Wow! What a week. 1400+ Brocadians recently gathered for 5 days for the Brocade 2010 sales kick-off in Las Vegas. Our theme was ‘Locked and Loaded’ – Locked on a clearly defined set of market segments and customers and Loaded with the broadest and most exciting product portfolio on the planet!
While we took a moment to celebrate our successes in fiscal 2009 – of which there were many – what struck me the most in looking at our team was the complete alignment and integration between the classic Brocade and classic Foundry sales forces. And while 2009 represented the most pivotal year in the company’s history, what got the combined team really excited were the opportunities ahead in 2010: We have the assets (products, road map, and engineering team), the game plan (sales strategy and marketing plan) and the partnerships in place to be one of the leading end-to-end networking companies in the world. Our employees believe it (as evidenced by the high octane atmosphere in Vegas), the media believes it, our customers believe it, and our partners believe it.
For many, the highlight of the week was the surprise appearance of Andre Agassi. I had the chance to chat with him backstage and then again on stage in front of the entire Brocade team. This guy is the real deal; charming, warm, open and very well-grounded. We gave him a standing ovation and in his self-deprecating style talked about how nice that was after what had been a very rough couple of weeks of negative publicity. What the Brocade team and I also saw that day was Agassi’s philanthropic side. Here’s is a guy worth millions and a genuine A-list celebrity who is devoting a large part of his life in retirement to help underprivileged children in Las Vegas get a decent education and go to college - through the Andre Agassi Foundation. Agassi connected with Brocade in so many ways – he talked about setting personal and professional goals, being a husband and father, but the foundation seemed to have the most profound impact on the team.
Getting Back in the Saddle
After all the hoopla of sales kick off it was back to business last week. We’ve begun a new fiscal year and there is a lot of work to do. So it’s full steam ahead! We believe this year will see us dramatically expand our channel footprint and focus on specific vertical market segments where we believe we can double, triple or quadruple our business with the right level of focus. We are coming out swinging on the big industry issues like Converged Networking. It promises to be another BIG year for Brocade. And I for one am stoked!
The Weight Challenge – Close But Not Quite
Well I nearly made it! As some of you may have read in an earlier blog, I set out a few months ago to lose 15 Lbs in weight. The deadline was end of October. I weighed in 1.5 lbs. shy of my goal. Then I went to Las Vegas for 5 days and put another 5 lbs. back on! So it’s time to knuckle down again and hit the cross trainer. Wish me luck!