How is the NetApp & IBM deal working out?

According to Steve Duplessie – Everything is going to be just fine.

But looking at the wonderful relationship that NetApp had with Dell’s rebranding of the F700 series and the lovefest that ensued after the Gfilers that came from NETAPP & HDS combined efforts, I would say that NetApp is not one to play well with others. I am certain IBM knows this history.

It might be a great opportunity to get better prices on your NetApp hardware purchases though. Now you have two places to go to get exactly the same parts, perfromance and service contracts. And since NetApp’s sales folks get a commission they might be very willing to let IBM’s sales folks do their missionary sales work and then come in and take the ensuing deals. This has been the practice with NetApp’s sales force and their channel – Let the local channel develop the account and then make it a house account for NetApp’s direct sales force. It makes for a better margin.

In the past few weeks, Zerowait has gotten calls from sales reps asking what we would pay them for older NETAPP equipment they would like to replace in their accounts, so it seems that some brand replacement is happening. But maybe it does not matter to NetApp, since if IBM replaces older NetApp Models with rebranded models, NetApp is still selling more boxes.

It might be that IBM’s management is taking a strategic approach, and they are learning all they can from NetApp. Once they have learned the marketplace they can set up a team in Bangalore to make a better Filer Head than NetApp does. Perhaps they can start with something like a FreeBSD kernel, buy cards from Qlogic & INTEL and ask NEC to make their head units.

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