By Mike Dilio, Sr. FlexPod Solutions Marketing Manager, Americas Marketing
It was quite a thrill to get the news recently that Optera Group were being recognized with a 2014 Silver Key Award from the Colorado Chapter of the Business Marketing Association for their iPad App for FlexPod. NetApp and Cisco partnered with Optera Group to create the App and the three of us worked collaboratively over several months to bring this award-winning solution to life. Like many great inventions, the idea to do something was triggered when a few of us happened to see some of the exciting mobile apps Optera Group were creating in the healthcare space.
The Optera Group is a boutique business-to-business consulting firm that combines innovative sales and marketing knowledge, sophisticated creative design, and the use of emerging technology to help create exceptional customer experiences. Mike Gorman had previously worked with one of Operta’s founders, Cole Sandau, and because Cole came from a storage background, he really understood what we wanted to achieve and why. A small team of us got together, including Dave Yeary and Brian Cresci from Cisco, to kick the idea around. We were impressed with what Optera. Group were doing with healthcare apps and thought, why not leverage their thought leadership to deliver some dynamic selling tools for our FlexPod sales teams?
At App inception, FlexPod was still fairly new in market. We were motivated to find a simple, streamlined way to help our joint field sales and partner channels access the most current and up-to-date information to easily map FlexPod value to customer needs. We wanted something that could be loaded onto an iPad in seconds and that would be interactive, informative and fun to use.
The project was very collaborative with a lot of input from teams. Digital, social media, engineering and sales resources all worked together. Jim Lyons, Pamela Kerman, Cecil Christi and Ellen Hughes from Cisco as well as several others from both companies played key roles in ensuring quality and content were first class.
The Mobile FlexPod App is live now on the Apple App store. We’ve already had over 2,300 downloads and initial feedback is terrific. Our roadmap calls for two more iterations. Phase 2 will include technical enhancements to help with architecture and design, while Phase 3 will enable order building and order processing. We are also considering developing this for Android and Windows 8 devices.
It was a lot of fun as we watched our iPad FlexPod App grow from an idea into a really cool working companion for field sales and partners to benefit from. We hope you like it as much as we do. Take the App for a test drive today and let us know what you think.
And for the NetApp, Cisco and Optera Group project team – congratulations and a big thumbs-up on the award win.