The growth in digital media such as music, the popularity of iPhones and iPads and their competitors, and cloud computing are putting a smile on Todd Parsons face.
Parsons, NetApp’s head of channel and marketing for Australia and New Zealand, says the global growth of data, along with the types of data being stored and the move to shared infrastructure and the cloud, bode well for data storage providers like California-based NetApp. "We’re seeing across the board growth in pretty much every sector,” he notes. "The traditional areas of telecommunications and media are very strong and we’re seeing enormous growth in data for the government and financial sectors. And with new ways of delivering education, that area is seeing lots of growth.”
Last month the company reported strong fiscal 2011 Q4 figures with revenue of US$1.4 billion. FY11 revenue of US$5.1 billion was recorded by the company which has a globally stated aim of continuing to grow at two to three times the market for external storage. Net profit for the quarter climbed to US$160 million. The company has forecast first-quarter earnings for fiscal 2012 of US$1.5 billion, plus or minus 3% - equating to 2%-8% sequential revenue growth and 26%-34% year over year revenue growth.
Parsons says NetApp has typically grown at two to three times the market rate in Australia – and New Zealand is now growing faster than our neighbours across the ditch. "According to IDC, growth rates for external storage are at 32% for 2010, so there’s great opportunity here,” he says. "We’re really seeing some positive growth here. Australia is averaging around 20%.”
And there’s plenty of room for growth here. NetApp has 2.8% of the New Zealand market, compared to 14.8% of the Australian market. "In Australia we’ve got one of the largest market shares for NetApp anywhere in the world. But we have not replicated that in New Zealand,” Parsons says. "In the past four months we’ve been talking about our plans for ramping up our presence in New Zealand and growing our resources – both our team and the channel – here.”
The company has expanded its local team from four to seven staff, opening a three-person Auckland office, alongside its traditional Wellington office. Grant Woodbury has been appointed to the new role of New Zealand channel development manager, responsible for partner development and engagement across the country. Woodbury has spent the last five years in Sydney as technical partner advisor for the company. Other additions to the team are account manager Luke McGoldrick and pre-sales engineer Alex Johnson, both based in Auckland.
Parsons says the company will also be expanding its channel, but the expansion will be ‘pretty targeted’ with the company looking for ‘really key partners who we can really work with’. He says NetApp is currently talking with a number of potential candidates.