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The Channel

EMEA Anticipating Shift toward SDN, Brocade Research Reveals

by Kristian Kerr on ‎12-09-2014 12:11 PM (1,948 Views)

We have parsed EMEA data from Brocade’s recently issued annual global channel survey and are presenting here so you can more easily see how the region compares to the rest of the world.


More than half of EMEA channel partners and systems integrators believe that SDN and NFV will be significant trends within the next two years, according to the research. The survey found that 54 percent of EMEA respondents expect SDN and NFV to be a significant trend, while 18 percent of those surveyed in EMEA are already deploying SDN and NFV technologies, and 62 percent are either currently evaluating SDN and NFV solutions or planning to do so within the next year.


The research, which included more than 230 Brocade EMEA0based distributors and resellers, also explored the their customers’ expected top priorities in 2015. The top three trends are: virtualisation (72 percent), BYOD (43 percent), and SDN (30 percent). The biggest challenges for customers are complexity and bandwidth provisioning (46 percent each), suggesting that 2015 will continue to bring opportunities for partners to help organisations simplify their IT infrastructures while increasing connectivity. 


The report also examines the top factors influencing partners’ choice of vendor. Technology differentiation (67 percent) and the vendor’s vision and strategy (42 percent) were the top factors cited by respondents, suggesting that the channel remains focused on providers that can deliver innovation in the long-term.


It’s clear from this research that our channel partners are looking to the future and are focusing on building the technology solutions that their customers will need in the years to come, in particular SDN and NFV. With customers prioritising virtualisation and BYOD, it’s only natural that complexity and bandwidth are their top challenges. These findings support what we are seeing within our channel programmes. For instance, in 2014, half of the Brocade Vyatta vRouter’s total sales were completed within the channel, showing that partners are already preparing their end-customers to virtualise their networks with the right technology and programme support.


In 2015, our focus will continue to be on helping our EMEA partners deliver better experiences for their customers through existing networks and helping them manage the transition to the New IP.  To deliver on both cloud and on-premise solutions following heavy investment in software by carriers, service providers, and others, we’ll be giving partners the building blocks to support the growing interest in SDN and NFV.


Key findings in EMEA included:


  • SDN and NFV are already significant industry trends. 18 percent of companies surveyed are now deploying SDN, 33 percent are currently evaluating plans to adopt SDN, and 29 percent plan to do so in the next 12 months. Only 18 percent have no future plans to consider SDN or NFV.
  • Virtualisation and BYOD will be top customer priorities. Virtualisation (72 percent) and BYOD (43 percent) were identified as the top customer trends in EMEA, with SDN/NFV following in third (30 percent). Fifty-three percent of EMEA partners think that more than 75 percent of customer data centres will be virtualised within two years.
  • EMEA partners are focused on innovation and vendor strategy. While technology differentiation were cited as the most important factor in choosing a vendor (67 percent), vision and strategy came in second, with 42 percent listing it as a top factor, along with customer demand (39 percent).
  • The EMEA channel will prioritise growth in 2015. Sixty-four percent of companies surveyed said that their current growth strategy was a top priority, followed by upgrading and expanding tech competencies (38 percent) and expanding into new verticals (32 percent).
  • Concerns remain around complexity. EMEA respondents reported that complexity and bandwidth (both 46 percent) were the biggest challenges related to networking requirements, followed by CapEx investment in IT (33 percent).