There is a "clear opportunity" for the channel to seize a competitive advantage in the industry by strategically advising global enterprises and organisations on hybrid cloud networks, data centre bandwidth management, and network virtualisation.
That’s the view of networking vendor Brocade - fresh from acquiring Ruckus Wireless - in producing findings from its annual channel trends survey, completed by more than 1,200 global channel partners from the company’s distributor and reseller communities.
“In 2016, Brocade will continue to provide partners with innovative technologies built for the New IP, along with market-proven solutions and vibrant brand recognition,” says Pete Peterson, Vice President of Global Channel Sales and Marketing, Brocade.
Internet of Things
Peterson says a large majority of Brocade channel partners surveyed say the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data will be significant trends, at least for some resellers, within 24 months.
Within the next year, 29 percent believe IoT will be a significant trend, although 40 percent believe it will be a significant trend only for some specialised resellers.
Within five years, on the other hand, 67 percent believe that IoT will be a significant trend, whereas 23 percent believe it will be a trend limited only for some specialized resellers.
Network security, followed by managing hybrid clouds and data centre bandwidth requirements, are seen by Brocade channel partners as the three biggest customer challenges in 2016.
According to research, network security is anticipated as one of the biggest customer challenges (by 27 percent of channel partners).
Meanwhile, managing security in hybrid cloud environments is anticipated as one of the biggest customer challenges by 21 percent of channel partners.
Peterson says nearly 22 percent of channel partners believe solving needs around disaster recovery between data centres is the third-most-anticipated challenge.
Peterson says the top three anticipated drivers of end-customer spending for 2016 are hybrid cloud, followed by network virtualisation and increasing data volumes.
Research shows that 24 percent anticipate that the desire to adopt hybrid cloud will drive end-customer spending, while 24 percent anticipate that the desire to adopt network virtualisation will drive end-customer spending.
In addition, 14 percent anticipate that the competitive pressure to deliver better services will drive end-customer spending.
Peterson says channel partners believe their customers are driven by the following top three reasons to adopt data centre networking technologies based on open source standards:
- 49 percent believe agility/flexibility/innovation drive the need for open source standards
- 14 percent believe creating cross-vendor solutions is easier with open source standards
- 10 percent believe that decreased vendor lock-in is driving interest in open source standards
- 44 percent are continuing with their current growth strategy
- 40 percent plan to expand into new vertical/industry markets
- 33 percent are upgrading and/or expanding their technical competencies
- 27 percent plan to expand into new geographic regions
- 21 percent plan to enter a new practice area, focused on a new vendor brand or solution type