Microsoft Cloud Authors: Jim Kaskade, Lori MacVittie, Andreas Grabner, Janakiram MSV, Pat Romanski

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Cloud Consultancy and the Channel: Vendor Programs Critical to Growth

Channel Banking on Cloud Professional Services Revenue for Growth, Vendors Need to Evolve

SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/06/12 -- New research from Brocade® (NASDAQ: BRCD) indicates that many channel organizations are being impeded in their efforts to move toward cloud-based professional services due to a lack of flexibility and capability by their vendors. The study revealed that in addition to direct competition, channel organization's professional services ambitions are being restricted by a lack of innovative vendor solutions, overly complex programs and proprietary vendor technologies.

Based on a survey of over 500 channel organizations worldwide, the report revealed that almost half of respondents expect professional services to become their main revenue generator by 2020. Yet, for the majority of respondents, professional services accounts for 25 percent or less of revenues today.

The research also revealed the growing customer demand for professional services, with complexity and constraints on CapEx reported as the biggest customer challenges. Only 11 percent of respondents currently look to their vendors for innovative finance solutions and 19 percent for marketing funding -- key when trying to build a brand and reputation rather than sell on price.

"Revenue focused channel programs like our Brocade Alliance Partner Network, combined with differentiated technology solutions that help address customers' needs for innovative and easy to deploy networks, flexible financing solutions such as Brocade Network Subscription, and tools and resources that help channel develop their reputation as consultants, will all become increasingly critical to developing competitive consultancy businesses that drive significant revenue returns," noted Regan McGrath, Senior Vice President Worldwide Sales at Brocade.

He contends that to compete in the professional services sector, channel organizations now need to consider these critical questions:

  • Do my vendors' strategies, vision, and approaches to technology design support or impede our ability to maximize any professional services and support revenue opportunities?
  • Do my vendors compete with me for professional services opportunities?
  • Do my vendors provide value through genuine technology differentiation?
  • Do my vendors provide finance solutions that address customers CapEX investment restrictions?
  • Do my vendors provide marketing enablement, access to expertise and tools that help me build my brand?

"This research reinforces the importance of flexible and accessible vendor programs in the channel's evolution towards successful professional services delivery," said Chuck Bartlett, vice president and general manager, Advanced Infrastructure Solutions (AIS) at Tech Data. "Suppliers like Brocade, which was recently named Tech Data's Growth Vendor Partner of the Year, will continue to play a key role in this evolution, while innovative programs focused on partner enablement will be central to driving revenue and securing market position."

The Brocade Alliance Partner Network (APN) Program is designed to deliver "success through simplicity" by taking a modular approach to partner enablement and offering a broad range of tools, assets and solutions that are easily accessible, usable, and targeted at accelerating partner revenue growth from the moment they join the program. Designed to help partners build business models that realize revenue opportunities from professional services and cloud hosted services among current customers, while growing net new business opportunities, the Program enables partners to extend their reach through almost effortless marketing and technology enablement solutions.

Brocade APN Partners can also secure significant levels of differentiation by offering Brocade Network Subscription, first and only "pay by port" subscription solution. Brocade Network Subscription offers customers cost management and fast flexibility to scale up and down to meet business demand, while only paying for the ports in use. Brocade partners can close a deal that may have otherwise been lost due to CapEx constraints, while offering their customers a clear and manageable path towards their ultimate goals, and securing incremental revenue on an on-going basis.

Brocade Alliance Partner Network has three levels of membership (Select, Premier and Elite), plus a distribution category, and offers partners qualified leads, sales support and technical education in addition to a range of self-service marketing tools, enablement portals, and training and education programs to help partners develop and tailor their business models to their needs.

For more information about the Brocade Alliance Partner Network please see: www.brocade.com/apn or community.brocade.com/community/brocadeblogs/thechannel

To download the report please see:

The Brocade Channel 2020: Global Survey (2012) was conducted during June and July 2012, using an online survey service (surveymonkey.com). The survey had 532 respondents worldwide, and respondents from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Australasia, Central Asia and India, Central and Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. The organizations that participated ranged in size from those with 0-50 employees up to those with over 1000 staff. Channel respondents came from a wide range of organizational types, including SVARs, service providers, VARs, distribution, and hosted services resellers.

About Brocade
Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) is the pure-play networking company that innovates to make high-performance networks easier to deploy, manage, and scale in the most demanding environments. (www.brocade.com)

© 2012 Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

ADX, Brocade, Brocade Assurance, Brocade One, the B-wing symbol, DCX, Fabric OS, ICX, MLX, MyBrocade, SAN Health, VCS, and VDX are registered trademarks, and AnyIO, HyperEdge, NET Health, OpenScript, and The Effortless Network are trademarks of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., in the United States and/or in other countries. Other brands, products, or service names mentioned may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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