Bull's Eye Awards: Partner Program of the Year (Class A)
When NetApp earlier this year changed the name of its channel program from VIP to the NetApp Partner Program, it was more than a simple change in unit letterhead. The renamed program for the first time welcomed all partner types, from VARs and distributors to system integrators and service providers, under one channel umbrella.
Moreover, the Sunnyvale, Calif., vendor rolled out a host of new programs along with the new moniker, including the NetApp Field Portal, a tool that aims to optimize sales effectiveness by providing company and product information to partners throughout the buying cycle. A key feature available through the portal, NetApp’s Campaign Express, delivers an automated system for building specialized marketing efforts for NetApp solutions. Campaign Express packs features such as lead generation, collateral development and metrics reporting.
"NetApp is dedicated to investing in our partners in order to help further their businesses and open new opportunities for them to work with their customers to solve inefficiencies in their data centers," says Julie Parrish, vice president of Global Partner Sales at NetApp. "High-impact enablement tools such as the NetApp Field Portal and Campaign Express are just a few examples of how we are making it easier for our partners to stay focused on what they are good at."
Also this past year NetApp revved its GetSuccessful Partner Enablement Program, adding on-demand videos, comprehensive solution kits and face-to-face workshops to help partners ramp up their product knowledge and sales skills. The NetApp Partner Program now also recognizes technology specializations in areas such as VMware virtualization, Microsoft virtualization, and backup and recovery.
The changes are all about shortening sales cycles and helping partners become trusted advisers to their customers. And when it comes to services, NetApp has partners covered there, too. The vendor’s Authorized Professional Service Partner Program includes intensive training and a plethora of support tools to help partners deliver NetApp branded services.
For all of the improvements to its Partner Program, NetApp has earned the Channel Insider Contender Bull’s Eye Award for Partner Program of the Year for programs of $1billion or more.