Digital transformation is one of the most pervasive changes affecting businesses today.  In the past fifty years, we have seen massive disruptions in relatively short periods of time; something that is even more prevalent now with cloud. Cloud has introduced more than new technologies: it has delivered a full-on paradigm shift, impacting everything from how the role of IT functions in business and government to how people learn and work, and even through to how our services and products are morphing into previously un-imagined offerings for a changing global audience.

 

Through all these changes, NetApp has remained a leader, inventing and embracing solutions that have helped our customers and our partners navigate each new wave of innovation.

 

NetApp is no longer only a storage/NAS company but a driver in digital transformation, accelerating business outcomes. As customers transform their businesses, our partners play critical roles in helping them determine the requirements for building the right solutions to extract maximum value from their data.

People change, but NetApp’s commitment to partners stays the same.

I am delighted and privileged to have been asked by NetApp to take on the role of Channel Chief for the Americas, because NetApp is known as a company committed to putting partners and customers first. Our partners are important to us. My number one focus will continue to be the profitability of our Channel. With NetApp’s broad portfolio of private and hybrid cloud solutions as well as deep integration across all three major public cloud providers – Google, Amazon, and Microsoft – we are helping our partners add value, evolve, and grow through unique service offerings that include cloud solutions. Our Data Fabric simplifies and enables flexibility across a multi-cloud world, and enables partners to offer the right solutions.

 

So, in the face of change, we want to reassure our partners and give them a steadfast anchor to hold on to. The anchor is NetApp’s continued commitment to supporting the Channel because partnering brings the expertise of multiple organizations together, which is a formidable way to build profitable revenue models and add value to customers. NetApp has a history of meaningful collaboration because, as a company, we recognize that combining expertise makes us stronger and more innovative, and creates a complete value chain. We know that we can achieve far more by working together.

NetApp puts partners first.

NetApp operates a Partner First model. To best support our Channel Partners, NetApp offers award-winning programs that encourage and empower partners to grow their businesses. We invest in tools, education and enablement, incentives and rewards, designed to help partners grow and succeed. We continue to increase investment in the Channel each year to accelerate Flash, HCI, and Cloud Volumes through strategic partners.

 

Where will we go next? How will we continue to support partners and help them see success through the digital transformations of their customers? These are the questions that inspire me – the next chapter of possibilities.

 

With two years at NetApp and over 20 years in the Channel, I’m excited to lead the Americas into the next phase of service and growth. Reach out – let’s be successful and more profitable, together. I’ll be at NetApp INSIGHT 2019, the global event for NetApp partners in Las Vegas from October 28-30. I’d love to meet you in person and discuss how NetApp can help you build business models to solve your customers’ digital transformation needs.

 

There’s also an exciting opportunity for partners at NetApp INSIGHT 2019 – the NetApp University onsite certification program. The NetApp certification validates the skills and experience that partners have with NetApp technologies and solutions. And, this year, NetApp University is offering a selection of Microsoft exams onsite as well – all free.  Check out and register for your certification courses today!

 

Jim Elder

Jim joined NetApp in 2017 to drive Worldwide Channel Sales through the successful development and implementation of the go-to-market strategy for the Commercial Segment. His scope was quickly expanded to include Worldwide Distribution and most recently, he was appointed to lead the Americas Partner Organization.

With 20+ years in the industry, Jim has extensive storage and channel experience. Prior to joining NetApp, Jim was Director of Commercial Sales at SanDisk, where he led the GTM initiatives. He has also held leadership roles at companies including IBM, AMD, and Seagate Technology. He has a proven track record for engaging and motivating Channel and Strategic Alliance partners to achieve sales growth. Over the course of his career, he has repeatedly taken on increased responsibilities and grown customer relationships into Strategic Partnerships.

Under Jim’s leadership, the NetApp team will continue to focus on accelerating our partners’ profitable growth, optimizing our investments, and driving our channel strategy.