In a bid to raise the profitability of its channel partners, networking and virtualisation management software vendor Brocade has promised its resellers a greater share of services work in deploying its products.
"While Brocade provides global support for all our products, those partners that are skilled and certified on those services will be able to deliver those directly rather than us competing with them," Brocade country manager Graham Schultz told CRN. "It's a way for channel partners to commit to Brocade and have the ability to differentiate in the market."
Brocade said it would retain its services department to provide assistance for specialist jobs such as mainframe integration or large-scale migrations, but would leave general architectural implementation to its partners.
"We're not going to disband our services completely because I think our partners expect us to have specialist skills for when they need the vendor's assistance," Schultz said.
Schultz said there were no plans to reduce the size of its services department but that it would not add more staff as the business grew. "As the business grows, we will maintain specialist skills to complement partners as required, but we are not going to aggressively grow that part of the business to compete with the partners."
Brocade was encouraging resellers to develop the ability to deliver IT-as-a-service through services and solutions-led sales. Areas of focus included IP network infrastructure, data protection, migration and security; and data centre virtualisation.
The company is restructuring its support delivery partner and professional services partner programs to encourage greater specialisation and certification among its partner base.
The professional services partner program was available to Elite and Premier partners that hold a set of certifications and pass an on-site audit. The invite-only support delivery partner program gave better rebates and discounts.
Partners in either program would receive wider access to remote labs, a dedicated team of engineers to provide technical direction with professional service implementations and step-by-step instruction from Brocade subject matter experts free of charge.
"We are formalising this to a large degree. In the past it was more on an ad-hoc basis. This is ensuring that the partners that invest and are part of the program get access to the necessary resources," Schultz said.
Brocade was expecting growth in three areas; enterprise virtualisation and cloud computing with its Net Iron family, application delivery through its Server Iron range, and the service provider market.
"The growth in the market is being driven by customer requirements around virtualisation and the need to provide a higher level of agility and mobility. That's driving a lot of activity around data centres and infrastructure," Schultz said.
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Issue: 315 | May 2013
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