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Brocade shares channel trends: IoT, Big Data 'significant'

By Shannon Williams
Fri 15 Apr 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

 Hybrid cloud networks, data center bandwidth management and network virtualisation are the areas channel partners need to pounce on, according to new research from Brocade on channel trends. 

Brocade’s annual survey explores the changing needs of customers to enable Brocade to help its partners provide more strategic networking solutions. 

This year’s survey was completed by more than 1200 global Brocade channel partners from its distributor and reseller communities.

Brocade says the survey results show there is a clear opportunity for the channel to seize a competitive advantage in the industry by strategically advising enterprises and organisations on hybrid cloud networks, data center bandwidth management, and network virtualisation by leveraging the Brocade product portfolio.

“In 2016, Brocade will continue to provide partners with innovative technologies built for the New IP, along with market-proven solutions and vibrant brand recognition,” explains Pete Peterson, Brocade vice president of Global Channel Sales and Marketing. 

“I am thankful the communities within the Brocade Partner Network have provided great insight, as it will help us to better support them via Brocade’s programs, solutions, and engagement,” he says.

The survey found a large majority of Brocade channel partners say the Internet of Things and Big Data will be significant trends, at least for some resellers, within 24 months.

Within the next year, 29% believe IoT will be a significant trend, although 40% believe it will be a significant trend only for some specialised resellers.

Within five years, on the other hand, 67% believe that IoT will be a significant trend, whereas 23% believe it will be a trend limited only for some specialised resellers, the survey found.

Network security, followed by managing hybrid clouds and data center bandwidth requirements, are seen by Brocade channel partners as the three biggest customer challenges in 2016.

According to the survey, network security is anticipated as one of the biggest customer challenges, by 27% of channel partners.

Likewise, 21% of channel partners anticipate managing security in hybrid cloud environments to be a big customer challenge, nearly 22% believe solving needs around disaster recovery between data centers is the third-most-anticipated challenge.

The survey found the top three anticipated drivers of end-customer spending for 2016 to be hybrid cloud, followed by network virtualisation and increasing data volumes.

The results show 24% anticipate that the desire to adopt hybrid cloud will drive end-customer spending, while 24% anticipate that the desire to adopt network virtualisation will drive end-customer spending.

Furthermore, 14% of survey respondents anticipate that the competitive pressure to deliver better services will drive end-customer spending.

The five top business priorities for channel partners in the next five years include:

  • 44% are continuing with their current growth strategy
  • 40% plan to expand into new vertical/industry markets
  • 33% are upgrading and/or expanding their technical competencies
  • 27% plan to expand into new geographic regions
  • 21% plan to enter a new practice area, focused on a new vendor brand or solution type

Additionally, channel partners believe their customers are driven by the following top three reasons to adopt data center networking technologies based on open source standards:

  • 49% believe agility/flexibility/innovation drive the need for open source standards.
  • 14% believe creating cross-vendor solutions is easier with open source standards.
  • 10% believe that decreased vendor lock-in is driving interest in open source standards.
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