NetApp A-Team with Dave Hitz

Last year, I was invited to join the EMEA Chapter of the NetApp A-Team. Having never heard about it before, my first thought was that this was some gang of renegades that drove around in a black van with a red stripe on the side, saving the world. As it turns out, this is only partly true.


Simply put, the A-Team is a group of like-minded IT professionals with a shared passion for NetApp’s technology and vision. In addition to advocating for NetApp in the social sphere, we provide feedback to the people at NetApp who are guiding the vision and building the technology. It’s a unique and exclusive opportunity, and one I could not pass up. Shortly after joining the EMEA chapter, I was “promoted” to the global A-Team, and I could not be more excited!


Of course, you may still be wondering, “Why?” The short answer is that the A-Team gives me a platform and a community to do what I already do every day: advocate for NetApp to anybody who will listen. My job is not just about selling boxes. It’s about advising customers on how to build their IT infrastructure for the future. And nobody helps me do that better than NetApp.


I work with a lot of customers who are struggling to keep up with the challenges of modern IT. The days of making backups of your data and keeping them forever are over. Every dataset needs its own retention and staged solution for restoring it after a total disaster. New data privacy regulations like GDPR are affecting nearly every customer I work with, forcing businesses to re-think data protection and sovereignty. Confidentiality, integrity, and availability are vital.


I’ve been in this industry for over 15 years, and have been working with NetApp pretty much since the beginning. The integrated data management capabilities and features like snapshots, SnapVault, and SnapMirror are unmatched in the industry. And in today’s brave new world of IT, where data has become the new gold, NetApp’s technology and vision is more important than ever.


As data expands, it becomes more and more complex to manage. But the opportunities to harness the power of that data are just as enormous. The Data Fabric, made up of innovative products and solutions like AltaVault, SnapCenter, StorageGRID Webscale, and ONTAP Cloud (just to name a few) offer the foundation to fulfill your business needs and get the most out of your data. NetApp’s portfolio continues to grow every day, giving you infinite possibilities to solve your toughest challenges. Tight integration with partners like Veeam and Commvault expand those options even further so you can choose the IT solution that’s right for you. It’s all part of the Data Fabric, NetApp’s vision for the future of IT, and one of many reasons why NetApp is the vendor I choose to advocate for.


Paul Hilgers

Paul is a Presales Product Specialist for PQR B.V., a Dutch IT solutions provider based in De Meern. He works with customers to understand their business challenges and craft IT and data management solutions that solve them efficiently and cost-effectively. Before coming to PQR in 2011, Paul honed his skills as an IT professional at Centric IT Solutions in the Netherlands. And before that, well, he was a postman!

In his off hours, Paul loves playing soccer with his 2-year-old daughter. When she goes down for naps, he sneaks in to the living room to watch his favorite shows like Game of Thrones and Bones or play a little Ghost Recon or Battlefield on the PS4. As far as outdoor activities go, Paul enjoys lounging at the beach and traveling across Europe.

Years of NetApp experience: 10
Certifications: NetApp Accredited Technical Sales Professional (NATSP), NetApp Accredited Sales Professional (NASP), Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3 SE Professional, E-Series Platform SE Professional, Designing the FlexPod Solution (NS0-170), FlexPod Sales (NS0-172), Clustered Data ONTAP 8.3 Admin and DP (NCDA), SolidFire Installation and Deployment Engineer (NS0-051), Commvault Technical Sales Professional Accreditation, Commvault Core Fundamentals, Commvault Solutions Architect Certification, Commvault Advanced Infrastructure Design, Veeam Sales Professional (VMSP)