In august of this year, NetApp presented its new program for Partner Sphere channels, with which they seek to obtain a greater market share through the development of an ecosystem of collaboration and innovation.

Ricardo Van Zanten, Partner Manager for the multi-country region (MCO), explained that the company’s previous program was more dispersed, and covered too many types of resellers under the same vision. For this reason, NetApp decided to organize everything in a single program.

“Within the Partner Sphere you have sell-to, sell-through and sell-with sales strategies, you create governance and a whole benefits scheme associated with this. We take distribution, for example, and see what is not working, what are its accelerators. We always consider what we want to sell and what the partner wants to sell; a good program has to conceptualize these two elements,” said Van Zanten.

“This program is the growth for everything that comes in netapp. We are 100% channels, that’s why it is important to have a program that maintains the motivation of partners”

The goal of this program is to align partner services with NetApp technology. The company seeks to increase sales volume of Flash, its data center and cloud storage system. The program provides incentives to channels based on their sales performance.

“If you bring a new logo but also sell the products that we intentionally want to market, you earn various incentives. It is simple for the partner because they know what you are asking and it is super profitable,” commented the interviewee.

Another highlight of the Partner Sphere is channel specialization. NetApp seeks to ensure that its partners are properly trained to respond to the needs presented by customers. That is why the company created a system with 11 certified service models and 19 solution competencies aligned with key areas. “The channel can choose a competition and we will motivate it with benefits. It is a symbiosis where the channel contributes its intellectual capital, the service,” sayd Van Zanten.

Partners are classified into 3 categories depending on their expertise and performance. The first category is approved channels, new or developing partners that have opportunities or offers on NetApp products and services. Then come the preferred partners, more experienced, who develop solutions focused on the cloud and/or services that add value to NetApp in the region. Finally, there is the prestige category, where strategic partners with great commitment enter, working with multi-vendor solutions and integrated cloud services.

“What we want are channels specialized in specific topics, that take advantage of the technology that NetApp provides in flash and cloud solutions”

In this sense, the executive highlighted the channels’ acceptance of the new program. NetApp always prioritizes the quality of its business partners over the quantity they can work with. In the MCO region, there are already 5 channels that are in the top category of the program.

Besides, the executive referred to the challenges that the company will have to face to develop its program, and indicated that there are some specific countries, such as Colombia or Chile, where they are still seeking to gain market share.

“We are actively looking for partners who have this profile and who can evolve. It is not easy, since in the channel structure there are very mature partners who are married to other vendors, and when you are looking to expand your position in the market, this becomes a problem,” said Van Zanten.

And he concluded: “However, when we present the program to someone who does not know NetApp and tell them about it, they are surprised and decide to start a process with us. That really promises. “We are looking to reach an existing channel and take it to the highest level.”