Avnet, Brocade Team On Program To Ramp Up Data Center Selling

data center

The Avnet Accelerator program includes training, lead generation and virtual demonstration capability from Avnet's solutions lab, said Barbara Spicek, vice president of worldwide channels at Brocade.

"It's quite a substantial investment in training, marketing, development funds for a distributor and vendor to bring something, rather than ask [VARs] for investments," said Spicek.

The program primarily will focus on solutions that can be deployed with the use of Brocade VCS technology, including the Brocade VDX 6720 Data Center Switch, and consists of four primary components, said Cheryl Neal, vice president of marketing for the distributor's Technology Infrastructure Solutions group.

The first component is partner identification. Avnet and Brocade will look to target a few dozen VARs initially based on competency, vertical expertise and geographic coverage, Neal said.

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The second component, enablement, is the "meat of the program," Neal said.

"One component is our playbooks and the tie to our data center. The playbooks highlight the solution. Avnet is the first distributor to have this solution installed for partners to leverage," Neal said.

The third component is driving demand -- "investing with Brocade to help drive demand with end users," Neal said. The fourth is measurement, or business planning among the vendor, distributor and VAR to ensure all three are aiming for the same targets, she said.

The program is targeted toward both current Brocade partners and those not selling the vendor now, Neal said.

"VARs interested can come to us if they're willing to invest. Even if you don't have all the technical competencies or you're not even a Brocade reseller today," Neal said. "That's where Avnet can even help. Maybe you have a vertical expertise. It's not a hard and fast rule."

Brocade's Spicek said the company's Ethernet fabric technology should be a big hit with growing data centers.

"Most partners and businesses realize the classical way of networking doesn't scale anymore. That's whole underlying principle of Ethernet fabric," she said. "We announced this program to quickly enable taking partners by the hand and to selling and to installing. Because it's new technology, we are rearchitecing the network."

JDee Flamming, vice president of Solid IT Networks, an Argyle, Texas-based solution provider, said Brocade's VCS technology is ahead of the market.

"It's the first true box that combines existing SAN/LAN technologies that functions without having to go through all kinds of stuff to make it work. This thing is a step to work in at a data center's own pace," he said.

The Avnet-Brocade program will help his company ramp to speed more quickly too, Flamming said.

"We already had a good relationship with Avnet and Brocade but this will help enable some deals. Trying to work a transaction, having a distributor and manufacturer work together enables you get stuff done," he said. "There's nothing more frustrating than having a manufacturer and a distributor not on the same page. It's a mess. This makes that better. Everyone wants more training, more this, more that. This takes away the whining factor. With a lot places we're begging for this stuff. They already have it packaged."