This content is part of the Conference Coverage: NetApp Insight 2019 Las Vegas: Conference highlights and updates

NetApp partner strategy hinges on channel enablement

NetApp will continue to invest in channel sales enablement resources to help partners embrace its full portfolio; other news from the week.

NetApp said it will ramp up its partner enablement resources to help drive its software-oriented ambitions.

Partner enablement has been a key focus for NetApp's channel strategy since the company began expanding its hardware portfolio into software several years ago. As the vendor reinvented its identity in the marketplace, it looked to bring legacy NetApp partner firms along on the journey. Within the Americas, NetApp derives approximately 80% of its business from 1,500 partners.

"If you think of NetApp as a storage company, you are probably thinking of the wrong company," said Jeff McCullough, vice president of NetApp partner sales for the Americas. "It would be safer to think of NetApp as a software company that executes in a variety of solution areas to help customers manage data and do great things with data."

McCullough said NetApp's current portfolio, while still rooted in storage hardware, has expanded into software aimed at helping customers migrate to cloud or hybrid cloud environments. NetApp is currently focused on helping its partners in four categories of workloads, he said: AI, cloud computing, DevOps and enterprise applications. "If you think about those four workload areas, they really expose our customers to our portfolio," he said.

Chris Lamborn, senior director of global channel strategy, said NetApp is looking to help its partners navigate a challenging new IT landscape. He noted that buyer profiles and marketplace requirement have changed. Additionally, customers now open conversations by saying they want cloud and consumption-based models without necessarily understanding the full implications. "As a vendor, we have to be able to enable our partners to lead those conversations, and not all of our partners have evolved to that state, either," he said.

Lamborn said a new NetApp partner program is slated for the end of April. Channel enablement will represent an important element of the program's features.

Former Appirio exec leads Studio Science buyout

A management buyout at Studio Science, a design and innovation consultancy, has placed the Indianapolis company under new ownership.

A group of investors led by Steve Pruden, who was appointed CEO of Studio Science in May 2018, has purchased the company from Founder Kristian Andersen. Pruden previously held executive positions at cloud consultancy Appirio, including vice president of strategy and partnerships and senior vice president of human resources. He was one of the executives involved in the transition of Appirio's headquarters from San Francisco to Indianapolis.

Pruden will continue to manage Studio Science's day-to-day operations, according to the company. He leads an Advisory Council that includes Andersen and Chris Barbin, Appirio's former CEO, among other executives. The Advisory Council will provide guidance to the Studio Science management team.

Mission tackles cloud football project

Mission, a managed services provider (MSP) and consulting firm in Los Angeles, has collaborated with Cantina Consulting on a mobile application project for Your Call Football (YCF).

With YCF, fans call the plays as they vote through a mobile app. The play receiving the most votes is run on the field by the players. Teams consist of former NFL, CFL and college players. YCF hired Cantina to build its architecture, application and game logic and Cantina, in turn, tapped Mission to work on the application's cloud infrastructure requirements, which call for the ability to handle 100,000 concurrent users during traffic surges.

Mission used Terraform to deploy infrastructure to YCF's AWS environment. The environment also includes Kubernetes for container management, Amazon Relational Database Service and Amazon ElastiCache.

Other news

  • Kryon Systems, a robotic process automation (RPA) vendor, has entered a partnership with Proservartner, a management consulting firm. Kryon said the arrangement will help customers create and implement strategies for using RPA and AI. The companies will host a briefing on software robots in finance April 4 in London.
  • Turbonomic, a cloud infrastructure automation vendor, added a track for systems integrators (SIs) to its partner program. Benefits of the new SI program include training and certification, opportunity registration and market development funds, Turbonomic said.
  • ConnectWise expanded its MSP security offerings with a risk assessment tool. Available April 1, ConnectWise Identify lets MSPs generate risk assessment reports and remediation plans, the company said. MSPs can purchase ConnectWise Identity for an introductory price of $99 monthly for unlimited risk assessments.
  • In other ConnectWise news, MSP software vendor Datto said it enhanced the integration of its remote monitoring and management tool, Datto RMM, with ConnectWise Manage. ConnectWise Manage is a professional services automation tool.
  • Quisitive Technology Solutions Inc., a Microsoft solutions provider based in Toronto, said movie theater company Cinemark has chosen it as a 2019 strategic IT services provider. Quisitive said it will serve as Cinemark's services provider for "Microsoft-centric initiatives." Those include application development, data and analytics, Azure cloud, Microsoft Office 365 and mobile applications.
  • Tech Data, a distributor in Clearwater, Fla., has partnered with Tata Consultancy Services to provide U.S.-based Tech Data partners with a platform that the distributor said "simplifies the management of customer data to provide business insights."
  • Open Systems, an SD-WAN vendor, said distributor Avant Communications has joined its global partner program.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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