World Wide Technology, Inc.: Innovative Data Storage with NetApp Star Partner
Through their partnership with NetApp, WWT helps enterprises optimize their IT environments that transform their businesses with massive cost savings on server and storage needs. Their partnership efficiently caters to the multiple industries of education, finance, the federal government, healthcare, manufacturing, oil and gas, retail, service provider, state and local government, and utilities. Richly conversant with NetApp implementations, WWT holds more than 160 NetApp certifications, including NetApp – Sales Professional: 105, NetApp – ONTAP Sales Professional: 16, NetApp Accredited Technical Sales Prof: 19, and more. These serve as a mark of WWT’s expertise in offering NetApp solutions to customers and ensuring they provide the necessary resources to accelerate customers' technology deployments, helping them reap the results faster.
David Steward and Jim Kavanaugh co-founded WWT, in 1990. Headquartered in St. Louis, MO, WWT is a systems integrator that provides innovative technology and supply chain solutions to the commercial, government, and telecom sectors. The company offers a powerful amalgam of knowledge, infrastructure, and technology to help its customers evaluate, architect, and implement technology products and solutions. WWT has developed from a small start-up technology company into an innovative world-class organization that employs over 2,200 people and operates over 20 facilities of warehousing, distribution, and integration around the globe. Today, the company works closely with industry leaders comprising Boeing, Dell, Cisco, EMC, HP, AT&T Inc., VMware, Citrix Systems, Inc., NetApp, Inc., Microsoft, and the U.S. Air Force.
Advanced Technology Center
“Innovation doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of hard work, passion and a desire to be the best,” states Kavanaugh, the CEO of WWT. The company has built out a number of innovative labs such as the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) that have differentiated WWT in the eyes of their customers and partners. The lab has facilitated WWT’s growth into one of NetApp’s most significant and strategic partners. ATC is a unique testing and research lab wherein WWT, and NetApp’s mutual customers can explore NetApp’s multi-cloud capabilities and directly observe the “Data Fabric in Motion.” The first-hand look demonstrates edge-to-core-to-cloud use cases to customers. For instance, NetApp’s latest offerings, such as NetApp’s all-flash arrays, FlexPod reference architectures, and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions are all available for demonstration and testing environments. “ATC offers a collaborative ecosystem to design, build, educate, demonstrate, and deploy innovative technology products and integrated architectural solutions for WWT customers, partners, and employees,” says Kavanaugh. The ATC brings hundreds of technology heavyweights such as Cisco, VMware, NetApp, and more with startups into one environment with impressive technology products, platforms, and engineering skill, stimulating innovation. WWT’s lab has facilitated more than $600 Mn of NetApp sales globally within the past three years, highlighting the compatibility between the partners and the advancement that they are undergoing together.
WWT and NetApp endeavor to help government agencies develop, demonstrate, and deploy integrated solutions that meet their mission-critical objectives. WWT’s DC-based Innovation Center with a virtual connection to the ATC, addresses this goal. WWT works in tandem with NetApp’s data-driven and digital transformation goal that comprises connectivity from the ATC to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud hyper-scalers using ONTAP Cloud. WWT’s ATC also has NetApp’s StorageGRID Webscale to demonstrate backup at scale, as well as the largest NetApp object storage demonstration environment in the world.
WWT with NetApp has helped one major oil company reduce the time it took to evaluate sophisticated object storage from six months to two weeks. In addition, recently, WWT used the ATC to build a replica of the unified communications environment of a massive federal healthcare provider which assisted them in mitigating the risk of outage and identifying bugs during a major update.
WWT's engineering talent that collaborates with customers and partners is inspiring real innovation distinguishing ATC as the ‘Silicon Valley in St. Louis.'
WWT’s virtual lab connects their engineers to the ATC when they are working at the clients’ site. This portal makes it easier for the clients’ teams, WWT engineers, and their partners to co-operate, develop, and assess solutions in sandbox environments, 24/7.
ATC in Action
Exemplifying the efficacy of WWT, the company assisted a convenience store chain to upgrade to NetApp Flash storage to collect point-of-sale data. The rapidly growing convenience store chain had a pressing need to collect point-of-sale data from over 400 of its store locations into a data warehouse. Using NetApp for general purpose storage, the store chain wanted to survey all options for their flash-based data warehouse. Through informal storage roadmap discussions, WWT learned that the client wished to create a data warehouse environment around point-of-sale data. The client’s primary requirements were performance, price, and compatibility.
WWT offered its Flash lab environment inside the ATC, to evaluate NetApp EF and NetApp AFF in a proof of concept next to several other flash solutions for the client’s NetApp FAS environment. The client’s specified performance, price, and compatibility requirements were all fulfilled with the NetApp All-Flash FAS solution. The flash-enhanced POS data warehouse is operating and tracking more than 575,000 point-of-sale transactions per day. The flash storage provides the client near real-time insights into purchase behavior, stocking levels, inventory turnover, and enhanced fraud detection capabilities, as well.
Unique Culture and the Path to Success
WWT is one of the foremost among NetApp partners to follow and maintain the trend toward prioritizing the development of cultures that support high performance and innovative teams. Setting them apart from their competitors, WWT’s culture underpins who they are, how they act, how they give back, and how they treat others. To support their culture, WWT has adopted a set of core values that they refer to as “The path” to employee and company success. This path serves as a pivotal compass in their relationships with employees, customers, and partners, ensuring the betterment of all involved. The core values of the path comprise trust, humility, embrace change, passion, attitude, team player, and honesty. The company takes every opportunity to reinforce the importance of these core values in their effort to deliver value to their customer and create a productive place to work for their employees. Consequently, “the culture and core values of WWT form the foundation of the company’s success,” states Kavanaugh.
Another facet of WWT’s work culture is the company’s commitment to customer success. This feature is evident from the way the company treats its people and partners for favorable outcomes. WWT is dedicated to providing the resources necessary to accelerate customers’ technology implementations and deliver results faster. Similarly, the company is committed to collaborating with customers and partners to enable their satisfaction and the best results for both parties. In terms of outcomes, WWT develops and deploys solutions that deliver the desired business results for customers, integrating innovative products with the company’s resources in terms of capabilities and intellectual property.
WWT and NetApp Surging Ahead
WWT is heading towards further progress as a NetApp solution vendor, with a clear-cut vision and mission to fulfill. The former is to be the best technology solution provider in the world, and the latter is to create a profitable growth company that is also a great place to work. Working towards such goals, WWT has earned numerous accolades from NetApp; the recent ones being— Top Partner of the Year in 2018, National Partner of the Year in 2017, DOD Partner of the Year in 2017, and more. “WWT’s engineering talent that collaborates with customers and partners is inspiring real innovation distinguishing ATC as the ‘Silicon Valley in St. Louis’,” concludes Kavanaugh.