Brocade is in the midst of our EMEA Partner Summit, having closed day one with more to come. After a packed day of presentations, meetings and networking, it’s clear we have a compelling message, vision and approach as far as channel is concerned. Is it all perfect? No, but that is why such events are so key – they provide a platform for discussion, helping us tweak and develop our programs so they continue to optimize opportunity for our channel partners at every level. I truly value these annual gatherings since, while they act as an extension to my “listen and learn” process, what these events really represent is transformation in motion.
And transformation is a key theme. Customers are seeking to transform their networks, so they can transform their data centres. Why? So they can transform their businesses. Cloud may be the buzz word; but transformation – complex, confusing, and potentially costly – is vital, and is the first step on the journey to cloud. Cloud is definitely NOT “plug and play.” But, providing a clear path to cloud – and providing solutions to remove the complexity, confusion and reduce the cost, is where the channel comes into its own.
The reality is that transformation is as key to channel partners as it is to the customer. Talking to our channel community, they are all looking at adapting their business models, extending and modifying their customer offerings with financial components, hosting solutions, extended cloud consulting, and so on. This is why we provide focused initiatives, programs and incentives to support our partners, to help them make an educated decision on what kind of business model they want to adopt.
Our Alliance Partner Network Program is highly targeted in the education, services, support and incentives it offers. And as the market continues to transform and Brocade continues to innovate, we will continue to introduce updates and refresh our programs to help ensure they remain relevant and drive channel revenues. Partnership is about working together for mutual benefit; and that is what these programs represent. Transformation is also something we do jointly.
One of the key impacts of cloud, convergence and virtualization is a disruption of the classic IT model. This is perhaps most visible and of the greatest impact to our channel: where the classic network design and architecture does not serve its requirements anymore. This is why Brocade built and designed our new campus solutions, heralding ‘effortless networking’ in campus networks –and with the channel specifically in mind. 2012 is the year of Campus at Brocade. We believe that campus will be the next area of investment over the next five to ten years. The move to wireless has been so significant that it is already the most ubiquitous method of connectivity in most businesses. It’s the next phase in the transformation, the next step to ‘cloud’. And it’s one that Brocade has developed specific partner programs to help our partners realize this opportunity, and grasp the consultancy and services revenues it represents.
We introduced a number of program updates today, following the launch of our campus solutions last week: for any of our partners who could not attend – please check with your Brocade representative or log on to MyBrocade for more info.
Transformation is happening, it’s in motion and it’s now. Brocade drives transformation through partners, and I want our partners to be part of it, with Brocade. Brocade is making things happen for partners and not watching things happen, and that message got clearly received by partners based on the positive feedback I received.