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NetApp USPS SAMs - The Path to Public Sector Success

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Scott Malcolm
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U.S. Public Sector (USPS) customers, in contrast to commercial entities, face unique IT challenges. USPS customers must deal with the secure nature of their operations, restrictions that are imposed by their own IT departments, and the mandate to meet data security governance and regulations. For U.S. Federal, State, and Local Government customers who face these additional IT challenges, NetApp® USPS Support Account Managers (SAMs) have extensive experience in adhering to these protocols and in data security and data privacy compliance. They also provide the gold standard in support to help USPS customers like you proactively resolve issues and achieve operational efficiency.

NetApp USPS SAMs are a special team with the experience, training, and knowledge to promote exceptional outcomes that help your public-sector IT administrators. As a NetApp public-sector customer, you can be confident that your assigned USPS SAM is security-cleared as required (Secret, Top Secret, Top Secret with access to Sensitive Compartmented Information [TS/SCI], and so on). You can also rely on your SAM to personally provide advice and steering toward optimal solutions. These recommendations are instrumental for improvements to provide key benefits to public sector customers like you:

  • Overcome unique obstacles and hurdles
  • Maintain control at secure or remote sites
  • Resolve delivery and logistical challenges

U.S. Public Sector organizations soar with USPS SAMs

As a public-sector organization, you must overcome other unique obstacles and hurdles to achieve successful data storage management operations. Following are examples of a few challenges that often occur in secure site environments. When you encounter them, how do you recover?

  • It’s not a question of if, but when. When a part fails at a secure site and needs replacement, special instructions and protocols must be included in the process for replacement parts to a secure site. If any of these details are overlooked, the replacement can’t be completed. What are the ramifications when a replacement isn’t received as expected but you depend on that part? It happens, and it’s costly. It can be avoided. A SAM has your back, rest easy.
  • When a remote, secure facility experiences system errors, what steps are taken to properly monitor and to effectively remediate for the best outcome? While tending to a remote issue, do you have to pull technical resources from another location, incurring travel time and expenses, along with a general loss of productivity? Weighing losses versus preventive care is the first step in implementing a solution to more effectively mitigate potential issues and to keep your operations running smoothly. Including a SAM is the answer. A SAM addresses potential issues before they occur, enabling you to maintain higher-value work and to minimize disruptions. Other key benefits that you can gain from a SAM include:
    • Ongoing communication and a liaison with third-party vendors, serving as the lead coordinator with all parties, to proactively keep you ahead of issues and to avoid downtime.
    • Timely replacements and meeting of expectations through continual monitoring of technical cases, and confirming that all special instructions are followed to match your organization’s unique requirements.
    • A personal technical advocate within NetApp. Your USPS SAM regularly interfaces with engineering and technical support to coordinate communication, to keep you up to date, and to free you from having to watchdog any issues.
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When your organization is a secure, remote site, how do you maintain control?

If your USPS organization is also a remote site, your storage administrators’ challenges can require a completely different skillset for system monitoring and troubleshooting compared with nonsecure, commercial enterprises.

As an example, you may have secure networks that don’t permit external access, that don’t have outbound or WAN connectivity, or that don’t support phone-home capabilities like NetApp AutoSupport® technology. This situation can be problematic because AutoSupport improves case resolution times and provides information about detected risks and configuration details.

In that case, you have the advantage of the USPS SAM team members, who are thoroughly knowledgeable about these constraints and are specifically trained to deliver exceptional SAM services in “low to no” AutoSupport environments. With their expertise and deep understanding of your secure environment, USPS SAMs are equipped to raise potential issues, to give you best practices advice, and to help you stay ahead of business risks.

Effective and dependable communication is a requisite for success with USPS customers like you. Your SAM maintains a regular communication cadence and works to ensure that any vulnerabilities, outstanding risks, and case concerns are addressed directly with them. Public-sector SAMs develop personal relationships with you as their customer, enabling them to know your unique security and operational requirements and to deliver a customer-specific, comprehensive, and proactive approach to managing your NetApp ecosystem.

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National Security sites require experts to help you recover

In accordance with the U.S. National Security Act of 1947, some USPS customers can’t divulge the physical location of their systems. This restriction can present an extra challenge when there’s a need to receive new systems or replacements. 

If your organization faces this challenge, your USPS SAM is expert at adapting to your unique security requirements. USPS SAMs are like superheroes, jumping through hoops of fire to get the right equipment to the right place, right on time. Although USPS SAMs don’t wear a cape, they’re recognized for calming the waters and for delivering above expectations to keep our U.S. Federal, State, and Local Government State, Local, and Federal customers operating smoothly. Occasionally a situation involves extra creativity to keep the ship moving forward unimpeded! Read the following entertaining yet real scenarios in which USPS SAMs worked with their customers to deliver the necessary NetApp equipment, while being acutely mindful of the customer’s personal safety and confidential location.

Personal safety: A USPS customer in a remote region required a delay in delivery of a NetApp component. The reason: The customer was situated in a dangerous, snake-infested area and needed to first secure their own personal safety. Without hesitation, the USPS SAM changed the delivery arrangement to suit the modified request. Downtime and snake incident averted!

Near or far: For USPS customers in remote locations, it can be difficult and sometimes impossible to find delivery services or on-site technicians when they’re needed. Near or far, USPS SAMs coordinate for what customers need and where. One of these SAMs arranged for a qualified NetApp engineer with the appropriate security clearances to travel 7 hours to a remote customer site to successfully complete an installation. Another SAM arranged for a NetApp courier to deliver a needed replacement component by camel ride across the desert. USPS SAMs even use “under the cover of darkness” delivery instructions to comply with their customers’ secure installation requirements and to complete the mission successfully.

Whatever the situation, NetApp USPS SAMs are here to support you, our USPS customer.

The next step to find your own USPS SAM

Get expert, personalized support to meet your unique challenges and to free up your IT team to focus on more important duties.

Learn more about SAM services for both USPS and commercial NetApp customers.

Contact your NetApp account team or any of our global sales members, and we’ll be happy to connect with you. 

Also visit NetApp solutions for U.S. Public Sector to find out how USPS organizations are partnering with NetApp to modernize their data management with innovative public-sector IT solutions.

Scott Malcolm

Scott is an experienced high-tech leader and strategic thinker who is deeply committed to customer experience. During his nearly 15 years at NetApp, Scott has developed highly effective post-sales organizations with a keen focus on driving value-based outcomes for customers. As VP WW Support Account Management and Customer Success Management, Scott is dedicated to enabling his teams to deliver white-glove care to our customers to reap more immediate benefits with their NetApp solutions.

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