Lastly, I thought the last of the keynotes, a presentation by Brocade VP of Channels Regan McGrath, again showed the company was about more than product. He admitted that much of the focus for the company was to deliver quality products that provide margins that are better than the competition, but Brocade also must now help its channel partners drive more leads and provide the educational material and training to drive into new markets that may have new buyers. He was also clear on leveraging the market leadership on the SAN side of the company to create more pull-through opportunities for networking.
One issue that wasn't addressed that I would like to see Carney and the management team at Brocade focus on is product rationalization. Compared to other networking vendors, Brocade isn't that big a company, but it has a very broad portfolio. Data center, SAN, ADCs, Wi-Fi, access switching, routing, SP, Fabrics, etc. are all product lines that Brocade sells today. I believe Brocade would have more success and would grow faster by having a laser focus on a subset of these areas, particularly the complex areas of networking that need to be simplified, such as the campus core and data center.
Brocade has done the work on building a strong product line and has over 1,100 customers for its Ethernet fabric today. It's time for the company to turn up the volume in a few focused areas and help customers and its channel partners take advantage of the current data center transition.
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