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Experiences Apr 15, 2019

"I love it when a plan comes together."

In the 80s, the A-Team were the coolest kids around. Hannibal. Face. Murdock. B.A.–I wanted to be one of them. Now André Schmitz, Senior Consultant, Systems Integrator Lake Constance, has made it into the A-Team. His colleagues are called Ryan, Adam, Dave, and Sean. They are the A-Team. The NetApp A-Team. A big honour for him and the Lake Constance Systems Integrators. And this is how it happened...

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In autumn 2018, André from NetApp was invited to the USA for the first time. It was his first trip to the States and a special experience. The Subject Matter Expert developed exam questions at the NetApp University.

 

“You’re in.”

 

Spring 2019—the second trip to NetApp central in Sunnyvale. André continued to develop tests. He had already been in contact with Sam Moulton, head of the A-Team programme, but he had never thought he would get a “promotion”. Then came the Slack message: “You’re in.”  What a surprise. The A-Team comprises NetApp’s most enthusiastic and visible partner consultants, the world over. An exclusive circle with just 25 members—and only two from continental Europe. André had previously been part of NetApp’s United Teams, that NetApp works with in promoting new products on social media.

 

He had been working with NetApp for many years—both inside and outside of the Bechtle community. As a blogger, he had built a strong, robust, and trusting relationship with NetApp. Together with his expert technical expertise, this makes him an important source of knowledge in the NetApp world.

 

As VIP as you can get.

With his acceptance into the A-Team, André was afforded a level of access to NetApp that very few people have—globally. This included exclusive information on new products and developments, invitations to meetings with high-ranking NetApp management, and the opportunity to take part in product launches, events, and exclusive Twitter chats. Ultimately, A-Team members broaden their network, visibility, and reputations as influential players in the IT industry as a whole.

 

How to get membership in this circle? Proper conduct—both professional and ethical—never attack competitors, and share your in-depth knowledge with the community via NetApp. Bechtle benefits, and the NetApp Community benefits from Bechtle. André is the go-to contact for all things NetApp, having insight that can help you like few others.

 

Optimal, future-oriented consultation.

At the same time, André is part of a vibrant community that has daily online exchanges, weekly calls, and meets annually in the NetApp Sunnyvale headquarters where they come together with the heads of the company to discuss strategic topics. In 2019, this key event will take place in June. For André, and for Bechtle too, the A-Team is a special opportunity, as he and his colleagues, together with technical advisors, are a sort of advisory group for the A-Team, being able to directly influence input into the NetApp future, roadmaps and products, developments and starting points. The biggest topics this year include NetApp Cloud Data Services, solutions for artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as DevOps and hybrid multi-cloud infrastructures.

 

Additionally, in the future he will take the stage at Insight, NetApp’s largest conference, chair technical sessions, and also feature in the official NetApp Podcast as an expert. You can’t get any more insight than that.

 

And it’s not just André that benefits, here, but Bechtle, and therefore Bechtle’s customers. His knowledge and access to NetApp let him recognise developments before others, transfer information internally and externally, and even advise his colleagues and customers how to best tackle the future with NetApp. For Bechtle and its customers, this exclusivity in shaping future success is a significant coup.

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Stefan Maurer
Digital Content Specialist