The Number One Ranking for FlexPod on the IDC Converged Infrastructure Report provides leverage to partners selling FlexPod helping customers make their buying decision with confidence. For partners and customers, this is the first time they can take a look at the big picture, understand who the leaders are and why.
Regina Kunkle, NetApp Vice President discusses how our channel can initiate conversations and use this report to influence deals.
Q: IDC recently positioned FlexPod as the global leader in integrated infrastructure, what does this mean to our partners and customers?
A: This is an exciting time for NetApp/Cisco partners and customers. The recognition from IDC has reinforced that our decision to embark on a joint strategy to design and deliver the most cost efficient and reliable solution in the industry was absolutely the right way to go. Partners can recommend FlexPod to their clients knowing that IDC has given it a big thumbs up.
The NetApp/Cisco combination of best of breed in compute, networking and storage maximizes flexibility for configurations, workloads and delivery and is solving some pretty big headaches for IT and ultimately the lines of business that IT serves.
Q: This is a new category, why do you believe IDC thinks this is so important?
A: Converged Infrastructure is a trend that is only just beginning but one that has huge significance for organizations. By adopting a converged infrastructure, organizations can operate more efficiently and react quickly to competitive pressures. Our research is telling us that we should expect to see upwards of fifty percent growth in the next three to four years.
While IDC is helping clients navigate this new trend, this is still only the second quarter they have tracked the Converged Infrastructure market which means that this is the first time customers can look to a research firm to help them take a look at the big picture, understand who the leaders are and why.
For enterprises who need to reduce risk by understanding who is investing heavily in converged infrastructure, this report will become a key milestone in the corporate buying process and our partners can use this report to help stimulate interest and accelerate buying decisions.
Q: FlexPod is growing at over 100%. Why do you think FlexPod has been so successful?
A: We are thrilled with the adoption rates of FlexPod. We are seeing 117% growth annually and now can proudly confirm we have over 2,700 customers. There is a lot of business riding on FlexPod – from airlines to financial institutions to oil and gas to big governments and more – customers are choosing FlexPod because it is reliable, scalable, manageable, affordable and secure.
We have over thirty-five validated designs with our top ecosystem partners. This enables customers to select the “exact-size” system they need driving efficiency for today and supporting scalability for the future.
Of course, the most significant reason for our success is our partners themselves. They understand their customers and customer environments. They are skilled in both Cisco and NetApp and they know how to architect and accelerate deployments. We are one hundred percent committed to our channel strategy and that is good for partners, good for customers and terrific for us.
Q: What is the biggest strength that FlexPod introduces to the enterprise?
A: How does 120% ROI and break even in nine months sound? Seriously, we have case after case of documented proven ROI that is shaking up even the most skeptical IT departments who are searching for ways to better serve the business.
The secret is our broad ecosystem. FlexPod is validated for Microsoft, VMWare, Oracle and SAP. This reduces risk, increases time to market, slashes infrastructure costs and ultimately lets CIO’s sleep at night.
Q: How can partners use FlexPod to differentiate themselves competitively?
A: FlexPod allows our partners to differentiate themselves in several ways:
- By providing the client with a highly customized solution that meets their business needs;
- By providing services that are delivered for the unique customer engagement decreasing risk and accelerating time to market;
- By providing their clients a total cost efficient flexible solution that will scale/ grow as their business needs increase or change;
- By taking advantage of several unique marketing programs we are supporting this year designed to accelerate customer buying decisions and increase partner margins.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: I want to finish with a big thanks to the FlexPod teams and partners around the world. It is because of you that FlexPod has jumped to the head of the converged infrastructure pack, solving the challenges of weary and overworked IT departments and making analysts sit up and pay attention. So fasten your seat belts and rev up the engine - the ride is just beginning.