NetApp knows storage backwards and forwards and on premise and in the cloud. The company makes data storage systems used by businesses for archiving and backup. It's moving much of its hardware and software to cloud-based storage applications. It offers products for hybrid cloud storage, extending customers' IT infrastructure to the cloud environments of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. NetApp enables customers' use of flash storage, another relatively new market for the company. The company's FlexPod product, developed with Cisco Systems, is designed to helped customers manage applications from Oracle, SAP, and Citrix. The company mainly sells to the energy, financial services, government, health care, and IT sectors through distributors. It makes about a quarter of its revenues from direct sales.
About 60% of NetApp’s revenue comes from its product segment whiles hardware maintenance and other services bring in about 25% with software maintenance accounting for the rest. The company outsources its manufacturing to third parties in the US, Europe, and Asia.
The US is the company's largest market, representing around 56% of its sales. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa account for nearly 30%, while the Asia/Pacific generates 14% of sales.
Sales and Marketing
NetAPP has field sales offices in 50 countries. It employs a multichannel distribution strategy, selling products and services to end users and service providers through a direct sales force and through channel partners, including value-added resellers, system integrators, OEMs, and distributors. During 2013, sales from indirect channels represented 82% of its net revenues. NetApp's major customers include Arrow Electronics (23% of total sales) and Avnet (16%).
NetAPP’s revenue declined for the second year in a row, down 3.2% to $6.12 billion in 2015 (ended April). Sales were off 7% in products, its biggest segment, on lower sales of its line of Fabric-Attached Storage (FAS) systems. The company had lower sales across its geographic segments.
The company's net income fell 12% in 2015 to $560 million, which was attributed to lower sales and higher sales and marketing costs and taxes. Cash flow from operations also fell, to $1.27 billion in 2015 from $1.35 billion in 2014.
A large part of NetApp’s strategy to help its customers move their storage to the cloud computing environment. And a large part of the company’s cloud strategy is hybrid cloud, which combines premise storage and external cloud storage. The company’s research and development spending increased almost 11% from 2014 to 2015.
Instead of competing with cloud providers like Amazon’s Amazon Web Services, IBM SoftLayer, and Microsoft’s Azure, it wants to make it easier for customers to use those services. In 2015, NetApp released products to help customers extend their IT infrastructure including data management and data protection to Azure and AWS.
Customers have shown a preference for NetApp's newer FAS mid-range and high-end systems and its E-series systems as they shift from the company's entry level FAS systems. Discounts of systems resulted in lower average selling prices overall of its configured systems.
To help develop new cloud and other product offerings, NetApp operates a research and development lab in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The lab provides shared-services infrastructure for testing its hardware and software against conditions found in enterprise data centers and cloud environments.
In 2015, NetApp initiated a restructuring to reduce costs. The company expected to reduce headcount by about 500, which would cost between $25 million and $35 million. The company plans to direct savings toward the parts of its business bringing higher returns.
Mergers and Acquisitions
NetApp continues to use acquisitions to add functionality to its product line, to enter new markets and, to adapt to evolving technology. In 2014, the company purchased Riverbed Technology’s SteelStore product line for $80 million. SteelStore products support backup applications and cloud providers that give customers choices in how they extend their existing data protection infrastructure into the cloud. In 2013 NetApp snapped up mobile device software provider ionGrid, for $17 million, and storage technology provider CacheIQ, for $91 million.