back to article NetApp to chop 1,450 staffers from payroll, reveals revenue stumble

NetApp earned profits of $153m in its latest quarter, good, but revenues of only $1.39bn, bad; its mid-point estimate a quarter ago was $1.45bn, making it quite an undershoot. The $1.39bn in its third fiscal 2016 quarter, ended January 29, compares to $1,54bn a year ago, a 9.7 per cent fall, and $1.45bn in its second 2016 …

  1. SniperPenguin

    I'm calling a headline for 2017

    "Cisco buys struggling NetApp for <low number here> to own the UCS stack"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm calling a headline for 2017

      I agree that both Cisco and NetApp need to do something big but why would Cisco gamble on a shrinking company. I would have thought Nimble would present a better option; cuter, newer tech and much cheaper also.

      1. SniperPenguin

        Re: I'm calling a headline for 2017

        Because that would leave Cisco at the mercy of SuperMicro (who make Nimbles tin) - Buying NetApp would give them access to a larger installed base and prop. tin they can control.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm calling a headline for 2017

          Why would Cisco even want to control netapps' "prop. tin"?

      2. General Electric

        Re: I'm calling a headline for 2017

        Cisco gets a much larger customer base with NetApp (including Brocade customers, on the switches side), as well as lots and lots of cash! (unless NetApp dumped that too, as it does its faithful employees on an annual basis).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm calling a headline for 2017

      Cisco can't buy NetApp - the financials are too poor. Cisco can either buy small startups primarily for the patents/talent, or growth companies that will make CSCO's numbers better.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm calling a headline for 2017

      Why would Cisco acquire a company with declining product revenue & product margins at 51% when it has access to it and it can partner with a lot of other vendors. Highly unlikely.

      On the other hand I wouldn't discount Oracle.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The customer base transition to CDOT should be mostly finished by the end of 2017...

    ... that is - if you start now :).

    Probably it is finished a bit sooner, considering that a lot of these "customers" are leaving, hence don't need to "transition" anyway. So the remaining few customers will be running cDOT. Yeah - that was 10 years coming.

    Now seriously - It's only fair that Netapp lays off some staff. I've never seen a place where people fly under the radar and just hang around like at Netapp. We had a lady whose sole purpose was to forward emails she'd received from Singapore and made it look as if it was her own report. She got promoted and put in charge of employees. Full of corporate jargon, but doesn't have a clue what NetApp actually does. I think NetApp needs to get rid off these corporate passengers first.

    After that NetApp should probably look at the technology. Maybe try to convince the "enterprise customers" of their new solid fire product. Might stand a better chance than cDOT.

    Have to agree though. Cisco will probably buy Netapp cheap. Solid Fire is the icing on an otherwise stale cake ....

    The actual "strategy" is to get rid of some fat before anybody will consider buying NTAP.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The customer base transition to CDOT should be mostly finished by the end of 2017...

      Wow, that totally sounds like the guy from office Space... Hilarious!

      But in all honesty, very smart for the Solidfire guys to go all cash rather than a stock that is continuing to tank.

  3. ashminder

    Storage market is all struggling

    Let's face it, all the storage companies are struggling and that's because the market is reducing in size. Cloud adoption has accelerated and a lot of SMB to mid-market is moving there. Cloud companies need storage themselves but at a lower ingest rate. Also all flash vendors are using data reduction which means people are buying less physical capacity leading to further reduction in revenues.

    We are witnessing the next biggest tech market shift

    1. We Haven't Met But You're A Great Fan Of Mine

      Re: Storage market is all struggling

      You forgot to mention the:

      Macro - Economic - Climate

      Let's just say NetApp is struggling a bit more than others....

  4. Howard Hanek Bronze badge


    ......are much more destructive than explosions. I mean, there's literally nowhere to go. Explosions cast bits about and some survive almost intact.

  5. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


    Netapp is perfect! Nothing about their products or strategies needs to change! They are well positioned to return to growth and continue from there to dominance in the tech sector! I know because anyone who questions CDOT will get downvoted into oblivion and then NetApp employees will make fun of them on the Internets! This means it clearly is true!

    And don't, under any circumstances ever ask NetApp to back up their claims. Don't under any circumstances suggest that they might use marketing to stretch the truth, carefully omit information or simply choose not to address uncomfortable topics. Otherwise, when the write mean things about you it might be one whole blog.

    That'll totally reverse Netapp's fortunes. You just watch.


    WAFL. WAFL everywhere. WAFL is the answer to everything.

    Except where Solidfire is the answer, of course. (Shhhhhhhhh, don't point that out!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But...but...

      Now you've done it, Trev. NotCrapp will now unleash it's favourite cheerleading comedian, Dimitris, to tell you what's what. Don't say I didn't warn you.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: But...but...

        Dimitris is a teddy bear. I hope he'll let me buy him a few beers at the next conference.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But...but...

      Wait. Did you seriously just whine about being downvoted? And about being made fun of on the internet, which, incidentally, is how you make your living?

      Please try to open your eyes a bit and see that this trend is industry-wide (I know it's hard to comprehend) rather than carrying out whatever silly vendetta you have against a storage company.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: But...but...

        No, I used humour on the internet. I realize that for some, humour is a foreign concept, but do try to keep up.

        I have no beef with NetApp. In truth, I it would be hard to care less what happens to them one way or another. Their fate is to me no more or less interesting than the fluid dynamics of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, or examining the structural evolution of microbial mats as they grow in my fishtank.

        NetApp is an ephemeral concept. It is disconnected from me and my life. The study of NetApp and those who work there is scientifically interesting, but not remotely relevant to me in any way. NetApp is nothing more than points of data to be analysed.

        While I find it amusing enough to joke about - much in the same way I like to make jokes about the more interesting fluid dynamic discoveries of the Great Red Spot - NetApp is really just one more company to analyze. One more set of people to observe. One more exercise in social interaction, group dynamics and economic theory.

        As for being downvoted, go right ahead! Currently I am at "upvoted 21936 times and downvoted 4159 times". Feel free to add more data points to that analysis in whichever fashion moves you. The more data, the better.

        Always, the more data, the better.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But...but...

          for someone who claims not to care, you sure use a lot of words.

          I like the strategy tho - find a moderately controversial subject, make a bunch of noise about it, preferably on the edges of reality to appeal to the asshole in us all, all the while claiming the subjects total irrelevance to you and your world, but then quote your importance in general.

          Seems to be working for Trump - well played Mr Potts - well played.

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: But...but...

            As a professional writer I can assure you that using lots of words is a hell of a lot easier than using only a few. "Lots of words" is largely a stream of consciousness thing. There's no editing for brevity, which takes rather a lot of bandwidth. I can cheerfully knock out a 5000 word paper on a given topic easier than I can write a 500 word summary blog. Human minds are funny.

            As for "quoting my importance in general", where exactly did I do that? I don't particularly view myself as important. Indeed, a critical part of studying businesses the way I do is realizing the irrelevance of the individual, especially the pundits. So if you somehow took something above as indicating my 'importance', I'd love to know what it is.

            Perhaps more to the point on all of this, I don't care about NetApp in the form of the company, the products or most of the individuals who work there. I only have couple handfuls of friends there, and they are decent enough at their jobs that if NetApp imploded tomorrow they'd be employed again by the end of the day.

            What I do care about is NetApp in the form of the effect it has on the industry as a whole. NetApp is a large company with many customers and a history that once upon a time made it an important disruptor in the storage space. Who are they now? How did they get there? What will they become?

            The evolution of companies and, more specifically, the reasons that companies evolve in that fashion is of immense interest to me. Again, very much like the Great Red Spot on Jupiter: it is something I find incredibly interesting from a purely scientific perspective.

            My primary interest is not merely in the facts of a puzzle. Facts are a means to an end; a tool to explore the real curiosity: in all things I enjoy studying how and why people (and animals) delude themselves. Why to we reject objective truths? Why do we discount the lessons of history? Why do we cling to hope, to faith, to an employer and - above all else - why do we champion vendors from whom we have purchased goods, even when there is no reason to champion that vendor other than to justify our own purchases?

            Why do we wrap our identities up in products, brands...even chosen interpretations of scientific evidence? Why does science proceed one funeral at a time? Why do cults of personality form and vendor reality distortion fields exist?

            NetApp is a truly fascinating topic for someone who studies the above. Not because NetApp itself matters, but because of the socking depth of the dichotomy between objective reality, what history has to teach us and what the True Believers believe. Cisco and Apple are probably the only two other companies in Tech that have reality distortion fields anywhere near as strong. I find it utterly fascinating.

            What's even more fascinating is how much is the result of fear. I love talking to NetApp employees in private conference, because when you've earned their trust and they are convinced you'll never tell a soul their name or what they said, the truth simply pours out.

            The fear and terror of speaking out of turn that exists day after day until it simply fades into the background, a dull part of one's consciousness, but a very active and real constraint on not only speech, but thought itself. There is clear evidence from multiple individuals that the pressure to conform one's very thoughts to "the message" is so intense that it creates a demonstrable strain; physical tension builds up not unlike that seen in PTSD clients.

            When the barriers are removed, however, and a "safe space" is provided...the sorted details that are made available! Pouring out the naughty bits is more than a little confessional. The individuals in question are visibly less stressed than before. When they're done, they put their psychological armour back on and ride once more into the breech.

            None of this is shocking or abnormal. This is - to a greater or lesser degree - simply how Big Business is done in the grand of US of A. I am positive that not everyone feels as constrained as those who pour their souls into a handful of beers. Indeed, it's those who are most ethically or morally compromised by the constraints of their position are most likely to experience this stress, and probably should be looking for a more fulfilling career.

            But why do they stay? Why do they parrot the party line? How, exactly, do they succeed in convincing themselves of the lie when, if given time to reflect, what they believe is obviously quite different from what they espouse for their job?

            Personally, I can't understand how the above sorts of things don't absolutely fascinate everyone. There are simply so many data points to collect, and there's so much analysis to do! NetApp is a company with so many different groups - both internally and externally - intersecting with so many different's just brain candy to puzzle types like myself.

            Maybe you'd care to contribute data of your own? Starting with why you choose faith in "the message" and in business/economic choices that have proven time and again to be unlikely to succeed? Or is it that you have faith in individuals? Perhaps that new individuals doing the exact same thing as the previous individuals will somehow net a different outcome? I'm sure your input would be fascinating.

            As to the other anonymous coward who felt that posting my upvote/downvote data was somehow "bragging": I'd love to know why you feel that way. I posted raw data. I am unsure why raw data is "bragging".

            What about it seems worthy of bragging to you? Previous commenters have indicated that they feel the upvote to downvote ratio is wholly inadequate. You seem to indicate that you feel differently. What is the numeric threshold for your belief that those numbers constitute "bragging"? Is it the volume of votes (which should only be indicative of number of posts over the years) or the ratio? If the ratio, what ratio of upvotes to downvotes do you consider brag-worthy?

            I think we've stumbled upon another fascinating topic!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But...but...

          Hilarious. "Hey Trevor, 1400 people are losing their jobs."


          Just priceless humor. What will be your encore?

          PS: Let me brag about my upvotes vs. downvotes.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Z Data Fabric

    Look Ma no hands!

    I can move from here, to there, to everywhere.

    Who needs revenue! it's the Data Fabric and it sounds great...on paper.

    12% "transformation" in the mean time

    870$ mil for red socks but not accretive until next year!

    Holy crap! Who's running this company really?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hi All,

    Its Dimitris @ Netapp here. It's not 1500 staff - it's only 1440. So you were wrong ! And we never liked these people anyway, because they didn't like cDOT and liked Flashray.

    Bye now.

    Dimitris @ Pure Storage

    PS: Honestly - cDOT sucks !

  8. Potemkine Silver badge

    Wolves in wolves clothing

    The company earns 153,000,000 $ in the last quarter so it fires 1,440 people. You know, people, aka human beings IRL.

    And nobody here does seem to care...

    Are we in some kind of rerun of the Milgram Experiment?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So they announce in a very public way that they are laying off more than 1 in 10 over the next few months. However, they have not made any announcements to the employees beyond 'it is coming'. So they have gut punched their entire workforce and destroyed morale. They will likely wonder next year why their 'Great Places to work' numbers have dropped. Several people I know said everyone is walking around like zombies, waiting for the inevitable. Would you want to go into work and be very productive knowing you might get laid off? They have shown time and again that the most important item is investor confidence.

    I suspect this layoff will decimate what is left of the support organization. The last layoff pretty much disolved outside of normal business hours support in favor of a if it is not an emergency we will call you back tomorrow plan, and setup some new centers in India/Europe. Can see them just moving the rest of the support to these new support centers to people with <6 months experience. That will surely save the company millions when the customers get fed up and quit calling...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm not sure what to make of it. They first intimated it would be coming back in October I think. Seems like they've taken on board the feedback from previous RIFs that people want them to be more up front about it, however there's an obvious downside with everyone now waiting to hear if they still have a job or what friends they'll be losing. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Seems like everyone is caught up in a game of Russian Roulette.

        Just waiting for the next guy to fall, or if its their turn.

        Nice informative post.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    well today could be the day any news from APAC or EMEA

    tomorrow is all hands.

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