Cisco Partner Summit 2014 was held in Las Vegas in March and if you weren’t there, you didn’t hear the message of how important partners are to Cisco and how Cisco continues to commit to channel success. Between now and April 28, you can read the summary of major announcements and offers in Partner Central as well as access replays of live presentations.
During the FlexPod Premium Partner Auxiliary Session, Rick Snyder, Vice President of Global & Strategic Partner Organization at Cisco Systems was joined by Thomas Stanley, Senior Vice President of Global Partner Sales & Alliances at NetApp along with Jim McHugh, Adam Fore, Satinder Sethi, Dan Neault, Brian Allison and Janet Chang-Pryor to share where we are going and how the numbers stack up today: when it comes to converged infrastructure, FlexPod continues to gallop forward at an all-out pace.
We learned that FlexPod is still #1 in revenues year-to-date for worldwide Integrated Infrastructure for 2013, rapidly scaling its customer base with 107 percent growth year-over-year. An install base of more than 3,200 customers and more than 100 public customer references means a FlexPod is sold somewhere in the world roughly every 4 hours. We also learned that FlexPod is a cost efficiency leader, with VCE costing customers $1.3M per unit while FlexPod averages an affordable $327k ASP, a remarkable 75% savings and something customers are getting excited about.
In parallel, proven results from leading research firm Forrester show that FlexPod customers realize 120 percent ROI, and see a break-even in just 9 months, while FlexPod is still the only converged infrastructure solution that guarantees savings: NetApp storage systems guarantee customers will require 50 percent less storage capacity vs. competitive virtualized solutions.
With FlexPod, customers aren’t locked into a certain hypervisor or software strategy either. We offer the broadest selection of validated hypervisor-based and bare-metal designs, including extensive integrated testing with VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, RedHat KVM, and Oracle VM. And our diverse ecosystem of leading technology partners, with joint validations and/or go-to-market programs include Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, VMware, Cisco, Citrix, Cloudera, Hortonworks and Red Hat.
But speaking of our technology partnerships, it is applications that are driving adoption of FlexPod. With pure-play core infrastructure purchasing showing little to no growth, it is critical to know who is going to be spending the money and why? Approximately 80% of the buying decisions will be made around deploying either a Microsoft or Oracle workload with Microsoft applications driving more than 50% of that buying decision for the initial PO.
Understanding how and what applications are driving buying opens the door for new dialogues with your customers and prospects. For some additional information on reaching the newest decision-makers, check out our earlier blog where Pat Bodin suggests taking another look at the new IT buyer.
There are several new pre-sales tools to help shorten the selling process. All of these resources are available at our www.cisconetapp.com partner portal. And don’t worry if you don’t have a secure log-in, simply follow the easy access request process and you will receive your credentials. Onboarding for this terrific resource occurs twice a month.
One of the tools that got the room buzzing was “Guided Solution Sizing”. Simply plugging in basic customer requirements and assumptions delivers a recommended FlexPod configuration that includes specific UCS server, Nexus switch and FAS controller. This FlexPod BOM can then be used to generate a budgetary quote for the customer. GSS supports Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint, as well as VMware View today: expect to see more workloads and applications being introduced over the next several months to help partners spend less time winning more business.
As part of our continued commitment to make it easy to make a FlexPod decision, we have expanded our unified approach to financing by covering more geographical regions and simplifying the ability to add-on, upgrade and refresh. Payback periods are shorter, ROI is improved and better options for the SMB market make our financing terms more attractive for this community.
Partners further benefit with an additional 1% incentive on both Cisco and NetApp.
Bain and Company were brought in to help us understand how financing actually helps close business. Their findings illustrated that when financing is part of the deal, the deal size increases on average from 20-35% because customers are focusing on a monthly expense. Any incremental amounts produce only a small increase in their monthly payment. Result? Customers are actually happier spending more because they are able to get exactly what they need, when they need it, without compromise.
Need one more reason to think about financing? When financing is brought in to the deal early on, the win ratio increases anywhere from 3% to 12% while discounting is reduced. The numbers tell the story. Financing sweetens the sale.
At Cisco Connect, NetApp and Cisco were able to spend time sharing why FlexPod continues to reign supreme as one of the best business bets our two companies have made in the last 3 years. For partners, our on-going commitment to FlexPod will result in more sales as we help you go to market with a solution that gives you the ability to reach more broadly across your customer and prospect base. Our pre-sales tools, validated reference architectures and financing solutions make it tough for customers to say “no” to FlexPod.
If you want to understand more, read some of the exciting wins that have realized this past year and tell us about your own FlexPod success for a chance to be featured in a case study or a blog. Simply send an email with the subject line “FlexPod Win” to Michael.Dilio@netapp.com.