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New NetApp SADC head considers SA a regional gateway

New NetApp SADC head considers SA a regional gateway

Newly appointed South African Country Manager and District Manager for the SADC Region at NetApp, Morne Bekker says South Africa can serve as an example of best practice for its regional counterparts and function as a gateway for business across SADC.

NetApp recently announced that Bekker would be taking on the dual roles for the data management and cloud storage solutions provider.

"South Africa is one of the most developed economies on the African continent and therefore also quite mature in its adoption of technology, cloud and the digital transformation journey. Countries in the SADC region are benefiting from this as multinational organisations are moving into the region and bringing with it modernisation and transformation. "

Bekker says NetApp does not disclose region-specific numbers on the performance of its business, and his main goal is to ensure that the company becomes an enabler for organisations in SADC to lead in digital transformation.

"Our efforts for SADC is to enable our business partners to sell the broad NetApp portfolio and to be able to effectively support and service our customers in the region."

Bekker's additional responsibilities include the development and execution of sales and channel strategies, expanding the NetApp's customer base, ensuring local skills development and enhancing the partner and alliances ecosystem, according to the company.

Fadi Kanafani, NetApp Regional Director Middle East & Africa says Bekker represents the type of leadership that NetApp requires for growth across Southern Africa.

"The appointment of Morne is indicative of the cusp in NetApp's South African presence. Our recent acquisition of SolidFire and unique portfolio including the most comprehensive enterprise flash storage offering in the business, places us in a distinctive market position. We therefore require the right leadership as demonstrated by Morne, to execute strategy, develop long standing industry relationships and bring in new prospects,"

Bekker has hinted at the possibility of NetApp initiating strategic industry partnerships in the SADC market to address concerns about the low adoption of cloud and data fabric solutions.

His appointment at NetApp coincided with the announcement of a partnership between Cisco and NetApp for a New FlexPod SF converged infrastructure solution in the US.

"Traditionally, large South African enterprises have been cautious when adopting the cloud. Reasons for this cloud lag have included long standing legacy systems and confusion around data sovereignty. This mindset is slowly starting to shift as organisations start to pursue a hybrid cloud strategy, retaining a significant amount of storage capacity on-premises for reasons of performance, security, regulatory and compliance,"

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