Adopting a targeted approach to customers will yield more results for chain actors operating in the public sector.
The term ‘public sector’ encompasses a lot of different organizations with different needs and priorities, and the best approach is to break it down into sub-verticals, according to Adrian Cooper, field CTO – UK public sector at NetApp.
Like many IT companies, the data and cloud player targets the public sector, but has refined its approach to the market over the past two years.
“Overall, NetApp sees the public sector as an important vertical market for us,” Cooper said. “About two years ago we made more investments locally in the UK, in the public sector, partly because we saw the market was moving slightly and we felt there was a good fit in in terms of customers we’re reaching and some of the kinds of pressures and opportunities they were considering and the kind of portfolio that’s evolving within NetApp.
“I think it is important to record the fact that I think we have also recognized and evolved our thinking over this period to see the public sector not as a vertical sector in itself, but as a number of different sub-verticals. The dynamics within local government are perhaps slightly different from central government, health, police, defence, etc.
Taking this approach has appealed to customers and also benefited partners who operate in that customer base, Cooper said.
“We thought customers were going to be a lot more responsive to us, showing empathy for their industry, an understanding of other customers and how they were deploying technology, how they were solving challenges and issues within their business,” he said.
“What we have recognized is that there may be partners out there who are similarly focused on these verticals. So what that allows us to do is build relationships with partners of all shapes and sizes and maybe also ISVs that focus on those particular areas.
NetApp has seen growing interest in data solutions from public sector customers as they begin to seek more support to unlock the value of their data. The company recently conducted a survey, which highlighted the fact that users are looking for ways to use the information to improve their business.
“We were trying to understand how mature our customers were in the ambition to use data in this way,” Cooper said.
There was also a feeling that distribution partners with specialists who could support customers in this ambition would also be best placed to succeed in the public sector.
For those who had made the effort, the market was growing and the current trend of unlocking data meant there was momentum in the market, Cooper said.
“We have seen strong growth in our public sector business this year, as we did last year, and I think we see that continuing and we will invest more to support the market and market demand. that we are seeing in the UK,” he added.