It’s easy to talk about how important partnerships are to running a successful business. There is no doubt it’s true. At NetApp, our partners drive more than 80 percent of our revenue, which means that our success depends on our partners’ success. But for me, it’s much more relevant to talk about why we chose to focus our business this way.

 

The motivation behind our partner-first approach is rooted in our deep belief that we are part of your team, and that teams succeed if every team member is equipped to perform their best. Our partner programs are designed to deliver that support.

Successful teams need the right tools and training

Teams can only succeed when all the players have the tools they need to excel. We would never expect an NFL team to train without the right equipment for building strength, speed, and agility. We believe our partners deserve the same access to modern tools to help them grow their businesses.

 

Our NetApp partner programs give our partners all the tools and resources they need to develop their game plans. For example, our NetApp Unified Partner Program offers comprehensive training programs and marketing material, including playbooks and battlecards to help drive sales.

 

Having all the right tools isn’t enough if players don’t have the skills to use them. The best trainers are up-to-date on new research and techniques, and they have the skills to share that knowledge with their players.

 

Our partners have access to our specialized coaches to help them create innovative solutions that enable profitability, not just from NetApp products but from the services they attach to them. For instance, through our NetApp Partner Academy and our certification programs, we help our partners ensure that their employees have the skills they need to design, deploy, and manage NetApp solutions.

Long-term success needs a common vision

Individual players contribute to a team’s vision, but real success happens when the whole team—from players to trainers to team management and ownership—buys into a common view of what you’re aiming to achieve, and everyone commits to the same plan to get there. NetApp helps our partners develop that vision.

 

We create innovative business opportunities by helping our partners optimize their operations and expand their offerings. We work with our partners to drive growth by taking their services to the next level.

 

The difference between the NFL and our partner ecosystem is that there’s enough room for everyone. Each one of our partners is competing in their own version of the Super Bowl, and our job at NetApp is to help each of you win.

Ultimate success needs a support system

As part of our partner-first philosophy, NetApp invites our community to come together every year at NetApp Insight, our signature series of technical conferences that give exclusive opportunities for our customers to learn and network with the NetApp team.

 

It’s one of my favorite events of the year, and the NetApp team has worked hard to make this year’s events spectacular. This year, we are emphasizing the importance of our partners with our NetAppMVP (Most Valuable Partner) campaign, which will include some exciting announcements for our partners. Be sure to follow #NetAppMVP on Twitter to stay up-to-date. I promise it will be worth it.

 

We invest in partnerships and events like Insight because we believe the ultimate value comes from the services our partners deliver. The more we can help our partners deliver the best solutions to serve their customers, the more successful we all are.

 

If you are a NetApp partner, I would love to see you at Insight. And if you’re not, I encourage you to consider becoming one. It’s never too late to become a #NetAppMVP.

 

What do you think? Leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter at @JFFMcCullough.

Jeff McCullough

Jeff McCullough leads the Americas Partner Sales organization for NetApp. In this capacity, he is responsible for a $3B indirect channel and the teams working with NetApp’s partners throughout the countries of the Americas. He also leads the Americas Virtual Sales organization, which is responsible for NetApp’s inside sales and demand generation for the Americas.

Prior to this role, Jeff worked at Quest Software as the Vice President of Americas Channel Sales. Focusing on working with partners in the Americas, driving joint business growth and service customers of all sizes. In this role, Jeff lead an aggressive expansion of channel VAR and Distribution partners in North America and Latin America.

Before joining Quest Software Jeff was Vice President of Channel Strategy and SMB Sales at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Jeff also held various senior leadership roles, including Senior Director of the Americas HP Storage Business Unit product management and marketing Organization, where Jeff’s team was responsible for the marketing and business management of HP’s $1B+ Storage business in the US, Canada, and Latin America.

McCullough received a BA from Marquette University. He resides with his family outside of Chicago, Illinois.