2,300 Entries. 108 countries. 43 Winners. In one of the toughest global award competitions in our industry, I am delighted to announce that FlexPod has been recognized twice for a 2015 Partner of the Year award from Microsoft. This significant accomplishment further validates FlexPod’s strength as an ideal data center platform for Microsoft solutions.


What really thrills me though is that both of these wins relied on our strong network of alliance and channel partners to deliver solutions that are game-changing for customers. FlexPod enables partners to help clients modernize for market speed while leveraging the full suite of Microsoft products. Together our joint teams marry great technology with innovative thinking, a visionary approach and a “better together” culture resulting in wonderful customer success stories.


With recognition in both the Modern Data Center and the Data Platform categories, we are looking forward to celebrating with Dimension Data, Scalability Experts, Cisco and ourselves in Orlando at Microsoft WPC 2015. We hope you can join us as we gather for four days in Orlando to connect, learn and be inspired by some of the smartest and most interesting people in our industry. Here are the stories that won:


Winner – Modern Data Center: Customer Focus

NetApp, Cisco and Dimension Data teamed to deliver a Microsoft Private cloud driving all of ING DIRECT Australia’s mission-critical, real-time banking applications. Because this was seen as a project that could completely shift how the financial services industry viewed the reliability, performance, security, and scalability of cloud environments for mission-critical services, each company dedicated senior resources for the full life-cycle of the project. The expanded team worked closely with ING DIRECT to architect the ultimate technology solution, which was designed and built using Cisco, NetApp, and Microsoft reference architectures.  Watch the video below.


Winner – Data Platform Partner of the Year

NetApp and Cisco partner Scalability Experts won in the coveted Data Platform category with SQL Server 2014 running on a FlexPod Datacenter. The results for the eGaming customer (with up to 50,000 concurrent users) included 208% faster transaction response times, 250% faster page response times and very sequential linear scalability with overall 3X performance compared to their testing norms and the customers’ experience. In the eGaming industry, a few millisecond differences in response times can mean the gain or loss of millions of dollars. The SQL Server 2014 platform results exceeded the client expectations. Congratulations Scalability Experts. Great job!



NetApp is driving innovation and opportunity for partners delivering Microsoft solutions. FlexPod is simply one of our stories. Check us out to learn more about NetApp solutions for Microsoft. Or better yet, partner with us and learn why NetApp’s Unbound Cloud for Microsoft can help you and your customers go further faster.


Maria Olson is the Vice President of Global Alliances at NetApp. Follow Maria on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.



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.