One of the questions facing a "challenger brand" in a market dominated by one very strong player is where to focus – and probably more importantly where not to focus. The networking industry landscape is strewn with the rotting P&L’s of companies who adopted the “spray and pray” method of attacking large, well defended markets on multiple fronts. If you have a strong product offering it is tempting to go after everything that moves but this will more often than not lead to subpar results and missed expectations.
That was the case with Foundry Networks, the company acquired by Brocade in late 2008. Though Foundry built a solid business in some important segments of the market, most notably in the Federal Government and Service Provider markets, outside of these areas the company chose to leave it up to the regional sales teams to decide where to focus the fire power of a talented sales team. The results were mixed but basically meant that Foundry never achieved significant market share in any one market.
A year or so into the combined operations of both companies, Brocade has no intention of being an also ran in the bigger IP networking market. Through careful analysis of each of the major market segments and an in-depth assessment of the current and future product portfolio and go to market model we have defined the markets we will focus on. Success in any market requires a deep understanding of the needs of the customer, the eco-system of companies that deliver solutions to the market and specialists who have “been there and done that” and can guide the company to success. As part of our surge in recruitment over the past six months we have acquired significant knowledge and expertise in a number of key markets that puts us in a strong position to launch our offensive.
Now, I am hardly likely to divulge which markets we will be focused on going into the new fiscal year (you never know who might be reading my blog!) but the video clip attached will provide a pretty strong hint on at least one of them. Expect Brocade to continue to sharpen its focus with more contented customers like this one to follow.