment again. Does anyone see a pattern here?
3:11 PM EST Wed. Nov. 21, 2007
That lack of services commitment to the channel has hurt partners, said one major NetApp solution provider who asked to not be identified.
"Their professional services people have been competing with VARs for the last four years," the solution provider said. "We've been almost in direct competition. We have four fully certified engineers who every time they turn around they see NetApp selling services direct. So it's good news if things are changing."
Things are indeed changing, Iventosch said.
NetApp's Boundary Lines
Mar. 04, 2005
Network Appliance (NSDQ:NTAP) is defining which customers can and cannot be approached by its direct-sales reps, CRN has learned.
Under the forthcoming Hard Deck program, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor of SAN and NAS products will work with its channel managers and district sales managers to determine which customers throughout North America will be named accounts targeted mainly by direct sales and which will be channel-exclusive, said Leonard Iventosch, NetApp's vice president of Americas channel sales.
Channel Programs Need to Be Designed for Solution Providers, Not Vendors
Network Appliance is hoping to change the foundation of how it works with the channel. Other vendors' channel program executives should watch carefully.
The second compelling aspect of the program is that NetApp is piloting a professional service program designed to empower solution providers to sell their own services under a NetApp logo. NetApp is building out a series of services methodologies that it will certify its partners on the end customer knows they can have confidence in the services provided by the solution provider. Longer term, NetApp plans to increasingly compensate its own services people based more on partner satisfaction in order to stimulate the right kind of approach to the channel."
Maybe a real change of direction is needed? How about putting Dave Hitz back in engineering and deciding on either a channel strategy or a direct strategy, the competition between the two competing sales forces is not good for anyone.