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There IS a secret to winning and keeping both Government customers and Business Partners. Interestingly enough, having the best technology does not drive it.

 

Consider the sales team that pitches the fact that they make really excellent data storage devices.  They tout the speed of their products, their small size, the advanced chips they use, their cutting edge software – all interesting (at least to the data center geeks) and logical, straightforward, and pragmatic. “These are the best products on the market,” they say, “And they are priced right. You would be a fool not to buy these solutions.”

 

Now consider the team that takes a different tack.  Their focus is not on technology but rather on customer experience.  They offer value and vision. “We want to give you the best possible data storage experience,” they explain. “Our products are simple, easy to use, and robust.  We work beside you to ensure your team has the training they need to smoothly implement an effective data storage solution and we stand beside you to ensure your data is up and available 100% of the time.”  For their carefully vetted partners, they note, “We commit to working together both to ensure we offer the best possible solutions for our customers and, by doing so, to optimize the value we create for them. We have found that approach keeps customers coming back and optimizes our revenue flows.”

 

Which team would you rather buy from or partner with?  

 

Focus, simplicity, and passionate pursuit of perfection lead to splendid business experiences.  Take NetApp – these elements are in our DNA.  We continually refine and tune our hardware and software to meet the needs of our customers and partners.  V Series controllers, Flex Vol Thin Provisioning, Flex Clone Virtual Database Copies, and now Cluster Mode were all developed in direct response to requests from our customers and partners. 

 

I’ll close with a quote that has deep roots in the U.S. Army and which captures NetApp’s approach to our customers and partners. “He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them regard for himself, while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his inferiors, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself. The one mode or the other of dealing with subordinates (or customers and partners) springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander.” (Major General John M Schofield, 1879).

 

Trust, respect, value. NetApp’s core beliefs; the drivers behind our success.

 

Greg Gardner

Chief Architect, Defense Solutions, NetApp

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