A NetApp executive has dismissed partners' concerns about direct sales, telling them their worries are "bullshit".
CRN UK reported that NetApp EMEA general manager Manfred Reitner this week went on stage at the vendor's Partner Executive Forum to say the company is focused on both enterprise customers as well as the SMB market.
Reitner then told the 250-strong crowd at Warsaw, Poland that direct sales creep was a recurring theme partners have raised with him in the past year.
"There was a lot of concern from you guys that NetApp is changing its strategy," he said. "[Partners thought] NetApp is going for the enterprise, partners [should only] go into the MSB [space]. That is bullshit, I am sorry to say."
The executive assured conference attendees that partners are "the most important part of our go-to-market".
"If you look at the enterprise, yes, of course, we are focusing our direct sales force more on the enterprise. But only to help you to build a solution our customers need," Reitner said.
"Our customers are going away from infrastructure so it's not that our direct sales guys are going there and selling infrastructure, we have to build a compelling solution for our customers which is way more than a piece of hardware of software."
Earlier this month, NetApp's global chairman and chief executive Tom Georgens departed the company without explanation, while 500 employees are expected to be laid off during the year.