Maya Zakhour–Channel Director, Middle East & Africa, Italy and Spain, at NetApp, tells Reseller ME how the latest updates to their channel partner program help partners differentiate and add value to their offerings.
What are the updates to the partner program and what prompted you to make these new updates?
The pandemic and subsequent move to a remote business operating environment established a new norm and a different way of doing business. It becomes our responsibility to make sure that we’re helping our partners get ready to meet the needs of the customer, not only from a solutions perspective, but also in order to provide quick service. During this time, NetApp came up with a stronger approach based on building specialisations and competencies focus, form the basis of the roadmap for our new partner program.
We believe that there is no one-solution-fits-all; we are focused on helping customers in their digital transformation journey, whether they want to extend, transform, or modernise their current infrastructure. Some customers are unsure of where they would want to go, whether or not to connect/migrate to the cloud which is the future of business.
We wanted to ensure that our partners specialise in their areas. And if they are transforming with us, we want them to know how they can add value in their market and to their customers.
We also want partners to be differentiated in their capabilities and competencies, so we adjusted our rebate program and will guide partners to a proper learning path to adopt to these solutions, competencies and specialisations. It’s essentially the learning path and the earning path. The earning path is all about how they will earn more with NetApp; not only from rebates, but also from maximising their opportunities within the data fabric that we have and to cover a 360 degree specialisation for the customers when it comes to digital transformation, on their journey to the cloud, or the artificial intelligence strategies that they would want to acquire. All of these are really strong examples of why we wanted to have an updated partner program. We wanted to give our partners as strong roadmap, to ensure that they are getting the right specialisations. By 2023 we plan to have this new platform up and running from every perspective.
How are the new updates expected to help partners add value and differentiate their offerings?
NetApp has a clear differentiator – our Data Fabric architecture. Corporate leaders are facing huge pressures to rapidly adapt, evolve, and embrace the cloud. At the same time, they are adding talent that lacks deep storage knowledge. NetApp is perfectly positioned to be the specialists who help them address these concerns.
On-prem and in the cloud, NetApp helps customers unlock the best of both. We bring customers what no other company can: an innovative, no-compromise, unified hybrid cloud experience. Put simply, we help them get more cloud for less cost.
And for that we help our partners build their specialisations accordingly, whether it is an infrastructure, enterprise solutions, and/or cloud, where the partner will be rewarded for taking the market this specialisation and expertise. We have the right incentives and promotions to help the company focus and invest in developing their skills, their teams- their sales team, their technical team, or whomever will be able to add value. If the company opt in, that kind of rewards program, their teams will wake up in the morning, knowing that they have a target to achieve, and how they will achieve it. We will provide them with a complete Learning and earning path allowing these teams to compete, win and celebrate nice rewards.
What is your outlook for the whole, you know, general market for this year and maybe, you know for the next couple of years?
NetApp is committed to helping our partners navigate the changes in the marketplace today. We want to ensure that their loyalty and we regularly communicate with them about how our unified partner program is evolving. We want them to fully understand and be more confident with the data fabric and how to align this strategy with their offerings. We’re committed to helping our partners understand how to work with us or industry alliances and how they can be rewarded for their efforts. Trust and loyalty are what is key to a dynamic market and this is what NetApp is focused on building among our partner community, alliances and customers. We are confident this is a good direction we’re taking and that it has a lot for our partners, and therefore, for our customers.