Brocade Bolsters Services Programs With P4P Rewards

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Brocade on Wednesday confirmed several additions to its professional services and support delivery partner programs, with an eye toward more services opportunities for Brocade partners and greater rewards for services success by VARs.

Brocade's Support Delivery Program (SDP) will morph to a value-based model through which Brocade will provide greater benefits based on partner certifications and customer satisfaction ratings, moving away from flat discounts and more toward pay-for-performance rebates.

"Do a lot of quality work for us, and get better conditions," said Barbara Spicek, vice president, worldwide channels at Brocade. "We want to keep it simple and straightforward. If they have the certifications, and good behavior, and deliver on good quality services, they can go all the way up to a 60 percent discount."

The SDP program is invitation-only. Brocade will select qualified partners from its Alliance Partner Network (APN) to participate. It'll also pertain to Brocade IP products only.

Brocade's Professional Services Program (PSP), is also changing, and will be available to Elite or Premier APN partners who have met standard certification requirements and complied with on-site audits by Brocade.

In a nutshell, Brocade will provide professional services directly to its top 250 customers. But all other professional service opportunities -- including more than half of the opportunities previously handled by Brocade directly -- will be handed to partners, Spicek said, and partners will keep all of the revenue generated from the sale of those services.

None of the 250 accounts Brocade is retaining for itself were previously partner-led, she added.

Brocade will further provide those PSP partners marketing support, lead distribution based on certification and specialization, and a central repository of service, support, professional services, product collateral and training materials.

PSP partners will also see more access to remote labs and support from Brocade's engineering team, as well as access to Brocade subject matter experts at no charge.

"The natural evolution is to be more services-led and managed services-oriented. So we're going into the program and saying, 'You can keep all of the revenues, and we're only going to monitor them on quality,'" Spicek said. "We see that business as a token of our partnership and also as a value-add."

Brocade has 70 professional services partnerships in the channel worldwide, she said, and has a goal to reach 150 by the end of 2010.

"We believe we will have a good set of partners in place to drive a profitable business with us," she said.

Profitable services programs are key to supporting solution providers as they invest in Brocade's converged networking vision, including its Brocade One data center strategy, Spicek explained.

"We're the only end-to-end challenger to Cisco," she said. "Not many have the full portfolio, from HBA connectivity to LAN switching to application delivery. We talk deterministic architecture."

Strategic alliances are also aiding Brocade's channel growth. Over the summer, for example, Brocade expanded its relationship with McAfee to provide combined networking and security offerings, as well as marketing support, to the channel.

That relationship won't change, Spicek said, even though McAfee is being acquired by Intel.

"According to McAfee, nothing changes," she said. "We still have that alliance partnership and we're building it out."

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