Ambitious IT services company THINK iT Solutions, part of the EOH Group, has become South Africa’s second NetApp Authorised Professional Services Partner.

In so doing, the company is seeking to continue its rapid growth by aligning with vendors proven to deliver superior solutions and investing in the necessary resources and training to ensure high-value IT solutions for its clients.
It has also fulfilled the requirements for a NetApp Authorised Support Partner.
According to THINK iT's chief technology officer, Louis Botha, it has identified NetApp as the storage solutions provider of choice on the basis of international reputation for technology leadership.
“Not only does NetApp enjoy a massive installed base around the world, but its solutions are also consistently delivered at a lower cost per megabyte than any other Tier One vendors.
"Within its hardware and related software suites, NetApp is able to deliver what CIOs are demanding from their storage environments: unassailable reliability, high performance and – perhaps most importantly, given the cash-constrained reality of post-recession business – cost competitiveness.”
More than that, Botha says THINK iT is pleased to achieve the highest level of partnership certification with the vendor at an early stage.
“In the local market, the potential for solutions from NetApp are considerable. As one of the fastest growing storage providers in the market, NetApp is proven to outperform any other Tier One vendor on the cost/performance/reliability equation.
"In short, that means a compelling value proposition for any of our clients, both existing and future.”
Matthew Barker, NetApp South Africa channel manager, confirms Botha’s views.
“NetApp continues to enjoy strong growth as more companies seek high-performance, cost-effective solutions to constantly growing data storage requirements.
"That’s set to continue; not only is the channel expanding through the introduction and certification of additional partners, but we are also stepping up demand-generation activities such as marketing and advertising.”
Substantiating the claims relating to cost per megabyte, Barker points out that many of the world’s largest cloud service providers work with NetApp to provide the underlying storage capacity which allows them to deliver their services in a competitive marketplace.
“Cloud really is the ultimate test; with most services free or very low cost, it is imperative that the cloud provider makes use of optimally efficient underlying infrastructure,” he says.
Turning his attention to THINK iT’s achievement, Barker explains what it takes for channel partners to achieve this level of certification.
He says Authorised Professional Service Partners represent those with the highest level of competency in professional service delivery for NetApp technologies.
“Effectively, that means a lot of in-depth training. These partners undergo the same training as that of our internal NetApp Professional Services teams. They also have access to the same best-in-class tools and methodologies used by NetApp professional service engineers.”
Meanwhile, as a NetApp Authorised Support Partner, THINK iT is empowered to deliver remote and field support on the vendor’s products and solutions.
As for the value which THINK iT gains through the partnership, Gartner principal analyst, storage services' Adam Couture, sums it up thus: “Gartner asked customers ‘In your opinion, which storage hardware and software vendor has the best storage service policies and programmes for resellers and why?’
"NetApp came out on top. Flexibility and solid reseller programmes were mentioned most often.”
In short, says Barker, when end-users engage with a NetApp Authorised Professional Service Partner such as THINK iT, they get a partner which can be relied on to reach storage and data management goals.