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Brocade: embroidering the channel proposition

01 May 09

After acquiring Foundary Networks late last year, Brocade is now in the process of restructuring its channel partnership model. The company’s Vice President, Asia Pacifi c and Japan, Deb Dutta, explained that Brocade has always been a “very channel-positive company” but is now working on extending the channel proposition. He further stated that, with the integration of the two companies, there will need to be “two fl avours” of go-to-market strategy: the traditional OEM model will continue for the fi bre channel side of the business, and an extended channel program based around the three-tier distribution model will be used for the ethernet products. The aim for Dutta is to build a channel program that is more powerful than the company’s legacy channel, which will be rolled out towards the second half of this year.

Charlie Foo, Regional Director, Partner Business Group, Asia Pacifi c and Japan, told The Channel that his team is currently working on the program to enhance the ‘value-added’ aspects of its offering. The major benefi t to resellers is a more consolidated structure with more dedicated channel resources and a more extensive infrastructure.

Dutta explained how the global strategy “is about determining the perfect mix”. It is about finding the optimal level of channel coverage; not to over- or under-distribute products. “We want to make sure it is win-win for the channel partner as well as ourselves in terms of profi tability and intent,” he asserted.

In New Zealand, the acquisition of Foundary Networks has also meant that, for the fi rst time there is a Brocade offi ce in the country, with a team based in Auckland. Graham Schultz, ANZ Country Manager for Brocade, explained the likely local impact of the restructuring: “We are not cancelling any channel; we are investigating and looking for ways to enhance and strengthen the channels. Moving forward, we will be having those discussions with a number of different organisations as to how we can scale up and strengthen the go-to-market through the channel in New Zealand.” Although the model is still being decided, Shultz confi rmed that, where appropriate, the company will sign additional partners. “We want to make it a worthwhile exercise for our partners to invest in our technology, training and knowledge, and we will invest in them,” he concluded.