Tuesday, December 11, 2007

NetApp's strategy of Shock and Awe

Over the last many years that we have been working with NetApp products we have never been able to discern any long term marketing strategy. At least now they admit they are not talking about their strategy though.

"NetApp isn't talking about its strategy. A company spokesperson said all the information NetApp will make known on today's announcement is in its press release."

According to NetApp's CEO in recent Eweek interview they have a strategy that appeals to the investor community. "We've had tremendous success in terms of putting the company on the map, identifying a market strategy." The strategy when we were NetApp resellers and Registered Service Providers seemed to be to get into companies that had exploding needs for departmental storage, which is where the NEtApp F740 and F760 fit so well.

As I have pointed out numerous times in the past in this blog, NetApp's channel Strategy seems to change with the tides.

2003
Network Appliance (NetApp) launched its new, two-tiered channel strategy earlier today, to build and expand its enterprise storage sales with the value-added reseller community. By engaging with Arrow, NetApp resellers can gain additional support through Arrow's dedicated sales and focused marketing services.

2004
"The NetApp™ STAR partner program and initiatives are important to our strategy to attract and retain the industry's top storage-focused resellers,"

2005
"The VIP reseller program and initiatives are an important component of the Network Appliance strategy to attract and retain the industry's top storage-focused resellers,"

But aligning their strategy with the goals of growth is a good thing and one that investors and customers should be happy about.

"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."

2006
"NetApp’s latest launches will expand that strategy, with the StoreVault line positioned against EMC’s Clariion AX150 and the EMC Insignia lines at the low end and the FAS6000 line going head-to-head with EMC’s Symmetrix line in the enterprise-class SAN space."

The StoreVault line will have only one sales channel: VARs. “This is the only go-to-market vehicle for us,” Krishnan said. “No CDW (NSDQ:CDWC ). No e-tailers.


2007

"NetApp(R) StoreVault(TM) Adds CDW to Expand Channel Strategy

SUNNYVALE, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- StoreVault, a NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) division, today announced it is adding CDW Corporation (NASDAQ: CDWC), a leading provider of technology products and services to business, government, and education, to its roster of authorized StoreVault resellers. The new agreement provides small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) another way to access StoreVault S500 solutions."

"TBR said NetApp would align its financial strategy to focus on increasing revenue growth to drive net income going forward. The company would focus less on scaling back R&D and selling costs, and concentrate on expanding its international foothold and product design to increase its storage solutions market share. However, market competition is fierce and we believe NetApp will seek to differentiate its products through virtualization technology offered in non-complex storage solutions. TBR also said the company will be forced to strike a balance between manageable gross margin and operating profit, and increased revenue from new product design and selling activities."


Zerowait has a long term strategy - We will provide a long term affordable alternative to NetApp for service and support of their equipment.

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