GovDataDownload http://govdatadownload.com Data Management Defined Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:33:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 http://govdatadownload.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-gdd-favicon-1-32x32.png GovDataDownload http://govdatadownload.com 32 32 My NetApp Internship Experience: Applying Theory to Practice http://govdatadownload.com/2017/07/20/netapp-internship-experience-applying-theory-practice/ Thu, 20 Jul 2017 17:58:04 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3087

Becky Chominski, marketing major at The Catholic University of America and NetApp Summer Intern.

I came across a quote the …

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Becky Chominski, marketing major at The Catholic University of America and NetApp Summer Intern.

I came across a quote the other day while working on a project for my internship with NetApp that really struck a chord with me.  The quote from Tim Berners-Lee states: “Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.”  NetApp knows that data is no longer locked away on devices or hidden behind firewalls; it’s distributed, dynamic, and diverse. The IT industry – particularly companies that help their customers manage data – is ubiquitous and that is why I believe it is so important for my generation to become a part of because we are the future of the IT industry. Data is crucial to society and our everyday lives. Before NetApp, I did not appreciate data the way I do now. However, what I’ve learned from my experience this summer is that helping customers change the world with data is an exciting endeavor.

With just one more year to go before I complete my marketing degree at Catholic University, I knew that spending this summer learning about marketing in the IT field would be a valuable experience.  I was first attracted to the IT industry last summer when I job shadowed at SAP. I had the opportunity to learn about global marketing there and that is when I realized the endless opportunities that arise when supporting customers in their visions to better the world with data. I have had countless beneficial experiences at NetApp with not only the company itself but with the employees, as well. For example, one of the projects I’ve been involved with this summer is updating NetApp’s Golden Pitch Deck for the US Public Sector sales team.  I have learned so much being part of the process of applying the messaging to situations that will help customers succeed in a data-driven world.

My time at NetApp has been incredible. It has made me appreciate data and the IT industry on a level that I did not know was possible. Before starting my internship, I knew that working in this industry was going to be a challenging and eye-opening experience. However, I had no idea how much it would impact the way I think about my day-to-day life. The littlest things are affected by data. For example, I would not have access to my course work during the school year without data. Hospitals would not be able to protect and manage patients’ healthcare information. I have a brand-new level of respect for data that I would have never imagined before this internship.

During the internship program at NetApp, we have the chance to hear NetApp employees’ stories about how they got to where they are today. These talks are empowering and every employee loves the fact they are helping others in an impactful way while working for NetApp. The internship program provides countless opportunities to connect with our mentors, peers. and managers in relaxed and enjoyable settings. Every single employee is so welcoming. Even though I am “just an intern,” employees stop and take time out of their busy day to have a conversation with me. Having friendly employees to work with creates an even better work experience than I could have ever imagined and I am truly grateful for it.

There is a place for everyone in this industry, especially at NetApp. Employees have the chance to grow beyond their original role and create new experiences and gain new knowledge. This experience at NetApp has taken me beyond the role of a marketing student and truly let me grow in the workplace. Along with the countless marketing skills gained throughout this internship, I have learned that data is a critical component to everyday life. I will incorporate my knowledge I gained from NetApp when I go back to Catholic University in the fall. This experience will enable me to apply my academics to real life situations that reveal how marketing can truly benefit the community.

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NetApp’s HCI Allows Public Sector Customers to Do More with Less http://govdatadownload.com/2017/07/18/netapps-hci-allows-public-sector-customers-less/ Tue, 18 Jul 2017 19:15:05 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3083

First generation hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) simplified virtualization for customers across the public sector but was limiting in terms of

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First generation hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) simplified virtualization for customers across the public sector but was limiting in terms of performance; which is one of the many reasons NetApp decided to bring the new and improved HCI to market. With guaranteed performance and quality of service backed by SolidFire, NetApp’s HCI enables public sector customers to do more with less while being a more economically viable investment than the previous generation HCI. We wanted to hear more about what NetApp HCI brings to the market and had a chance to sit with Dale Degen, Director of Product and Solutions Marketing at SolidFire NetApp for his insights. Here’s what he had to say:

GovDataDownload (GDD): Can you talk about how the new NetApp HCI is a game changer in the market?

Dale Degen (DD): We determined that the first generation HCI lacked performance controls, flexibility, and prevented the consolidation of mixed workloads for the data center. NetApp HCI is a game changer because we believe it’s foreshadowing the next generation data center and where HCI is going. We are now able to deliver guaranteed performance and quality of service from NetApp architectures with HCI, allowing customers to deliver applications with confidence. Our next generation HCI allows customers to consolidate mixed workloads of very different types of performance characteristics, avoiding “noisy neighbors”. We also feel the gaps of performance, flexibility and consolidation have been fixed by allowing public sector customers to scale to their needs. They can now independently grow compute and storage, easily and elastically.

GDD: How will HCI enable public sector customers to do more with less?

DD: We are bringing HCI simplicity to a new level with the automated infrastructure it provides. HCI empowers public sector IT operations to do more with less because everything is created through simple workflows or API’s. Every single command has an API that is controlled through vCenter so our customers don’t have to learn a brand new management console. Now, one admin can scale a few nodes to hundreds of nodes of compute and storage in a way that could never happen before.

At a portfolio level, our data fabric allows customers to use the power of their data wherever it makes sense, so they aren’t confined to a pure HCI environment. With our solution, there is seamless integration across our entire NetApp portfolio whether customers are seeking SolidFire, ONTAP or even our hybrid cloud offerings.

Find out more about NetApp’s HCI with this video:

GDD: How is the new HCI is more efficient than the first generation system?

DD: Most of our customers are looking to build out next generation data centers that are truly automated. HCI can manage many disparate workloads and dynamically allocate both capacity and performance as needed. I think that’s really changing the game of HCI and allowing customers the simplicity of HCI without having to compromise anything.

GDD: How does NetApp guarantee performance with the new HCI?

DD: NetApp SolidFire has an industry leading quality of service where administrators can dynamically manage and control performance, enforcing minimum and maximum settings for each application and volume. We can now allocate performance out per workload so customers have a very predictable environment with no noisy neighbors, making this a game changer in the marketplace and something no one else currently offers.

GDD: Can you talk about how HCI is an investment for public sector customers?

DD: As compute and storage needs grow and scale, customers can match their investments independently such that there is no over provisioning or over-buying of storage or compute. This is different than the first generation HCI where customers would sometimes be forced to buy compute or storage when it wasn’t needed. Additionally, first generation HCI often forced our public sector customers to needlessly pay for per-core application licensing that was not being used.  NetApp HCI takes that away, saving tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.

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Local Governments Embrace Data-Driven Decision Making to Become Smart Cities http://govdatadownload.com/2017/07/14/local-governments-embrace-data-driven-decision-making-to-become-smart-cities/ Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:41:49 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3079

If states are considered “the laboratories of democracy,” perhaps cities should be considered the laboratories of data-driven decision making.

At …

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If states are considered “the laboratories of democracy,” perhaps cities should be considered the laboratories of data-driven decision making.

At the AWS Public Sector Summit, held in June in Washington, D.C., a panel spoke on the importance of data, analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) is a global program, with about 120 cities and 300 companies participating, started by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to help communities benefit from each other’s experiences to improve service efficiencies and lower costs.

Sokwoo Rhee, associate director of NIST’s Cyber-Physical Systems Program and organizer of GCTC, said the event is about identifying projects that are replicable from one city to 100,000.

“It’s improving the quality of life using advanced technology,” Rhee said. “[IoT] is probably the central factor of enabling smart cities. [Even] rural towns, population 5,000, are also working to be smart cities.”

Michael Mattmiller, CTO for the city of Seattle, agreed. “We have a mayor, Ed Murray, and he presented a vision of how our city should be safe, affordable and vibrant,” he said. “That’s no small task in Seattle, we’re a rapidly growing city.”

Ben Levine, executive director of MetroLab Network, a group of 40 city and university pairs, partnered together to focus on two areas, wants cities to focus on how data analytics help cities deliver services to citizens and how technology can help cities manage their natural environments. “I think it’s more about how we use data to make smarter decisions … To me a smart city is loosely a system of systems that’s highly data driven, that understands how many people are moving through the streets, how much water is in the sewer system, how many are living in housing.”

The city of Plano, Texas, has been working with Amazon for about five years to realize some cost efficiencies by using its data, said Chris Chiancone, the city’s CIO.

“I see [IoT] devices as more input for data, with the flip side a lot of opportunity for agencies to do more with these devices,” Chiancone said. To really maximize the insights provided by this wealth of data, “we have to get to the point where communities erase those boundaries and start talking to each other – independent school districts, neighboring cities, counties, even states.”

While there’s no shortage of data being generated by cities and being held by local government agencies, Kirk Kern, at NetApp, shared that the real challenge is being able to manage the data so that it can be put to work to drive better decision making. “The biggest challenges that all agencies – not just local governments – face is to be able to manage their data in order to make it informational and operational,” he said.

“To put data to work, CIOs and CTOs need to ensure that it can move seamlessly not just between storage and compute environments but can be accessed by different parts of the organization, or perhaps even shared with other cities to help their data-driven initiatives succeed,” Kern continued.  “If data is simply aggregated and siloed then its decision-making power and value is eliminated; it must be accessible to drive the types of innovation and growth that local governments need.”

A hybrid cloud infrastructure is quickly becoming the go-to solution to facilitate this kind of data movement and accessibility.  “A hybrid cloud environment gives CIOs control over where the data resides, while a data fabric enables the seamless movement of data between public and private clouds, as well as cloud-adjacent storage,” said Kern.

With the Smart Cities movement gaining momentum in every region of the country, those just beginning the process will be able to learn a great deal from pioneers like Seattle and Plano.  From what was shared at the AWS Public Sector Summit by both local government IT leaders and data management experts, while the vision of a data-driven city that delivers more services, more efficiently to its citizens is important, having the right data management infrastructure behind the scenes is just as important.

Interested in learning more about data management for Smart Cities?  You can find out a hybrid cloud infrastructure here.

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Enterprise Storage Market Remains Flat while NetApp and Converged Systems Experience Growth http://govdatadownload.com/2017/07/11/enterprise-storage-market-remains-flat-netapp-converged-systems-experience-growth/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 19:20:38 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3076

According to IDC’s recent Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, the worldwide enterprise storage market remained flat in Q1 while …

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According to IDC’s recent Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, the worldwide enterprise storage market remained flat in Q1 while NetApp experienced revenue growth of 13.3% in both the total and external worldwide enterprise storage systems market. It was reported that NetApp’s growth in Q1 largely came from the banking, telecommunications and government verticals.

As Liz Conner, research manager, Storage Systems at IDC says, “The enterprise storage market closed out the first quarter relatively flat, yet adhered to a familiar pattern. Spending on traditional external arrays continues to slowly shrink while spending on all-flash deployments once again posted strong growth and helped to drive the overall market. Meanwhile the very nature of the hyperscale business leads to heavy fluctuations within the market segment, displaying solid growth in 1Q17.”

As more organizations look at ways they can consume IT resources in a way that makes the most sense for them, the converged and hyper converged market is also set for growth and many believe it will take a large share of the of the IT infrastructure market over the next few years.

Converged infrastructure—and its big brother hyper converged infrastructure—rolls compute, storage, and networking into a self-provisioning pool of shared resources, sometimes with a hardware appliance, sometimes abstracted into software. The converged and hyper converged growth theory is proving true so far this year as IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker showed a jump in revenue in the converged systems by 4.6% to $2.67 billion during the first quarter of 2017.

“Converged systems have become an important source of innovation and growth for the data center infrastructure market,” said IDC’s Eric Sheppard, research director of Enterprise Storage and Converged Systems. “These solutions represent a conduit for the key technologies driving much needed data center modernization and efficiencies, such as flash, software-defined infrastructure and private cloud platforms.”

Hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) platforms are also on a path to growth as organizations look to build their next-generation data center strategy and deploy workloads, virtual desktops, run analytics, and workloads for remote offices. IDC reports hyper converged sales grew 64.7% year over year during the first quarter of 2017, generating $665.1 million worth of sales. Hyper converged systems differentiate themselves from converged systems by allowing for ease of use with storage, compute, and networking capabilities located in a single piece of hardware. Furthermore, by simplifying IT administration and centralizing technology with HCI, enterprises are able to reduce CAPEX and OPEX to improve efficiency and accelerate growth.

You can find out more about NetApp’s hyper converged infrastructure here.

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The Four Tenets to a Successful DevOps Strategy http://govdatadownload.com/2017/07/07/four-tenets-successful-devops-strategy/ Fri, 07 Jul 2017 14:57:02 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3072

DevOps is generally accepted as the project management methodology that brings together IT and operations with developers throughout the entire …

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DevOps is generally accepted as the project management methodology that brings together IT and operations with developers throughout the entire IT production lifecycle. Traditionally, IT and operations have worked in silos, creating a “wall” between them that prevents transparency and effective communication. DevOps breaks down this wall by blending developers and operations staff operationally, culturally and technically. DevOps improves agency processes by allowing for quicker development, greater quality assurance, better end products, and ultimately greater satisfaction among end users.

That said, implementing a DevOps strategy is easier said than done for many agencies, as it requires the adoption of certain principles in order to be effective. There are many misconceptions about what DevOps is and isn’t. Many believe DevOps is all about automation and tooling, but that’s simply not the case. The process of collaboration and coordination of daily operations and IT teams requires a cultural shift.

As Rob Gordon, Federal CTO of NetApp, SolidFire explains, “The challenge with DevOps is more cultural than technical. There are turf wars between IT and Dev teams. Much of the infrastructure is considered ‘sacred equipment’ and, as a result, departments are afraid of losing control over the infrastructure. There’s also the idea that knowledge is power, and if you share this knowledge, then your worth to the company lessens. Unfortunately, this mindset hinders any advancement towards DevOps.”

In a recent GovLoop guide, “Make DevOps a Reality for Your Agency”, sponsored by NetApp, the four core tenets necessary to embrace a DevOps strategy are outlined:

  • Culture. In order for DevOps to work, technical, regulatory and cultural government silos must be significantly reduced. A DevOps culture is collaborative and employees across departments are in constant communication and embrace rapid change.
  • Automation. The replacement of manual processes to accelerate digital product delivery is another core tenet of DevOps, but quality and security should not be sacrificed. Automation improves efficiency and reduces the potential of human error.
  • Measuring. By measuring the outcomes of your projects and how effectively you got there, you can prove the value of the process to others in your agency and make process changes as needed.
  • Sharing. Information sharing improves efficiencies by reducing duplicative efforts. Employees can focus on more important mission-critical issues and achieve common understanding of the processes and goals that have been set.

 

Ultimately, the barriers to DevOps adoption are cultural, but the obstacles like risk aversion, legacy silos and workflow disruption – can be overcome by implementing these core values. DevOps is the future for agencies looking to alleviate traditional challenges such as resistance to innovation and budget constraints. As more agencies begin to realize the benefits of DevOps and implement it into their framework, constituents will benefit as well.

You can learn more about NetApp’s DevOps solutions here.  

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Happy Birthday, America http://govdatadownload.com/2017/07/04/happy-birthday-america/ Tue, 04 Jul 2017 13:00:47 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3068

What does freedom mean to you? The answer will vary greatly depending on who you ask. As Americans, we have …

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What does freedom mean to you? The answer will vary greatly depending on who you ask. As Americans, we have the privilege of living in a free land that has served as a model of democracy for 241 years. But the freedoms we’ve been given have come at a cost. America is the home of the free and the brave because of the thousands upon thousands who have fought and made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives so we can enjoy the opportunities that abound in this great nation.

On this Independence Day, please take a minute to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure American citizens have the privilege to live in a free nation. On the NetApp US Public Sector team, we’d like to give a special thanks to veterans Bernardo Guzman, Jason Hill, and Jamie D’Alessandro, who all shared their military experiences with us and stories about how they came to NetApp on GovDataDownload for Military Appreciation Month in May.

We thank them and all other members of the military for dedicating their lives to protecting our freedoms of liberty and justice for all. Happy 4th of July from NetApp and the GovDataDownload editorial team!

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The Power of Partnerships: Delivering Excellence to the Federal Government http://govdatadownload.com/2017/06/29/power-partnerships-delivering-excellence-federal-government/ Thu, 29 Jun 2017 14:31:36 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3065

When it comes to helping federal agencies with their data management challenges partnerships are vital to success.  Partners work in …

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When it comes to helping federal agencies with their data management challenges partnerships are vital to success.  Partners work in concert to create best in class solutions that tackle complex mission challenges with complex data requirements according to David Drahozal, Senior Director U.S. Public Sector Channel Sales, at NetApp.

In a conversation following NetApp’s Federal Partner Executive Retreat, which brings together senior leaders from NetApp’s top performing partners, Drahozal emphasized the importance of partnerships as federal agencies grapple with how to transition to the cloud and how to manage data following migration.  “The more flexibility that agencies can build into their cloud migration plans, the more mobile their data is, and the more ways in which agencies can use their data helps them to deliver on the mission,” Drahozal shared.

With more cloud-based storage environments and more types of storage media, including the latest generation all-flash arrays, it’s vital that federal IT leaders understand what options are available and what will best suit their needs.  “Data is the new digital currency,” said Drahozal. “If you don’t know which media to choose, or whether you need a private cloud, cloud-adjacent storage, or a hybrid environment, you risk squandering that currency,” he continued.

By partnering with a data authority federal IT leaders are able to get a 360 degree of data management options and identify the ones that will best support mission goals.  “There are a lot of new data management solutions becoming available right now,” Drahozal shared.  In particular, he noted that on-demand storage and hyper converged infrastructure (HCI) are two areas of innovation that federal agencies, with their notoriously tight budgets should begin to investigate.

As its name suggests, on demand storage means that you only pay for the storage that you need at any given moment.  “The pay-as-you-go model is well-suited to federal agencies and other organizations that have private clouds and allocated operating expenses for cloud services and data consumption,” Drahozal shared.  “Users can avoid large upfront capital expenditures and can scale storage up and down depending on need, avoiding overage charges, or wasted resources.”

Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) introduces similar flexibility to federal agencies in search of data management solutions.  “HCI is built upon the idea of simplicity,” said Drahozal, “it brings together storage, compute, and networking capabilities into a single piece of hardware.”  Drahozal was quick to illustrate that new HCI solutions are not the same as first generation solutions that purported to offer flexibility and scalability but often fell short. How does this next-generation HCI differ from the old school version?  “NetApp’s HCI will leverage SolidFire all-flash storage and NetApp Data Fabric technology that will seamlessly link on-premise and cloud storage, and address these legacy issues, customer pain points, and simplify data and infrastructure management,” Drahozal noted.  “NetApp’s HCI is built upon the ability to guarantee performance, flexibility, and scale by scaling compute and storage resources independently, and allows IT Departments to be more agile by quickly deploying using the NetApp Deployment Engine.”

With such complex challenges ahead, federal agencies will certainly be well served by developing strong partnerships with authorities that can address not just data storage, but the entire spectrum of data management challenges.  While next-generation technology offerings are definitely part of being a leader in the field, understanding how to address complexities and bringing the right team to the table is a far stronger indicator of a successful outcome.

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When it Comes to Cloud Migration Forget Soundbites and Focus on Planning and Agility http://govdatadownload.com/2017/06/27/comes-cloud-migration-forget-soundbites-focus-planning-agility/ Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:08:46 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3062

The idea of moving to the cloud has been a mainstay of federal agency IT plans for what seems like …

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The idea of moving to the cloud has been a mainstay of federal agency IT plans for what seems like years.  Despite the prevalence of conversations, conference panels, and cloud migration plans, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done by federal agencies to start leveraging the power of the cloud.

According to Rob Stein, Vice President, US Public Sector at NetApp, the adoption of cloud-based storage and services varies widely between agencies.  “There are the early adopters and drivers of change, like the Federal Communications Commission,” Stein shared, “but there are also many agencies that are still trying to figure out what they should put in the cloud and how to deliver IT-as-a-Service within their organization.”

From Stein’s perspective, there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure that agencies get the most out of their investment in the cloud.  “This is definitely not a criticism of federal IT leaders,” he commented.  “Federal agencies are large complex IT environments, often more complex than commercial environments and with so much sensitive data to protect it’s going to take time to figure out the best data migration and management strategy,” Stein continued.

Because of this complexity and sensitivity, Stein cautioned federal IT leaders to be wary of pitches that talk about moving to the cloud in broad terms. “Saying you can help an organization move to the cloud is a great soundbite, but the practicalities – how to manage data in the cloud for example — are far more complex,” Stein shared.  He advised those leading cloud migration and transformation projects to really dig into questions about how data is accessed, how data can be managed once it’s in the cloud, and how data is secured.

What happens if cloud migration isn’t well managed?  It typically recreates the stovepipes and data siloes that hamper on-premise storage environments and which mitigate the very advantages of moving to the cloud. The key to avoiding a flawed cloud migration for Stein starts with identifying what services the agency wants to deliver to constituents and working out where data is stored. Once those two essential pieces are taken care of, it’s possible to devise an effective data management solution that will bring the benefits of the cloud – agility, scalability, and accessibility — to fruition.

“The reality is that no government agency will put everything into the cloud,” said Stein.  A hybrid cloud strategy – involving the use of private and public clouds, as well as cloud-adjacent storage – will be the most likely set-up given the sensitivity of government data.  What type of data ends up in which environment all depends on individual agency’s governance and chain of custody requirements.

For Stein this necessary division means that high speed access to the cloud and the ability to move data between environments via a data fabric are essential parts of a cloud migration strategy.  “In the end, there’s no need for agencies to own the infrastructure – the servers and the storage –” he said, “that’s a heavy lift; what they should focus on is being able to control where their data goes and making certain it can be put to work to deliver on the mission.”

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Tom Mendoza Talks About NetApp, its People, and Our Data Driven Future http://govdatadownload.com/2017/06/22/tom-mendoza-talks-netapp-people-data-driven-future/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:09:26 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3056

You might think that after nearly 25 years with an organization that you might be a little jaded, or be …

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You might think that after nearly 25 years with an organization that you might be a little jaded, or be tempted to just go through the motions at work.  But, after talking to Tom Mendoza, NetApp’s Vice Chairman, we found that for him nothing could be further from the truth.

Tom Mendoza, NetApp’s Vice Chairman

From his early days at the company as Vice President of U.S. Sales, to his tenure as President, and into his current role as Vice Chairman, Mendoza has maintained an enthusiasm for the organization, its people, and its data driven mission that shows no signs of dimming.  “I’ve been fortunate to be part of an organization that understands its success lies with its people and a commitment  to embracing change,” Mendoza told us after he was received the Trace3 Outlier Lifetime Achievement Award in late May.

“Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” Tom shared.  “This award is not about individual success; it’s a team award.  Every time we accomplish something great, it’s about team – both the team at work and the one at home.”

For Mendoza being part of a team enables the type of thinking that allows innovation to thrive, which in turn, has allowed NetApp to be part of an elite group of companies listed on the NASDAQ to make it to their 25th anniversary.  “A few years ago when we celebrated our 20th year of being public, a senior NASDAQ executive told me that fewer than 15 percent of companies listed on the NASDAQ have ever made their 20th anniversaries,” he commented, “and here we are marking NetApp’s 25th anniversary this summer.”

The company that is celebrating its 25th anniversary bares only a passing resemblance to the data storage company that was founded in San Jose in 1992. The tech sector enabled the company to thrive almost immediately because they recognized the benefits of network attached storage, and demonstrated to other industries why this type of storage was essential for their growth.    When the dotcom boom happened in the late 1990s, NetApp was the vendor of choice for many of the world’s largest internet providers and grew from $250 million to $1 billion in revenue in two years

Then the dotcom bubble burst.  “Many thought that NetApp would fail as its key customers slowed their technology purchases, but it was our culture and our embrace of innovation that allowed us to survive and eventually thrive,” Mendoza reflected.  And indeed NetApp did thrive; first, by successfully bringing innovation to the storage of mission critical apps in the enterprise, and then in helping customers move to the cloud. Now NetApp is focused on becoming the leading provider of data management solutions that enable customers to put their data to work, no matter where or how it is stored, to solve the critical problems faced today in healthcare, research, education, government, and business.

“Our ability as a team to embrace change makes me proud,” said Tom.  “Many organizations flounder when they hit warp speed, or face monumental challenges. But our company culture where we’re committed to celebrating successes together and inspiring each other in the darkness, makes us not only strong, but resilient.”

As to what comes next, for NetApp Mendoza sees a steady drum beat of change that he and the team are ready for.  “The future is all about data, but the conversations we’re having with CIOs are not about where you store data, but how you enable data to move,” he said.  Mendoza went on to share that it’s no longer important whether or not you own storage assets, but it is important that you can control your data’s movement between environments and do it safely and securely.

“Having a conversation with CIOs, identifying the solution to a problem they were convinced didn’t have a solution, and then being able to introduce them to our team who can put their vision into action, is truly rewarding work.  It’s the kind of work that keeps me coming back to NetApp day after day, year after year.”

 

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Meet the SME: Amy Lewis Gives a Fresh Perspective on Marketing http://govdatadownload.com/2017/06/21/meet-sme-amy-lewis-gives-fresh-perspective-marketing/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:23:06 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3053

Our Meet the SME articles typically feature those on the frontlines of solution development, but this time we thought we’d

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Our Meet the SME articles typically feature those on the frontlines of solution development, but this time we thought we’d go behind the scenes and meet Amy Lewis, Director of Influence Marketing at NetApp.  Amy brings a fresh perspective to marketing that shifts the focus from ‘the sell’ to relationship building.  And, as with all of our interviews we like to find out a little something you can’t learn about our subject matter expert from their LinkedIn profile.  Keep reading to find out more about Amy and her passion for building communities.

GovDataDownload (GDD): Amy, thanks for chatting with us, can you tell us about your role at NetApp?

Amy Lewis: (AL): I’m Director of Influence Marketing at NetApp.  Contrary to what many people think I’m not in charge of the Twitter account, although social media presence is part of influence marketing. What I do is draw all the different threads of influence together to build a community of advocates.

GDD: You’ve worked at some very large companies and in the startup world, what are some of the differences in building customer communities?

AL: I’ve been fortunate to work for both established companies and startups. The thing that remains the same is that people are people are people no matter what the size of the company. While the scale and resources might be different the goal of creating a customer community is the same.  If you attempt to build a community just by talking about your company, or yourself, all the time there’s little possibility that you’ll be successful.

GDD: Why is community building such an important part of marketing?

AL: Communities are such an important part of a company today. Technology companies have moved away from advertising-driven marketing to focus on community building. If you think about how we act as consumers, we never buy anything in isolation; we rely on our communities to make recommendations. That type of interaction has become part of the decision making process for businesses. Successful organizations are the ones that listen to their customers and build authentic communities.

GDD: What are some of your favorite tools or events for building authentic community?

AL: There’s a standard set of tools that are part of marketing in the era of social but when vendors come en masse with social messages it can be overwhelming and lacks authenticity.

To be successful you have to know why you’re building a community. At Cisco I was looking to give a huge company a human face; at SolidFire I was building a community of advocates to help us punch above our weight, and at NetApp I’m inviting customers to be part of a major transformation.   Being aware of your motivation makes it easier to identify the tools and platforms that will best communicate the message.

However, my favorite thing is to bring the quirky.  Sharing a bit of yourself gets people talking.  I’ve done bacon-based events, which, even if you don’t eat bacon, gets people talking quickly and ‘Whiteboard-Offs,’ which are like dance-offs, but for engineers.  Whatever the tactics the guiding principles are the same: know your why, be genuine, and listen to your customers.

GDD: Tell us something about yourself that we can’t learn from your social media presence? 

AL: As your basic introvert, I feel over-exposed on social media!  From my Twitter profile write-up you’ll see that I’m a podcast host for The Geek Whisperers and Speaking in Tech as well as the creator of Popup Tech Talks.  If you read my Twitter profile you’ll see I like futbol. It’s a recent addition to my life and I’ve embraced it whole-heartedly.  I’m not just watching matches but I’m the coach of my eldest daughter’s team. True to my geek roots, you’ll find me watching matches sketching out plays for next week’s practice.

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