Ganesan Arumugam: A Strategic Leader and Sales Maestro Unlocking the Power of Sales Processes and Policies 

NetApp | Ganesan Arumugam: A Strategic Leader and Sales Maestro | The Enterprise World

Meet the man of the hour, Ganesan Arumugan, the Director of Channel Sales, India and SAARC at NetApp. He is a dynamic sales and marketing professional with a rapidly progressive career spanning more than two decades. With gained exposure to cross-cultural experience, handling and leading diverse functions like sales and marketing operations, developing Partner EcoSystem, formulating sales strategies, and designing organizational structures, processes, and policies, Ganesan Arumugam has helped Partners in developing and implementing strategic plans aligned with the organization’s objectives. 

His steadfast approach, analysis of market conditions, and holistic knowledge of sales have successfully helped him to grow many businesses. He has a proven ability to make informed decisions, launch and support products and services, penetrate new markets, and increase sales profitability.

Inspired by Aristotle’s quote- “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” Ganesan Arumugam has spearheaded his professional career following the adage and performing due diligence. 

Reminiscing the Journey

Ganesan Arumugam came on board at NetApp in 2020, heading the partner program for India and SAARC. The company started with a small team of 3 people, working on shaping and implementing its partner strategy, aiming to consolidate its channels and gain increased commitment and loyalty from its partners. The company has since expanded to a 9-member team, spearheading its partner-first strategy, and ensuring synergy between its partner teams and sales teams in terms of addressing the customer’s business challenges.

Throughout this journey, NetApp, with its constant dedication and performance has been successful in consolidating its channel partners. The company now has focus partners, who contribute approximately 60-70% of its business. Moreover, through its partners, NetApp has increased its coverage into the SMB (Small and Medium-Sized Businesses) market, as well as Tier 2 cities.

Integrating Sustainability in Full Force

Sustainability has long been a key focus area for NetApp. The company believes that sustainability concerns, much like many other complex business problems, can be effectively addressed by capable managers when they are equipped with real data. To this end, NetApp has been a pioneer in reporting power consumption and temperature on NetApp ONTAP arrays through the NetApp Cloud Insights service. However, tackling a problem like sustainability more holistically necessitates evolving a strategy based on a comprehensive picture of an organization’s data estate.

Therefore, as part of NetApp BlueXP—its unified control plane for hybrid multi-cloud data estates, spanning on-premises and cloud environments—recently introduced a Sustainability Dashboard that enables customers to track progress towards their corporate environmental goals. Leveraging the powerful AIOps (Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations) that lies at the core of BlueXP, the Dashboard provides detailed reports on a customer’s energy consumption, power utilization, and carbon footprint across NetApp AFF and FAS ONTAP systems. 

In addition, the Dashboard provides a top-line sustainability score, representing the efficiency of the entire data estate as a single KPI. The score also allows IT managers to track the progress of sustainability measures over time. This can also be used to forecast how specific changes can positively adjust the score.

The Sustainability Dashboard provides actionable insights with recommendations to help customers address issues that may negatively impact overall sustainability and enables managers to act on these recommendations directly without needing to switch to other tools. It also facilitates real-time tracking of power consumption at cluster, aggregate and node levels—data that can be leveraged to identify workloads that can be shifted to more efficient storage.

Sustainability has become a crucial part of boardroom discussions across the globe, as regulations to mitigate the impact of climate change loom on the horizon. In this context, there is understandably scrutiny on the energy consumption of data centers which, given its current era of rapid digital transformation, has seen a marked increase. It is predicted that storage as a proportion of data center energy consumption may account for as much as 38% of total consumption by 2030. This certainly places a strong impetus on organizations to seek sustainable storage solutions—a requirement that NetApp is well-placed to fulfil.

Inculcating a Value-added Culture

Be it customer interactions and social causes to designing solutions and supporting the employees, living these values is essential in NetApp’s premises.

Put the customer at the center: NetApp believes one doesn’t become an indispensable partner without listening to customers, walking in their shoes, and propelling your orbit with a strong point of view.

Care for each other and the communities: Caring for each other and the communities take large doses of humility and kindness—mixed with building deep, authentic connections and topped with an unwavering commitment to collaboration.

Build belonging every day: By embedding diversity and inclusion into every decision that the company makes, it opens the door to other voices, different perspectives, and most importantly, its true innovation potential.

Embrace a growth mindset: NetApp steps out of its comfort zone even when it’s scary and learns from both its failures and successes. This keeps it from stepping into the dreaded fixed mindset quicksand.

Think and act like owners: Showing up with its A game, being accountable, and acting with speed and integrity are the keys to unlocking the sense of ownership that’s necessary to create the future.

More about NetApp Ransomware Recovery Guarantee

Ransomware is certainly a matter of grave concern for organizations across sectors. Industry studies have found that 96% of organizations who paid a ransom did not completely recover their data and that the average time taken to recover from an attack can be as high as 1 month. The average cost of remediating a ransomware attack in 2022 was USD 4.35 million. It is also predicted that by 2031, a ransomware attack will occur every 2 seconds. These findings certainly paint an alarming picture and underscore the need for organizations to have a strong data protection and recovery strategy in place.

NetApp believes that storage is the last line of defense for data and plays a critical role in mitigating the damage from a ransomware attack. In line with this belief, the company is committed to offering its customers robust data protection and ensuring quick and painless recovery of their data in the event of an attack, to facilitate a swift return to normal operations.

The NetApp Ransomware Recovery Guarantee underscores this commitment by warranting Snapshot data recovery on its customers’ primary and secondary ONTAP storage. Thus, if an attack takes place, and NetApp is unable to recover its customer’s backup Snapshot copies of their data, it will compensate them for the same.

NetApp’s Newest and First-Class Offerings

One of the key offerings NetApp has recently introduced to elevate data center performance for customers is the NetApp AFF C-Series—a new family of capacity flash storage options that deliver all-flash storage at a lower cost.

The new AFF C-Series delivers more cost-effective and efficient flash performance, with a smaller storage footprint and a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). The superior storage efficiency offered by the AFF C-Series optimizes customers’ energy costs while simplifying operations. The AFF C-Series also enables seamless scalability on-premises, allowing customers to scale both capacity and performance as their data expands. Moreover, it offers the best-in-class data security, including ransomware protection, to ensure the security and easy availability of important data.

The NetApp AFF C-Series is also offered as part of ONTAP One—an all-in-one license that encompasses all NetApp software, which is one of the industry’s most comprehensive software suites. ONTAP One empowers customers with the ability to modernize their data centers by offering them the flexibility to choose the right storage (capacity flash, performance flash, or hybrid) for their database, VMWare, and file workload requirements—all of which can be managed centrally through NetApp BlueXP.

An Overview of the NetApp Partner Sphere Program

Channel partners have long been the backbone of NetApp’s business. The company’s unique partnerships across all the leading ISVs (independent software vendors), and hyperscalers support continued innovation across on-premises, cloud-first, and hybrid architectures. However, as the market evolved, NetApp felt the need for a partner engagement model that was better equipped to address the more complex demands of today’s customers, which took the form of the NetApp Partner Sphere Program.

The NetApp Partner Sphere Program reflects its commitment to evolving a partner-first culture and building an ecosystem that encourages collaboration and innovation. The program provides a unified engagement model that enables partners to move between sell-to, sell-through, and sell-with sales motions—accelerating their revenue by outpacing the competition and driving customer-based outcomes.

Through the Partner Sphere program, NetApp endeavors to redefine how they work with their partners to create real competitive advantage and ensure significantly enhanced business outcomes for customers and partners alike. The new engagement models and tiering system offered as part of the program incentivize and accelerate its partner’s reach in the flash and cloud markets, with a reciprocal value that increases as partners move up the program tiers. With an emphasis on recognizing and rewarding partner capabilities, the program offers partners multiple paths to success, enabling them to choose what aligns best with their focus areas and specialties. A range of benefits and strategic long-term investments have been included to reward highly specialized services that deliver customer value.

One of the key aims of the Partner Sphere program is to help NetApp’s customers develop competencies aligned with market needs. To this end, the program offers 11 Services Certified tracks and 19 Solution Competencies aligned to 3 key focus areas. These will enable its partners to significantly expand their service portfolios and become trusted advisors to their customers—building greater value, and driving increased revenue growth, through long-term service engagements. Joint priorities guide the Partner Sphere program, with a focus on aligning NetApp’s goals with those of its partners. 

These shared priorities include growing a shared portfolio through co-innovation, developing and promoting partners to become highly specialized and service-led, accelerating partners’ cloud solutions and customer adoption of cloud portfolios, new customer acquisition, and delivering customer value and successful business outcomes.

Ganesan Arumugam concludes, “The Partner Sphere program has been developed following a nearly 2-year process of extensive consultations with our partners, through 1:1 interactions, roundtables and surveys; and we are confident about its immense potential to help us capture greater market share through accelerating cloud adoption, growing flash revenue, and leveraging partner-led services and solutions.

The Achievement Corner

Consolidating channel partners and ensuring their focus on NetApp’s business has certainly been a significant achievement for the team. NetApp has been successful in building a robust and loyal partner ecosystem for the company. Today, 100% of NetApp’s business in India is carried out through its partners. 

Another highlight has been the transition from its earlier partner programs to the new Partner Sphere program, which is enabling its partners to become more service-led and solution-centric. As part of the new program, NetApp has focused on building the solution competency of its partners through training and upskilling. This enables them to become end-to-end solution providers to customers, as opposed to merely selling the products.

Execution has also been an area in which NetApp has excelled. This is an important achievement, given that logistics and the effective execution of orders are increasingly becoming critical elements, particularly in the Data Storage and Data Management field. 

Ganesan Arumugam adds, “Over the last two years, we have consistently worked towards ensuring that we have a 100% success rate when it comes to execution.”

Success Stories

Clare Lansley | CIO, Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team  “We need both on-prem and cloud to give us the flexibility with capacity and compute capability where we need it. NetApp was the obvious choice for helping us build a race fabric to be competitive.”

Chris Brutschea, Associate Chief Information Officer, St. Luke’s University Health Network  “Having the performance and reliability of Azure NetApp Files means we can better support our organization, providers, and patients.”

Friedemann Kurz, Head of Motorsport IT, Porsche  “We can now move huge amounts of data at high speed… across edge, core, and cloud…”

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