NetApp has claimed that its increasing market share figure is being partly driven by its growth in the mid-market sector, which it claims is experiencing 25 per cent annual growth in terms of unit sales.
In IDC's most recent external disk market tracker, NetApp and EMC were the only storage vendors to experience significant annual revenue growth, with their sales hiking 6.3 and 7.5 per cent respectively.
NetApp's UK and Ireland partner sales manager Pete Rawden said increasing numbers of smaller customers had a big part to play in this.
He told CRN: "Mid-size business has been a focus for us this year, and the past three years really. We have seen continued market share gain, and part of that is coming from the mid-size businesses; people who five years ago would never have considered NetApp and thought it was just enterprise-class and too expensive.
"We have managed to bring the technology at the high end into our low-end platform and bring it to a lot more customers."
The vendor added that its distributor Hammer plays a big part in its mid-size business offering, and claims its business with the distributor has been very good this year.
In its second-quarter financial results, its other distributors Arrow and Avnet were cited as prime contributors to the firm's growth, and Rawden claimed that 30 per cent of its global business comes from the duo combined.
The UK channel chief has high hopes for its lower-end ExpressPod, which was launched six months ago. He said the firm's partners have a big role to play in its success.
"We have sold about 2,400 FlexPods globally, and this has pushed us closer to our partners strategically. [Customers] need someone to put it all together, and partners can do this. We do not have the UCS skills and the VMware skills; it is the partners who do," he added.
Last year, reseller ANS Group voiced its aim to become the UK's top Flexpod reseller after becoming among the first Cisco and NetApp partners to become accredited as a FlexPod Premium Partner – of which there are currently 12 in the UK.
Rawden said ANS had also won a FlexPod partner award last year, but claimed the reseller was "there to be shot at" by other partners aiming to overtake it.
"We have a tiered partnering system in the classic VAR channel, and the starting point is Silver," he said. We have a number of active [Silver] partners, and once they do well, they progress up to Gold.
"But we also have a lot of inactive Silver partners which we say goodbye to if they do not invest or perform," said Rawden, adding that no quota system is in operation on recruitment or demotion of partners.
Automation firms UiPath and Automation Anywhere close out their funding rounds with $265m and $300m respectively
View photos of last night's awards ceremony in London
View photos of all the winners from the 2018 Channel Awards
After a glittering awards evening in Battersea celebrating 25 years of the Awards, we are pleased to share the list of winners and judges' commended winners