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NetApp reafirms strategy after SME shift

Simon Quicke

NetApp has hit back at rivals circling its SME customer base following the vendor's announcement of plans to scrap its small business product range.

Since the revelation that NetApp is canning its S series of products rivals including Overland Storage and Compellent have been vocal about the damage to the channel caused by the changes.

Julie Parrish, vice president of worldwide channel sales at NetApp, said that its focus was going to be on the mid sized market and it wanted resellers to sell those products.

"Moving forward, NetApp will focus its MSE efforts by building out our FAS2000 platform. As a result, we will launch channel-only FAS2020 NetApp Select Bundles that will provide our MSE customers with enterprise level performance at a mid-market price point along with easier ordering options," she said.

"At the same time, we will no longer provide any additional enhancements to our S550 platform. We believe this product platform consolidation will offer our channel partners the opportunity to sell a more market-competitive set of products based on NetApp's unified storage architecture," she added.

"Even though StoreVault originally targeted the SME segment, it was orientated toward the MSE market after integration into NetApp's core products," she added "NetApp's core products have alwats focused on the enterprise and MSE space."

But already the chance to exploit some channel and customer confusion with Overland among those jostling for potential new customers.

David Spate, Sales Director, Northern EMEA, Overland, stated: "Given the tough economic climate we are now facing, it is quiet frankly stunning that NetApp would want to effectively disenfranchise its customer base by discontinuing this range."

"The S family of entry level storage products was targeted at the SMB segment and we are urging any NetApp customers - and indeed channel partners who resell the range - to contact us," he added.

Compellent is also commenting on the consequences for resellers and managing director of international sales Andy Hardy said that decisions like NetApp's did cause disruption to both channel partners and customers.

"Channel partners and customers want a single, flexible storage solution that can scale from a few terabytes to several petabytes. For the channel, the ability to sell and service a single storage platform into a wide range of customer environments is hugely efficient and highly profitable," he said.

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