NetApp regroups to take on Africa

“We’re not pulling out of Africa… quite the opposite.” Those were the words of NetApp Director MEEA (for the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa), Konstantin Ebert, who, together with other senior executives of from the global flash memory and storage service provider, explained the launch of an enhanced African growth strategy yesterday in Johannesburg.

Newly appointed regional director for Africa at NetApp, Mark Ridley. (Image source: NetApp)

NetApp announced the enhancement of its existing business model to engage the Africa market. The company has also appointed a new Regional Director and launched a renewed partnership-focused channel model.

Ebert and Thomas Ehrlich, VP Partners & Pathways EMEA at NetApp, said in a presentation of the new setup that the main change was shifting partners into the epicentre of its go-to-market strategy.

The company has established offices in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, and has two distributors – Westcon and Fujitsu – in South Africa.

Both Ebert and Ehrlich emphasised that NetApp continues to operate in accordance with an indirect, channel-focused model. Only now, they have positioned the partner at the forefront of the go-to-market strategy.

According to this strategy the company’s partner account managers will play a more proactive role in meeting partner needs and assisting with opportunities.

A large portion of the responsibility to successfully roll this strategy out to the Africa market is that of newly appointed Regional Director and former country manager for Dell Computers, Mark Ridley.

His role covers development and execution of sales and marketing strategies, enhancing the channel ecosystem and expanding the NetApp customer base in this region.

“With many markets emerging and maturing at a fast pace, the African continent offers a very interesting playing field. I am confident that NetApp’s solutions hold tremendous value for partners and end customers such as telecommunications, utility or commodity companies and service providers,” says Ridley. “Our approach inAfricais 100 percent indirect and we will rely heavily on partners to execute. This includes distribution and integration, but also high value opportunities such as consulting and professional services. I am looking forward to working with them to grow NetApp’s presence on the continent.”

Chris Tredger, Online Editor