Brocade Thursday appointed Bill Lipsin, a former channel executive at Arbor Networks and CA Technologies, as its new global channel chief.
Lipsin, whose official title at Brocade is vice president of worldwide channel and global systems integrator sales, replaces former global channel chief Regan McGrath, who is now vice president of sales for the Americas region.
Brocade's worldwide channel chief role has also been broadened to include the management of Brocade's Global Systems Integrator (GSI) team, which Lipsin will now oversee. Lipsin will report to Brocade's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales Jeff Lindholm.
In addition to accelerating Brocade's channel recruitment and sales efforts, Lipsin's responsibilities include helping solution providers and global systems integrators shape their businesses around industry trends, such as data center virtualization, software-defined networking and the cloud.
"The key here is for our partners to provide next-generation networks in a virtualized environment and to understand where customers want, or think they want, to go," Lipsin told CRN.
Brocade, like many of its networking rivals, has started to invest heavily in next-generation network virtualization technologies. Brocade acquired network virtualization upstart Vyatta last November and, more recently, announced integration capabilities with VMware's new network virtualization platform NSX.
Lipsin said many Brocade customers are still in the early phases of network virtualization deployments, but that he wants to make sure Brocade partners are prepared when customers do take the leap.
"For early adopter customers and those who have already made commitments and plans to get to a virtualized environment, our channel partners can be there for the very foundation of that planning," Lipsin said.
Lipsin also hopes to drive new partner opportunities in vertical markets like healthcare and education, as well as around Brocade Network Subscription, the company's infrastructure-as-a-service offering.
Prior to joining Brocade, Lipsin was global vice president of channels and alliances at Arbor Networks and, before that, head of the global channel sales team at CA Technologies. Lipsin has also held executive roles at Bay Networks, which was acquired by Nortel, and IBM.
PUBLISHED SEPT. 5, 2013