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Data is in our DNA: NetApp interview

AvantiKumar | Jan. 20, 2016
Just before NetApp officially announced the appointment of Heoh Chin Fah to head Malaysia & Brunei, Computerworld asked him to talk about NetApp's vision for the two markets.

Just before IT software & systems company NetApp officially announced the appointment of Heoh Chin Fah as country manager for Malaysia & Brunei, Computerworld Malaysia sat down with him to talk about NetApp's strategies for the two markets.

He has already offered broad industry view for Malaysia as part of Computerworld Malaysia's 2016 predictions roundup series at the start of this year. This interview focuses on NetApp and the local data management space.

An industry veteran, Chin Fah is also the founding member and Chairman of Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) Malaysia, an industry body responsible for advancing storage networking and information management technologies, standards and specifications, as well as education and certifications.

Heoh Chin Fah - Country Manager NetApp MY & BR 

Photo - Heoh Chin Fah, Country Manager, NetApp Malaysia and Brunei.

 

How has NetApp fared during 2015?

Our Q2 2016 fiscal year financial results were generally as expected. We continue to make progress as we pivot towards growing parts of the market, such as scale-out, software-defined, flash, converged and hybrid cloud. Our key focus remains on enabling our customers' success as they navigate their IT transformations to leverage modern architectures and deploy hybrid cloud solutions.

Overall, the IT spending environment continues to be constrained, and the expectation for growth of the overall storage market has decreased to low single-digits.

At the same time, customers are seeking to take advantage of new applications, modern data centre storage, and data management architectures. Based on our analysis, this has resulted in the traditional standalone hybrid storage market declining at about 9 percent, while at the same time the parts of the market addressed by our scale-out, software-defined, flash, converged and hybrid cloud solutions are growing at a rate of roughly 20 percent.

In general, IT spending will remain under pressure as customers evaluate cloud and modern architectures. NetApp continues to be forward-thinking and have made investments in growth areas, as I've mentioned earlier, which are showing promising results, although they are not yet enough to offset the decline in our traditional business.

What were the highs and lows in Malaysia for NetApp in 2015?

 In general, IT spending will remain under pressure as customers evaluate cloud and modern architectures.

 NetApp continues to be forward-thinking and have made investments in growth areas. As I've mentioned earlier, these investments are showing promising results.

 As we move into 2016, NetApp will continue to build on the strength of our Data Fabric strategy. Data Fabric will deliver the benefits to customers, partners, employees and shareholders over time.
 
What are your expectations for moving forward in 2016?

 Our aspiration for 2016 is to continue to build on the strength of our Data Fabric strategy and the benefits that this solution will deliver to customers, partners, employees and shareholders over time.

Our focus is on our Data Fabric vision which provides the data control and choice that customers need to operationalize the hybrid cloud. It will transform how organizations manage, secure, protect and move their data across the hybrid cloud, no matter where it lives. Through the Data Fabric Vision, customers can seamlessly connect different data management environments in disparate clouds into a cohesive, integrated whole.

What needs to be done on a national level to achieve 2020 and what constitutes a developed nation status in your opinion?

 As we move towards our goal of becoming a developed and high income nation by year 2020, the technology industry will play a critical role in achieving this vision in both empowering human capital and driving innovation to further strengthen our Malaysian economy. For NetApp, the talent pool is a key enabler to further drive innovation making the country a more competitive space in the ASEAN and global arena.

Leading up to 2020, NetApp is working towards playing its role in the technology and innovation space to contribute to the development of Malaysia, and other ASEAN emerging markets.

Our focus is on our Data Fabric vision and transforming how organizations manage, secure, protect and move their data across the hybrid cloud.

What are the greatest challenges to both national and industry development in Malaysia?

Across all industries, businesses are adapting and saving time with how they are using and managing data today. Every day, billions of people spend their time at jobs. Every day, billions of electronic devices devote milliseconds, hours, even days processing or transferring data. This time doesn't just cost money, it costs natural resources and, sometimes, even lives. To minimise the impact of time on valuable resources, humanity has always turned to technology solutions.

Today, businesses are using technology in countless ways to save time and money. This is where our Data Fabric vision comes in, the future of data management. It enables customers to respond and innovate faster because data is free to flow where it is needed most.

 For example, the DuPage Medical Group, a network for 3,300 healthcare professionals across 60 locations, uses NetApp® clustered Data ONTAP® software to help save lives and revolutionize patient experience. The software reduces interruptions in service and cuts log-in time from 60 seconds to 20 seconds-a savings of over a year of hundreds of hours. And that's just for one person.
 
How would you differentiate NetApp from other providers?

NetApp is the only company that can help customers manage their data seamlessly across multiple datacentre and cloud environments and provides the scale and modern architectures needed to accommodate the exponential data growth of the digital era.

Over the course of Q2, customer wins and partners' feedback indicate that our industry-leading portfolio and differentiated Data Fabric strategy will drive long-term growth. It resonates well with business' digital transformation and is aligned to our customers' strategic technology direction. This further underpins our confidence in the opportunities ahead.

The strength of our Data Fabric strategy combined with the benefits we deliver will ensure we continue to generate value for customers, partners, employees and shareholders alike.

 

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