In yet another interview on SiliconANGLE’s theCube, Wikibon’s Dave Vellante and SiliconANGLE’s John Furrier, broadcasting live from the outfield at AT&T Park in San Francisco, welcomed Thomas Stanley, Senior Vice President, Global Partner Sales & Alliances for NetApp.
The NetApp MVP Customer Event, an offshoot of the VMworld Conference, highlights the strong alliance between NetApp and VMware. Stanley commented their relationship is even older than the VMworld Conference which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
He went on to detail the NetApp portfolio which, in its early days, focused mainly on FAST products. As the technologies have matured, NetApp has folded in flash and solution provision for their customers. As he noted, “We can take FlexPod and go up the stack allowing our partners to sell more whether it’s VMware or Cisco.”
Speaking to the relatively new Software Defined Storage, Stanley went on to say that it is a confirmation of what NetApp has always focused on, which is software. They believe their journey from OnTap to Clustered OnTap will provide a huge benefit to their customers.
NetApp has a strong commitment to building and maintaining their partner relationships. This is because the customer requirement has always been about the application workload. This, according to Stanley, means NetApp has to make sure their partner ecosystem can take FlexPod to market in a big way.
Stanley goes on to credit the NetApp success to three key points. First, they are at the fore of innovation. Secondly, he believes they are a great company to work with and cites the attendance that evening at AT&T Park as evidence of such. And finally, NetApp provides products that add significant value to their partners.
It is these partner relationships that help drive NetApp innovation, Stanley claims. And in turn, it is NetApps innovation that drives their partners to innovate as well. In the early days, NetApp produced a high percentage of products sold through their partners who, themselves, had a deep knowledge in storage. As NetApp moved beyond FAST products, they have seen a broad maturity in that field in their own right.
The conversation next went to virtualization, which Stanley regards as highly important. Application work is the next big thing, in his opinion. This means NetApp has to maintain software awareness. NetApp needs to keep their focus on being able to work across several platforms. This is more easily achieved by their embrace of Open environments.
A new term was noted from Twitter earlier in the day and Furrier asked if Stanley could provide a definition for Cloud Style. Stanley said he believes it applies to customers who want two things: to be able to access their data from wherever it may reside, and to be assured of its security.
Stanley wrapped up the interview by stating their event is about both customer and partner success. NetApp’s goal is to be the number one company to partner with in the building of the new infrastructure.
SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE is broadcasting live this week from the VMworld Conference in San Francisco. Be sure to join us live or watch any of the rebroadcasts on our YouTube channel.