Brocade Greets 'Year of the Channel' With New Partner Incentives Behind Campus LAN Portfolio Update

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Spicek said her team has been steadfast in tracking how its aggressive discounts and performance metrics translate to channel gains, and that effort has turned up some interesting data.

For example, the revenue contribution by Brocade's baseline Select partners -- the entry-level resellers that are part of its program but don't constitute its upper partner echelons, Elite and Premier -- has increased by 28 percent year-over-year. Spicek attributed that gain to Brocade's strong recruitment and the work of its distributor partners, particularly Avnet, with whom Brocade has become especially aggressive with targeted recruitment campaigns.

Partner recruitment has been steady. Brocade now has about 8,000 base level, or Select, partners -- up from 6,500 a year ago -- and expects to keep adding about 1,000 per quarter, Spicek said. Its top-level partner tiers, Elite and Premier, comprise about 350 solution providers.

It's also seen good traction with recent programs such as Brocade Network Subscription, which allows customers to pay for their network infrastructure on a monthly basis without a term limit or capital lease agreement. Spicek said that Brocade partners have about 25 active deals going now with the subscription program, and Brocade is also now providing a 10 percent finder's fee for partners that close successful subscription deals.

The program benefits -- partners who feel like they're taken care of, Spicek said, with demonstrated financial compensation -- have lured a number of partners who might have spurned Brocade in favor of Cisco or HP in the past.

"There is a lot of frustration in their channel," Spicek said. "The problem with these other vendors is they have become so overdistributed that, for a channel partner, it is very difficult to differentiate. They see Brocade as a true alternative, and we're going to make that alternative very rich for them."


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