Brocade expands partner network

Brocade expands partner network

Looking to boost take-up of its SAN management products, Brocade Communication Systems has combined its channel initiatives into one formal program.

Country manager, Graham Schultz, said it would unify existing channel initiatives across its various product sets. These included its Elite and Tapestry partner programs.

The new Brocade Alliance Partner Network was driven by the vendor's swelling Tapestry product range, as well as its recent acquisition of file management vendor, NuView, he said. Previously, the company had centred channel efforts on its layer 2 switching products.

"We had five Elite partners for layer 2 switching previously, and a large proportion of our business was going through OEM," Schultz said. "We found most resellers had a strong alliance with one of these, such as EMC or HP. We were trying to help them with stuff that was covered by our OEM partners."

Under the combined partner structure, resellers will be divided into three tiers: Enterprise, Alliance, and Brocade Partner. All will have varied access to rebates and market development funds, deal registration and support depending on sales volumes and skills. At the top end, partners could obtain up to 9 per cent in product rebates, Schultz said. Other benefits include pre-sales technical support, free sales and engineering training, and Web-based technical tools.

He claimed growing awareness of SAN technology and cheaper prices were opening up new opportunities for partners in the broader mid-market.

"Our commitment is to aggressively work with partners on educating them and their customers," Schultz said. "We can help with lead generation and offer professional services if a partner hasn't got the capability or needs a deeper level of skills for a particular solution. These can be sold under its own banner if necessary."

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