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NetApp changes the partnership game with new Partner-centered engagement model

A letter to Partners, from Jenni Flinders

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Jenni Flinders

Today I am proud to announce that NetApp is rolling out its new Partner Sphere Program—a vibrant, Partner-centered engagement model that combines industry-leading NetApp® technology with your innovative services. The power of this partnership model extends our capabilities to meet the continually evolving needs of customers and to deliver more value.  

This new approach to partnering has been almost 2 years in the making, involving hundreds of people and thousands of hours. We have met with you, listened to you, and gone back to the drawing board to create a simpler, Partner-first focus that will help you accelerate deals with us. We believe that Partner Sphere is all about the journey, not the destination, and today marks a new and exciting path that we are embarking on together. I can promise that you, our Partner, will always be front and center in every conversation. Our new Partner experience will showcase you and how your services add customer value to make you, with NetApp, the right choice every time.  

Partners are key to NetApp success

On a recent call with analysts, we were excited to communicate our growth numbers across every geography and region. As we highlighted the key wins across industries and locations, we were able to share that every win involved a NetApp Partner. You are the heart of our organization. You are crucial to providing customer value by leading with digital and cloud transformations and by delivering successful business outcomes. Together, we win more. 

Partners deliver transformative customer outcomes

Many of you have partnered with us for decades, and you rely on NetApp to build great technology and to remain at the leading edge of what is coming next. And we do. Our technologies and unique partnerships across all the hyperscalers and leading independent software vendors (ISVs) support continued innovation for modern data transformation for on-premises, hybrid, and cloud-first architectures.   

But modern times call for modern solutions, and we wanted a Partner engagement model that could help meet the more complex demands of today’s customers.   

“As a long-term NetApp Partner, EchoStor is pleased with NetApp’s commitment to offer an innovative and straightforward Partner Program. The Partner Sphere Program competency approach is in line with our strong focus on technical expertise, and the financial incentives show NetApp’s consistent effort to reinvest in the Partner community. The new program enables us to align priorities while maximizing the benefits available to EchoStor.” —Larry Paul, Director of Channel Operations, EchoStor

Our goal was to remove barriers for you in choosing to partner with NetApp, whether they were technology, consumption, administration, training, or access to people. This clear path allows you to focus on delivering the value that is uniquely your own through your end-to-end digital and cloud transformations and professional services.

“CoCre8 Technology Solutions welcomes the new NetApp Partner Sphere Program. It has empowered us to succeed in the hybrid multicloud data management market. Partner Sphere provides Partners with a simple framework and transformative training, and promotes Partner differentiation. Partner Sphere has helped us build the skills and competencies we need to win in the cloud or on premises. CoCre8 is a Preferred Partner, aiming for Prestige in NetApp FY24.”  —Phil Bradley, NetApp Business Manager, CoCre8    

Joint priorities guide our engagement model

We aligned NetApp goals to what you told us is important to you, creating a list of priorities that serve all of us. These priorities have shaped every aspect of this Partner engagement model as well as how we support and promote your organization to win more with us. With our Partners, we strive to:  

  • Grow a shared portfolio by using co-innovation 
  • Help develop and promote highly specialized, services-led Partners 
  • Accelerate Partners’ cloud solutions and customer adoption of a cloud portfolio 
  • Acquire new customers 
  • Deliver customer value and successful business outcomes 

“Through our NetApp partnership, Binary Global has the certifications and training we need to lead in India’s intensely competitive market. We’re a trusted advisor to our customers who come to us for consulting and deployment services as a Certified Delivery Partner (CDP). Partner Sphere will help us bring our customers new opportunities for growth and innovation. We’ll also feature new Partner-led, NetApp-based solutions in our state-of-the-art Center of Excellence (COE).” —S.S. Dhingra, Managing Director, Binary Global


Differentiators are recognized and promoted

Our new engagement model includes recognizing and rewarding Partner capabilities. You now have multiple paths to success and can choose what aligns to your focus and specialty. We have included strategic long-term investments and benefits to reward highly specialized services that deliver customer value. We will promote you and your differentiators through tiers, Solution Competencies, and Services Certified tracks. At every step of your journey with us, we will offer transformative, cloud-ready training and support to accelerate your capabilities and wins.   

Partner for the win

We are grateful for all the time that you gave us to build a better Partner experience. From roundtables to surveys to 1:1 meetings, your insights and contributions were invaluable. We want to give you everything that you need to be successful. This new engagement model is designed to do just that.   

Now it is time to put all this work and effort to the test. If you want to learn more, connect with your Partner account manager or Distributor. Begin joint planning for Solution Competencies and Services Certified tracks. Log in and experience via our Partner Hub. Give us feedback. Tell us your stories. I’m excited to hear from you as we innovate together to drive amazing customer outcomes.  

To get started, read the press release and meet with your Partner account managers.

Jenni Flinders

Jenni Flinders is the global Channel Chief at NetApp, where she is responsible for creating high-value programs that enable NetApp partners to thrive by wrapping their unique services around NetApp’s leading hybrid cloud solutions. Jenni’s approach has always been to add value for partners. Most recently, this resulted in the launch of Partner Sphere, an innovative program that helps partners grow their business and their bottom line, faster. 

Before joining NetApp, Jenni was responsible for developing and executing partner strategies for world-class technology organizations. She has been recognized multiple times for leadership, including being named in the top 100 most powerful women in the channel and, more recently, by CRN as one of the top 100 executives in 2023.

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