Focused engagement

Khaled Kamel, territory channel manager, MENA at Brocade Communications, talks about the company’s IP networking strategy and opportunities for resellers in the region.

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Focused engagement
By  Manda Banda Published  December 23, 2013

Khaled Kamel, territory channel manager, MENA at Brocade Communications, talks about the company’s IP networking strategy and opportunities for resellers in the region.

CME: What has been your company’s focus and business strategy for the Middle East channel in 2013?

KK: Brocade’s go-to-market model is 100% indirect and partner focused. Our partners are our extended arms as they represent our architecture and technology, and as such channel management is a very important aspect of our overall strategy. Brocade operates a controlled approach to channel recruitment, focusing on a select group of engaged partners, who can secure a high degree of differentiation through Brocade solutions versus a strategy that sees 100’s or 1000’s of partners having to compete with each other.

As with our focus across EMEA as a whole, in the MENA region, we will continue the implementation of a multi-tiered channel strategy to develop IP networking coverage, development and recruitment of new and existing channels across the GCC and Egypt. In addition, we will continue to invest heavily in the region with additional sales, marketing and technical heads.

CME: How is the company helping its channel partners to take advantage of the improving business climate in the Middle East region?

KK: Partners can access sales and technical support and services support, developed in line with our strategy of non-competition with partners. We provide specific training and education programmes and targeted joint marketing through generous MDF initiatives to help partners position themselves successfully in the market. Incentives and rebate schemes have been developed and targeted at services-led sales, and partners that meet our accreditation requirements can become Brocade Certified Specialists.

CME: What channel initiatives is Brocade rolling out in the Middle East region?

KK: At present, the biggest chunk of Brocade’s investment in the region is happening in the channel. The company is investing heavily in channel education and incentive schemes.

In terms of incentivising the channel, Brocade has introduced a unique initiative – a Brocade Channel Credit Card. Every sales person within the channel organisation can register on, subscribe to the programme and get a credit card. Every time the salesperson closes a deal which registers on the system, he gets a pre-defined amount of commission that is instantly credited to his account. The initiative is simple, clear and lucrative for the individual sales persons at reseller firms.

CME: What role are distribution and channel partners expected to play going forward?

KK: The primary goal of our distribution partners will continue to be driving our business in the region. The continual maturation of cloud technologies, coupled with end customers’ growing interest in integrating virtualisation and cloud solutions into their IT environments, represents a tremendous opportunity for channel partners. The potential for uptake of Brocade’s cloud-optimised networking solutions is huge. As such we expect our distribution partners to skill-up and develop cloud expertise in order to be trusted advisors to the channel and impart the much needed cloud and virtualisation related training. Partner enablement will be key to cloud success. For distributor and reseller partners, who by virtue of their position within the channel ecosystem are best equipped to deliver these value-added solutions and services, this industry trend presents both a world of possibilities and increased pressure to adapt and refine their business objectives.

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

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 trainings and workshop 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 and in turn contribute to our partner’s healthy business growth.

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