NetApp: Agile and Secure Data Handling
NetApp drives digital transformation for organisations migrating their data and SAP workloads to the cloud. You can trust the storage specialists to deliver business continuity, whether that’s in a private on-prem data center or in a public cloud with Azure, with a unified view.
“We’re on this journey with our customers when one of the key things they need is consistency,” explains Michael Zakariudakis, Business Development Manager for the SAP Alliance at NetApp. “They need guaranteed flexibility to scale up and down as required, and with our NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP solution we enable the seamless data transformation journey for them.”
Secure Speed of Change
When it comes to speed of execution, NetApp works with NTT to ensure their joint customers have the agility and visibility to execute change when their business needs to innovate. “When they need to act rapidly in a continually shifting market, we’re there for them,” assures Zakariudakis. “We make sure we can affect a total cost of ownership that considers operational change, business process change, and not just technology. Jointly with NTT, we provide the ability to transform their SAP application architecture securely.”
Future-Proofed Data Stability
Dealing with numerous landscape refreshes there are many iterations to navigate during a business transformation. “We can help our customers invest in the capacity and the performance they need at any point in time on their journey,” maintains Zakariudakis.
“Over-investment in a certain capacity, performance, tier, or stack can happen, and businesses find themselves locked in when faced with critical decisions. How can they move on with this journey? We help them invest in the right capacity performance at that key point in time.”
A Hybrid Multi-Cloud Value Proposition
Customers can trust NetApp to maintain the integrity of what they’re aiming to achieve with SAP as a workload. “They need consistency,” says Zakariudakis. “They need guaranteed performance and they don’t want any surprises. They need to make sure they can make this journey without any disruption from those inevitable landscape refreshes that could impact business by extending project durations and delay the return on investment that they're expecting to get. They need the certainty we can provide with our ONTAP software.
“It can be the management glue that goes right the way through from the private on-prem solutions to the public clouds. We’re able to offer our customers a hybrid multi-cloud journey, delivered through the NetApp data fabric, enabling them to achieve their goals with SAP.”
“The way NetApp manage file systems for data, means that when businesses make that move to the Azure platform they can specifically call out their storage strategy. NetApp’s toolsets and capabilities really help our clients get not only the visibility into their performance and where their data is being secured and stored, but as SAP matures, as the environments move forward, we've also got the NetApp capability to futureproof stability for our clients to handle upgrades and caching while managing the data that goes along with that. All of this makes it a really critical component.”
Kirk Compton, Vice President Cloud & Enterprise Application Managed Services, Sales, Americas, NTT Ltd.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.