Ronen Schwartz, General Manager & Senior Vice President of Cloud Volumes at NetApp, shares his thoughts on NetApp's onboarding and collaboration process and the technologies that make it so successful.

I can hardly believe that it’s been a month since I joined NetApp to assume leadership of the Cloud Volumes business. My first month here has been amazing, even though stepping into any new role during these times of rapid change is not a trivial undertaking.

 

I expected onboarding in a new virtual world to surface challenges, and I am pleased to share that I was wrong. My experience with NetApp has been excellent, from onboarding to collaborating across teams. I attribute this experience to the company’s technology choices. These choices empower and support existing team members and deliver a simplified new hire experience that I would argue rivals most in-person onboarding programs.

Enabling success through mobility, collaboration, and videoconferencing tools

The publication of Gartner’s new research note, 7 Workloads Your Customer Should Move to Public Cloud Now, immediately hit my radar, because it was timed perfectly to my start date at NetApp. In their guidance, Gartner calls out mobility, collaboration, and videoconferencing as three of the seven workloads that you should consider moving to the cloud today.

 

It’s worth noting that all three were contributors to my positive onboarding experience. In the first hour of my first day, NetApp enabled key productivity and operations applications across my mobile devices for a flawless mobility experience. To facilitate strong collaboration and a seamless videoconferencing experience, my colleagues and I embrace platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Office 365. Our continued commitment to these three workloads enabled a deeper connection with our customers in solving their pain points. But these platforms have also made cross-team and cross-region collaboration almost effortless by allowing us to continue building solutions that provide clear business value.

Four workloads that Gartner recommends moving to public cloud now — and how NetApp can help

As I work with our customers to solve their unique challenges, I’m seeing a clear shift in priorities that is aligned to Gartner’s findings. Today, we are focused on helping you deliver a safe, productive remote work environment, while supporting your concerns around cash preservation, reduced IT expenses, and business continuity solutions. With that, Gartner’s recommendation to move four other workloads to public cloud is spot-on: virtual desktops, scale-out applications, disaster recovery, and business continuity solutions.

 

Not only is NetApp an industry leader in supporting and accelerating cloud adoption in these areas, but we also use these workloads internally, continue to share our key learnings with you, and support your successful navigation of this pandemic for long-term success. It’s worth taking a deeper look into each of these areas as you consider moving workloads to the cloud.

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)

Although many businesses were understandably caught off guard during the sudden global shift to a remote workforce, I continue to be impressed by the companies — especially our essential healthcare providers — for facing their pandemic-related challenges head on. Their IT staffs embraced rapid change to facilitate the transition to VDI and positioned their companies to emerge even stronger than before. These are our IT heroes, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is a great example. Watch the video below to learn how their quick pivot to a remote workforce resulted in uninterrupted delivery of services and a seamless customer experience. Check out NetApp®VDI solutions for more.

 

Scale-out applications

I see many of our customers investing in containerization, specifically Kubernetes, to ensure their readiness to scale to new requirements. Scaling in general and scaling out specifically are critical in today’s landscape. For example, Bandwidth is an essential API platform provider that delivers voice, messaging, and 911 services. Bandwidth engaged NetApp to speed product development and delivery with a cloud-native container orchestration platform, resulting in significant time savings (what used to take days now takes seconds) and reduced friction between application owners and infrastructure teams. For more on containerization, read Bandwidth’s story. If you relate to Bandwidth’s story and are looking to build production workloads at scale with Kubernetes, check out Project Astra and the introductory video below (19 minutes), as well as Ocean and NetApp Cloud Insights.

 

Business continuity and disaster recovery

Customers continue to share with me their challenges of delivering uninterrupted and secure services, while simultaneously ensuring the safety of their employees and customers. In the end, it all comes down to business continuity and disaster recovery practices. It’s how we mitigate risk and foster innovation. And it’s what will allow you to support a remote workforce while keeping your data readily available and secure. We support you in this area by protecting and archiving data through our smooth, cost-effective backup and restore service, NetApp Cloud Backup Service; delivering data protection for Office 365 and Salesforce through NetApp SaaS Backup; and facilitating secure, fast, and automated data synchronization to transfer NAS data rapidly and securely between on-premises and cloud object stores.

 

As you consider Gartner’s recommendation to move your seven workloads to the cloud, keep in mind the forcing motion of this pandemic. It is the primary driver in accelerating innovation and has transformed your customers’ expectations for the future. The demand for faster innovation will only increase — and NetApp is here to help you deliver on that demand. Visit Cloud Central to learn more.

Ronen Schwartz

Ronen Schwartz is senior vice president and general manager of NetApp’s Cloud Volumes business. He is responsible for accelerating NetApp’s Cloud Volumes business, building the robust Cloud Volume Platform across Hybrid and multi-clouds and expanding NetApp Cloud Data Management Services.

Before joining NetApp, Schwartz was executive vice president, technology and eco-system, operations and strategy at Informatica and senior vice president and general manager of Informatica Cloud leading Informatica Cloud product strategy, product management and go-to market. During his 14 years at Informatica, he helped lead the company through its own transformation from on premise to the public cloud, from license revenue to recurring revenue.

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