By Luis Benavides, Business Development Manager http://blogs.netapp.com/uspub/2010/05/gov20_ruready.html
In the past when I was invited to talk to customers about SharePoint on NetApp (SnapManager for SharePoint) I would always start the conversation off by talking about the world of ‘collaboration’ and endless possibilities, about how SharePoint is a starting point; integration with Project Server, BizTalk, Streaming Content, My Sites, Live Communications, Presence Integration, Intranet, Extranet, Federation, etc. Ultimately most customers were looking to the solution as a place to store documents and basic work spaces for teams to share content.
Now I find a lot more of my conversations to be about ‘Collaboration’ rather than ‘SharePoint’. This is where NetApp really shines and has more to offer than traditional storage vendors. Let’s face it traditional storage is an inhibitor towards adoption of new technologies, especially when those vendors are solely focused on just backup and recovery. With the May 12th launch of Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010, we expect even more content generated and greater demand for adoption of these new products, especially since they are more cloud friendly than past versions. Both have social media connectors to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Not to mention a big storage impact, more on that later.
President Obama’s administration has taken notice of this change in how we collaborate, putting out a memorandum on transparency and open government. Captured in this article from ExecutiveGov, “…he noted how transparency, participation and collaboration formed the cornerstone of an open government.” and with this Gov2.0 became a priority for our government.
Besides transparency and open government, we are entering a period where the new workforce is used to “social networking” for collaboration. Signal Online published this article with U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven J. Spano, where he shared his thoughts on this next-generation of collaboration.
“We are trying to create a culture of collaboration to increase the speed of decisions and the quality of content,” One reason the general considers incorporating social networking and other collaborative tools into the service imperative is that he predicts a future work force shortage. “That means that the competition for talent and resources will be incredible,” he relates.
Back to what role does storage play, Gov2.0 may be a “highly visible” initiative but initially a “nice to have” for government customers. They probably have current pain points that prevent them from moving forward. IT shops will throw storage at a problem creating storage in-efficiency, which in turn consumes IT budget or resources. First step is to take care of today’s problems AND identify opportunities to Maximize Your IT Efficiency.
With NetApp storage efficiency, government agencies can solve traditional IT problems in a number of ways:
· Flexible provisioning of multiple dev and test environments without increasing capacity.
· Improve existing non-NetApp storage systems for new types of content or data growth.
· Use 50% Less storage, guaranteed for virtualized environments.
· Lower TCO and longer life out of their NetApp system augmented by Flash Cache cards.
NetApp can enable government customers to move forward with projects like Gov2.0, as well as provide an infrastructure that is ideal for hosting. To that point, how do we bring the service to market and how do we manage the potential data growth? Does it belong in the cloud like Facebook? Not only are they a NetApp customer, but in little time with no restrictions on publishing content, Facebook has exploded to become the largest repository of photos in the world. What about the growing data trend of video content, or full motion video say from a UAV? Although we have customers with 100%+ storage utilization rates (think of NetApp as a storage virtualization vendor), I could still see government IT shops not wanting to own the management. How then does a Cloud Hosting Provider service multiple customers on a shared infrastructure? You could look at a cloud solution like Secure Multi-Tenancy leveraging our Multi-Store technology, or build your own Microsoft Dynamic Data Center. NetApp continues to create innovative solutions alongside our Alliance Partners as our industry defines the service delivery model. Not only do we OEM SharePoint management products from AvePoint, integrating our SnapShot capability, but together we enable those wanting to provide “Collaboration aaS” connecting to the customer’s on-premise solution.
Social Networking has found its way into the government enterprise, and can’t be ignored. It is changing the way we collaborate, and deciding that Gov2.0 is right for you is just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t forget to stop by our booth at the Gov2.0 Expo May 25th-27th at the Washington D.C Convention Center. Register online and use coupon code gxp10ecx1 for a free expo pass, or gxp10ecm1 for 30% off conference pass. We look forward to talking with you about how NetApp can help your agency get ready for the next-generation of collaboration.
Thank you for reading, and please continue to follow our blog (http://blogs.netapp.com/uspub) with more Gov2.0 topics coming soon.‘#g2e’
Luis Benavides is a Business Development Manager working with Strategic Alliance Partners at NetApp U.S. Public Sector. Follow me on twitter @oluisb.