NetApp evolves its go-to-market approach to drive hybrid cloud growth
 

NetApp evolves its go-to-market approach to drive hybrid cloud growth

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Historically a niche network-attached storage (NAS) provider that relies on midmarket customers, NetApp demonstrated at its 2014 Industry Analyst Summit (IAS) that it is now adjusting to its role as ...

Historically a niche network-attached storage (NAS) provider that relies on midmarket customers, NetApp demonstrated at its 2014 Industry Analyst Summit (IAS) that it is now adjusting to its role as a provider of broader capabilities to some of the world’s largest data centers. NetApp has used its Clustered Data ONTAP and E-Series SAN capabilities to penetrate 96 of the world’s Fortune 100 enterprises, and now is focused on messaging customer success stories, enabling consistent business outcomes for clients and positioning itself in strategic industry conversations to expand wallet share. Armed with a coalescing hybrid cloud data management story, expanding flash capabilities and an increased focus on messaging its innovation to the marketplace, NetApp will focus during the next 12 months on balancing direct and partner-led sales efforts to maximize effectiveness and sustain storage market share expansion through organic growth. “The future doesn’t matter if you can’t win in the present — and we aren’t giving ground to anybody,” said NetApp CEO Tom Georgens. NetApp will ramp investment into direct sales efforts targeted at its largest 1,000 enterprise customers, expand its services and support capabilities, and focus on working with partners around its differentiation to better compete against the likes of EMC, IBM and HP.

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NetApp evolves its go-to-market approach to drive hybrid cloud growth NetApp evolves its go-to-market approach to drive hybrid cloud growth Document Transcript

  • TBRT ECH N O LO G Y B U SIN ESS RESEARCH , IN C. TBR EVENT PERSPECTIVE NetApp evolves its go-to-market approach to drive hybrid cloud growth NetApp Industry Analyst Summit 2014 Sunnyvale, Calif., June 3-4, 2014 Author: Krista Macomber, Analyst (krista.macomber@tbri.com) TBR Perspective Now established as a large enterprise player, NetApp will focus on go-to-market execution during 2014 to sustain storage market share growth Historically a niche network-attached storage (NAS) provider that relies on midmarket customers, NetApp demonstrated at its 2014 Industry Analyst Summit (IAS) that it is now adjusting to its role as a provider of broader capabilities to some of the world’s largest data centers. NetApp has used its Clustered Data ONTAP and E-Series SAN capabilities to penetrate 96 of the world’s Fortune 100 enterprises, and now is focused on messaging customer success stories, enabling consistent business outcomes for clients and positioning itself in strategic industry conversations to expand wallet share. Armed with a coalescing hybrid cloud data management story, expanding flash capabilities and an increased focus on messaging its innovation to the marketplace, NetApp will focus during the next 12 months on balancing direct and partner-led sales efforts to maximize effectiveness and sustain storage market share expansion through organic growth. “The future doesn’t matter if you can’t win in the present — and we aren’t giving ground to anybody,” said NetApp CEO Tom Georgens. NetApp will ramp investment into direct sales efforts targeted at its largest 1,000 enterprise customers, expand its services and support capabilities, and focus on working with partners around its differentiation to better compete against the likes of EMC, IBM and HP. At NetApp’s IAS 2014, NetApp Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Julie Parrish revealed research that indicated prospective customers are uncertain about the company’s positioning. However, she also cited research suggesting that NetApp’s people and approach to customer relationships are its core differentiators to its installed base. The company is using these insights to align technologies to increasingly cloud-driven customer requirements. This focus provides a strong technological foundation in strategic markets such as hybrid cloud, evidenced by the introduction and success of Clustered ONTAP. However, NetApp must build on its product- centric DNA by also helping today’s hybrid IT and C-Suite executive customer base navigate vast choices for products that enable more rapid business decision making in an increasingly complex data center marketplace.
  • www.tbri.com TBR TBR believes that Parrish and Rob Salmon, NetApp’s president and head of go-to-market operations, have the vision and measurable plan needed for the vendor to continue gaining prominence across the industry as a critical partner in enterprises’ strategic business decision making. NetApp focuses portfolio innovation on enterprise application acceleration and hybrid cloud requirements to position for long-term growth Recognizing that customers do not want to give up familiar and compliant tools and processes with cloud buildouts, NetApp aims to solve customers’ hybrid data management challenges NetApp’s mantra at its 2013 IAS was “As goes Clustered ONTAP, so goes NetApp.” In 2014, this has evolved to “As goes enterprise hybrid cloud, so goes NetApp.” Following its philosophy that data is a critical asset for organizations that cannot be rebuilt if it is lost, NetApp is using its heritage in data management to make the public cloud a seamless extension of customers’ on-premises environments. NetApp is augmenting its private cloud capabilities with “sell-through” cloud service provider partnerships and alliances with public cloud providers to enable this hybrid cloud data fabric. Although storage is a critical component of cloud-based environments, TBR believes that high-performance processing and networking components are equally important — and customers will increasingly look at the entire picture when considering deployments. NetApp’s storage-centric focus fits well with efficiently storing and accessing data, but NetApp will need to engage customers in the complete cloud conversation to place its storage innovations into context. We also note that NetApp’s seamless hybrid vision is still approximately one year away from delivery. However, we believe NetApp is taking a wise approach by leveraging public cloud providers for “Disk as a Service,” in the words of Georgens, and adding value through bridging on-premises and public cloud storage implementations from a data management perspective. In focusing on making it easy for customers to place and manage data where they need it, NetApp is approaching the hybrid cloud marketplace with a clear strategy and value proposition that target critical customer pain points around data management emerging with new cloud models. As a result, NetApp is positioned to differentiate against competitors such as Dell that also have public- cloud-agnostic strategies. To execute on its corporate commitment to the hybrid cloud, NetApp formed a dedicated cloud business group to be led by its corporate Chief Strategy Officer Jon Kissane. This group will use agile development and focus on evolving NetApp’s portfolio and channel strengths to capitalize on cloud-driven enterprise business models. NetApp views OpenStack innovation as an important opportunity to differentiate as it bridges on- and off-premises environments. However, enterprise adoption of OpenStack has been slow. Additionally, TBR believes that NetApp has the opportunity to increase its messaging around providing open platforms for developers. A slew of vendors ranging from IBM to Red Hat to VMware are also investing in OpenStack and bolstering developer loyalty to better accommodate customer requirements emerging in today’s cloud- and mobile-application-led business environment. NetApp applies its data management and workload-centric roots to enterprise applications to sustain its upstream momentum As NetApp continues climbing the enterprise value chain, it is also applying its data management capabilities to enable end-to-end, mission-critical application life cycle support and improve performance of these applications. Currently, more than 45,000 customers run mission-critical workloads on NetApp solutions, generating more than half of NetApp’s revenue, according to the company’s Vice President of Solutions Product Management Tim Russell. Since today’s enterprises care less about underlying IT infrastructure and more about the performance of applications that have the potential to deliver real business value, NetApp is building a portfolio capable of improving the availability, performance and cost efficiencies of applications such as Microsoft SQL Server, SAP
  • www.tbri.com TBR HANA and Oracle DB12c. Overall, NetApp has a more limited history in working with these enterprise application vendors compared to competitors such as HP. However, NetApp’s core data management competencies lend credibility, as they lie at the heart of the company’s ability to accelerate application performance. NetApp’s data management fabric provides the foundation of its hybrid cloud capabilities, which enables tie-ins between NetApp’s cloud and enterprise application strategies. NetApp has the opportunity to catch up to competitors in engagements with enterprise application vendors. Its collaboration with SAP to build the world’s largest database underscores the company’s increasing collaboration. Additionally, customers are still testing analytics solutions such as Hadoop, creating inroads to adoption. The requirement for application and workload acceleration has created significant industry buzz around flash storage. Similar to competitors such as EMC, HDS and Dell, NetApp is claiming “flash leadership,” with 18 petabytes shipped during 1Q14, and is touting flexible, comprehensive portfolio capabilities with hybrid and all- flash approaches. Due to its homegrown rather than acquisition-led approach, NetApp lags behind competitors in bringing a storage architecture built from the ground up to leverage flash to the marketplace, unlike EMC and IBM that acquired pure-play flash providers XtremIO and Texas Memory Systems, respectively. TBR expects NetApp, to avoid losing ground in the all-flash array marketplace and cut through broader flash industry noise, to build proofs of concept that tie back to business results such as accelerated time to market and cost savings, and more actively message its industry innovation. As customers build out IT infrastructures that improve application and workload performance, they are turning to dedicated converged solutions for close technology integration as well as for ease of deployment and management. NetApp is capitalizing on this trend by building converged infrastructure solutions designed to accommodate enterprise applications with its FlexPod Datacenter and Select platforms, introduced jointly with Cisco in 2010. NetApp’s open, collaborative approach to converged infrastructure alongside the modular design of FlexPod make it easy to bundle appliances from a vertical-centric perspective, such as for healthcare data management, as well as from a horizontal perspective, such as for backup and analytics. This approach is driving increased penetration of FlexPod in mission-critical application environments. NetApp reported at IAS 2014 that 50% of FlexPod systems support database applications, with SQL server the top application, and SAP instances on FlexPod grew 53% year-to-year in 2013. Plans for deeper integration with Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure solutions will further the proposition of cloud-enabled application agility. NetApp will leverage Web-scale capabilities and agile development to capitalize on rising applicability and interest in object storage across the enterprise With data pools growing increasingly unwieldy but also increasingly strategic to customers, NetApp has ramped up investment in its object storage portfolio — tripling its associated engineering and quality assurance team in July 2013 — to build its forthcoming StorageGRID Webscale for cloud solution, which will result in a Web-scale content repository for unstructured data. NetApp is applying agile object storage development and close engagements with customers to capitalize on expanding use cases and opportunities for massively scalable and simplified creation, management and consumption of globally distributed data. In conversations with TBR analysts at IAS 2014, Duncan Moore, director of StorageGRID Software Group, and Ingo Fuchs, NetApp senior manager of product marketing, compared NetApp’s object storage business to a startup, noting it will leverage iterative six-month product updates and a near-term focus on the portfolio road map to ensure the company can respond quickly to evolving requirements. Training the NetApp sales force on object storage technologies and how they fit into customer environments, and touting long-standing expertise gained through the Bycast acquisition and integration with NetApp’s services and support capabilities, will help NetApp retain its edge in this fast-growing marketplace and establish object storage as an important pillar to corporate cloud growth. Event Overview
  • www.tbri.com TBR NetApp hosted industry analysts at its Sunnyvale, Calif. campus on June 3 and 4, 2014, to discuss its product road map and evolving go-to-market strategy. Speakers included Tom Georgens, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, NetApp; Jon Kissane, senior vice president and chief strategy officer, NetApp; Jay Kidd, senior vice president and chief technology officer, NetApp; and George Kurian, executive vice president, Product Operations, NetApp. Technology Business Research, Inc. is a leading independent technology market research and consulting firm specializing in the business and financial analyses of hardware, software, professional services, telecom and enterprise network vendors, and operators. Serving a global clientele, TBR provides timely and actionable market research and business intelligence in a format that is uniquely tailored to clients’ needs. Our analysts are available to further address client-specific issues or information needs on an inquiry or proprietary consulting basis. TBR has been empowering corporate decision makers since 1996. For more information please visit www.tbri.com. ©2014 Technology Business Research Inc. This report is based on information made available to the public by the vendor and other public sources. No representation is made that this information is accurate or complete. Technology Business Research will not be held liable or responsible for any decisions that are made based on this information. The information contained in this report and all other TBR products is not and should not be construed to be investment advice. TBR does not make any recommendations or provide any advice regarding the value, purchase, sale or retention of securities. This report is copyright-protected and supplied for the sole use of the recipient. Contact Technology Business Research, Inc. for permission to reproduce.