A Formula for Success — NetApp Celebrates 25 Years of Building Relationships That Matter

When NetApp started in 1992, no one could have imagined that our technology would play a role in managing the data for everything from fast access to patient records in hospitals; to streaming satellite data from space; to bringing remote regions to life with 3D visualization for oil and gas. For 25 years, NetApp has been at the forefront of data management.


At NetApp, relationships matter. We know that we owe our longevity and much of our success to the collaboration, investment and trust that our customers, partners and employees bring to the NetApp equation. Whenever I think about some of the best examples of NetApp innovation over these years, I think about the people that have helped us bring  new products and solutions to markets.


We listen to our customers

NetApp grew into a multi-faceted data management company because we listened to our customers. We work hard to understand what problems they face, and to appreciate what a successful solution looks like through their eyes, in their operating environments. Financial institutions have different needs than hospitals, for instance, and I vividly remember when we worked jointly with Cisco, Microsoft and Dimension Data to innovate with Bank in a Box for ING. It was a game changer and set a precedent for others to follow.


As I travel around the world, I am privileged to learn how NetApp’s customers are depending on NetApp to impact others. Companies like Samaritan’s Purse, which relies on NetApp to deliver an always-on environment. When disaster strikes, the first 48 hours is the most critical time to mobilize supplies and relief workers to help, and since deployment, NetApp has never let Samaritan’s Purse down.


We innovate with our partners

NetApp has excelled at developing two, three and four-way strategic alliances and partnerships with other industry experts who are leaders in their fields. Those alliances have positioned NetApp to co-innovate solutions that support all of our customers.


One of the stories that is cemented in my mind is how Cisco and NetApp  collaborated to develop our converged infrastructure solution, FlexPod. It all started on the back of a napkin, and when it came to life we exceeded our expectations, meeting our first year forecast in just one quarter! Why? Partners and customers. Partners participated in the designs, gave us feedback, and customers embraced the ultimate product. FlexPod has truly been a collaborative effort and we’ve been innovating together ever since.

We value our employees

NetApp is home to the best and brightest technology minds in the industry. Every achievement we have celebrated was carefully nurtured to life by a NetApp team. In 2016, the Great Place to Work Institute named NetApp number six on its list of “World’s Best Multinational Workplaces.” We are proud to have placed in the top 10 globally for many years now.


We appreciate and hire for diversity, promoting and supporting women in technology initiatives as well as embracing a multi-cultural and multi-generational workforce. It is part of our core values; we know that our company is stronger and more innovative from the contributions of a diverse workforce.


Beyond Storage

Many people think of NetApp as just a storage company—that’s certainly how we started. But NetApp has grown into so much more. We have experienced growth in an environment where technology changes quickly, and our customers’ needs evolve along with it. We have been successful because we didn’t just chase current trends: we anticipated them, we embraced them, and in some cases, we created them. And these successes were a direct result of the collaborative efforts of our customers, our partners and our employees.


Thank you for the relationships that matter

Today I want to pay tribute to those relationships that matter – our customers, our partners and our employees. Thank you. You are the ones who have helped NetApp get to where we are today. Let’s continue on making great things happen for all of us.

Maria Olson

Maria Olson is Vice President, Global & Strategic Alliances for NetApp, and has responsibility for worldwide go-to-market with Alliance partners. Maria and her team have oversight for teaming with the company’s portfolio of Alliance partners and internal teams to bring to market a variety of storage and data management solutions. Her responsibilities include creation of business strategies and plans, strategic alignment within the partner ecosystem and global execution that increases revenue.

Prior to NetApp, Maria was at SAP as Sr. Director of Global Business Development and was instrumental in on-boarding PwC to become a SAP Global Service Partner, and recruited over 50 PwC countries while increasing revenue and doubling pipeline. Maria has also held senior management positions at BEA Systems (acquired by Oracle), Acta Technology (acquired by Business Objects/SAP) and Hewlett Packard. She has extensive experience in business development, alliance management, product management, procurement, and supply chain operations across a variety of lines of business – from printers, interactive TV, cable modems, telecommunications -- to storage products, enterprise software and solutions.

Maria earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of San Diego, and an Executive MBA from Pepperdine University.

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