“Market research can establish beyond the shadow of a doubt that the egg is a sorry product and that it obviously will not continue to sell. Because, after all, eggs won’t stand up by themselves, they roll too easily, are too easily broken, require special packaging, look alike, are difficult to open, won’t stack on the shelf.”

Robert Pliskin – quoted in Stephen Donadio, The New York Public Library: Book of Twentieth-Century American Quotations

I was speaking to a new customer the other day in Maryland about how Zerowait became the largest third party service and support company specifically focusing on NetApp products. I explained our history and how much my staff and I were impressed with NetApp’s products in the 1990’s. I reviewed how a NetApp salesman named Tom Morris taught us about the products, and how we met with Dave Hitz at their old buildings on San Tomas. I discussed how the filers worked within our High Availability architectures. I went into our work with Amit Pandey and how we put out a joint press release with NetApp & Radware. I told him about our trips with the folks from Dupont and Legg Mason into NetApp’s new customer center on Java Drive so they could see how NetApp products worked and meet with their folks. I explained how Zerowait sent our engineers to training at NetApp, and how their sales and marketing folks used to come to our customer events and work with us in our trade show booths at trade shows in Las Vegas.

I explained how we were introduced to NetApp’s Registered Service Provider program at a NetApp Conference in San Francisco, and how we became one of the first RSP’s supporting companies like Computer Science Corporation (CSC). I explained that we sold filers to the Jet Propulsion Lab, and Interliant, TTSG and so many others. And the customer asked me what happened to what sounds like a great working relationship. And I had to answer that we still don’t know why NetApp canceled our relationship, but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Zerowait.

What we found while being NetApp resellers was that there are lot of companies that were very unhappy with the high cost of NetApp’s support and service policies. However, as a NetApp reseller we were not allowed to sell used or compatible equipment to NetApp customers. But when our contract was canceled, we were free to provide third party support to those disaffected customers. So, we developed a niche market and have grown the business very successfully.

Once the Eggshell was broken we saw a beautiful opportunity as the egg spilled out in front of us. Out of adversity, we developed a growing business that is dedicated to providing High Availability service and support for NetApp’s products at reasonable prices. Because we are no longer tied to NetApp we can provide unbiased answers to our customers who are looking for solutions to their most vexing technical and budgetary problems related to NetApp hardware.

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