Since IBM started reselling NetApp products a few years ago savvy customers have been playing the two companies sales organizations against each other. Now it seems analysts are noticing this is causing some consternation in the competitive channel organizations.
This rollout of fresh support for NetApp products comes amid some buzz among Wall Street analysts of increasing channel conflict between the two companies. "We are hearing of some increased pressures in the direct sales vs. IBM channel side of the business," wrote Wachovia analysts Aaron Rakers, in an email to clients.
I am certain that IBM reviewed the history of NetApp's failed relationships with Dell and Hitachi prior to getting involved with reselling Filers. Reviewing a company's history with partnerships can't predict everything, but it certainly pays to do research prior to getting involved with a company that has such a well established history of making tactical partnership decisions to the detriment of end users. In our experience it makes end users feel secure when they know they can depend on a strategic partnership which guarantees them long term service and support for their high end storage equipment. IBM knows the way things work, how do their new acquisitions figure into their long term strategic view of their NetApp relationship and enterprise NAS sales overall?