NetApp's UK boss has promised that becoming "more assertive" is high on the company's agenda during a period of huge change in the storage industry.
Elliot Howard (pictured), regional director for the UK and Ireland, joined NetApp in February this year after spending four years at Sopra Banking Software.
With the market more competitive than ever, Howard said speaking up and making NetApp's voice heard is important.
"I don't like the word aggressive, but I do like the world assertive," he told CRN. "Rob Salmon [NetApp's head of go-to-market operations] has been very clear - we need to be more assertive. We need to be taking what is rightfully ours and going after what is currently someone else's. In a market which is entrenched, you have to go out and fight for your share.
"Certainly the strategy I have put in place over the next five years is built on maintaining what we have and taking the portfolio to market so we can attack the space currently occupied by our competitors."
He said Pure's IPO will help NetApp in this effort.
"There will always be people vying for market growth - if you're a supermarket, a telco or an IT company, like we are," he said. "There's always going to be competitors. Do you know what? We need competitors. [Pure's IPO] will have the effect on us that we will become more assertive. The more competitors, the better. It keeps everyone honest."
Since Howard joined in February, he said part of his role has been "reinvigorating" some channel partnerships. He admitted there has been some confusion among partners about its technology messaging but said this has now been solved.
"We identified a number of key partners that we have invested in the partnership and reinvigorated it - Computacenter is one of them and we are seeing great results of that investment," he said.
"We are trying to reinforce our message... about how we see the world from a data perspective. It's perhaps not as clearly understood in the partner community. We spent a lot of time reinvigorating them so the message is clearly understood. And we need to keep doing that."
Storage players have been keen to weigh on in the news of Dell's planned buyout of EMC. HP CEO Meg Whitman predicted the move will create "chaos" in the channel and Pure Storage's boss Scott Dietzen agreed.
Howard said the success of the merger will lie with how well they integrate in terms of company culture.
"It's a ballsy move," he said. "It's a big one in terms of the size of deal. I wish them well.
"I am sure they will have their challenges - having been through a couple of acquisitions myself - I think the challenge, as it always is, will be cultural. It always comes down the culture or two different firms and how do you reconcile those things."
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