Building channels

Khaled Kamel, regional channel manager, MENA, for Brocade, explains how the company is helping its channel partners to gain the necessary expertise to deliver cloud and virtualisation solutions in the region.

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Building channels
By  Manda Banda Published  January 19, 2013

Khaled Kamel, regional channel manager, MENA, for Brocade, explains how the company is helping its channel partners to gain the necessary expertise to deliver cloud and virtualisation solutions in the region.

CME: As the battle for the data centre continues, what has been Brocade’s focus in this segment in the Middle East?

KK: Virtualisation combined with IT’s hopes for cloud computing are significantly influencing the way organisations deploy and manage data centre networks in today’s fast-paced, information-centric environments. Brocade believes that Ethernet fabric-based network infrastructure will dominate the discussion for the foreseeable future because it is an advancement that enables organisations to build agile, business-ready data centres and overcome obstacles such as infrastructure complexity.

CME: What has been Brocade’s strategy  for winning the data centre business in the region with channel partners?

KK: Brocade very carefully selects its distribution partners and they are given extensive training, certifications and other benefits that they can pass on to resellers. In order to capitalise on the data centre market across the region, Brocade has adopted a two-pronged strategy. The first is a focus on design and development of new technologies, and products that are focused around addressing key customer issues like cost of infrastructure, complexity and compliance issues. The second is an open and flexible architecture that provides choice of best-of-breed to the customer. This can only be achieved in an open eco-system of partners.

CME: Brocade acquired Foundry Networks a few years ago. How has that acquisition helped the company to enhance its offerings in the networking market?

KK: Brocade’s acquisition of Foundry is a strategic move, which helped us supplement our vast data storage networking capabilities with the ability to aggressively target the growing demand in the high-performance networking market. For the purposes of cost savings, ease of access and collaboration, organisations are increasingly migrating applications to Web-based environments. Now more than ever before, the importance of robust, up-to-date systems that can handle high volumes of transactions cannot be overvalued.

CME: What is Brocade’ channel strategy across the MENA region?

KK: Brocade’s go-to-market model is 100% indirect and partner-focused. Resellers are our extended arms and they represent our architecture and technology and as such channel management is a very important aspect of our overall strategy as the efforts of our channel reflect directly on our bottom line. Creating and managing channel partnerships and understanding the engagement model is crucial to our ability to develop and expand our business.

CME: What products, services and solutions are top of your agenda for the Middle East this year?

KK: The campus is a big growth area. As users demand access to information and applications anytime and anywhere, there is immense pressure being placed on the campus network to deliver high-performance connectivity and data centre class resilience. Testament to this is IDC’s prediction that by 2020 there will be more than 10 billion mobile devices deployed globally. If you look at universities and healthcare environments, we are already seeing a myriad of devices used with few having a wired connection to the network. As this trend continues, the campus network will need to evolve to meet demand.

CME: Which verticals and countries or regions within the broader MENA market will propel Brocade’s growth in 2013?

KK: In the Middle East, Brocade is looking at key verticals such as education, healthcare, media, entertainment, high performance computing, hospitality and government institutions. The region is an emerging market for Brocade where we see a lot of potential for growth and expansion.

CME: What can your channel partners (distributors and resellers) expect from Brocade in the next 12 months in the Middle East?

KK: As a company that is constantly at the forefront of technology innovations, our channel partners can look forward to new and exciting products, especially in the areas of cloud and virtualisation. We will be conducting a number of training programmes and workshops to increase certifications within the channel. We will also be providing our channel with marketing support in terms of more campaigns and customer events, which will help to generate leads.

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