UPDATED 12:14 EST / JUNE 13 2018

img_5275 BIG DATA

NetApp plays the digital transformation field with customer-peers

Digital transformation is about doing business around data, that much is established. But not a whole lot is clear about how to actually make the leap from the idea of data-driven business to the reality. Would working with a technology company in the thick of its own transformation be a wise move for confused customers?

“We really were drawn to this notion of providing outcomes for our customers, rather than providing storage long term,” said Bill Miller (pictured), senior vice president and chief information officer at NetApp Inc.

Miller spoke with Lisa Martin (@LuccaZara), co-host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, and guest host Keith Townsend (@CTOAdvisor), principal at The CTO Advisor, during the SAP Sapphire Now event in Orlando, Florida. They discussed transformation trends and how NetApp snipes the market’s moving target. (* Disclosure below.)

Cloud cool kids and on-prem sticklers welcome

The storage stalwart has made itself over for hybrid-cloud data management in the past few years, and NetApp is transforming internally parallel to customers now struggling with choices about IT modernization and business outcomes. While NetApp has “burned the ships” and will never return to being merely a storage provider, its new identity is not quite set in stone, Miller explained.

“We realize it’s not over,” he said. “We’re in transformation 2.0, which is the whole next generation. And most of our leadership team is very comfortable with the discomfort associated with continually transforming ourselves.”

NetApp’s customers are its peers and influencers. Many desire to move to the hyperscale cloud for flexibility, according to Miller. In Silicon Valley, for instance, “all the startup companies are being designed in the cloud functionality, so that’s where a lot of the new R&D and the new IP is being created,” he said.

Others may choose to stay on-premises, build private clouds, or spread out across a multicloud hodgepodge. NetApp is working the entire field to follow customers wherever they go, Miller stated. “It’s digital transformation around data, and it’s enabling that cloud journey for our customers at a rate of consumption that’s acceptable and digestible to them,” he concluded.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the SAP Sapphire Now event. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for SAP Sapphire Now. Neither NetApp Inc., the event sponsor, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

Since you’re here …

Show your support for our mission with our one-click subscription to our YouTube channel (below). The more subscribers we have, the more YouTube will suggest relevant enterprise and emerging technology content to you. Thanks!

Support our mission:    >>>>>>  SUBSCRIBE NOW >>>>>>  to our YouTube channel.

… We’d also like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.

If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.