Brocade tailors a message for New Zealand

Brocade tailors a message for New Zealand

Networking and storage solutions provider Brocade sees Asia Pacific as its greatest opportunity for growth.

The company, which sells its full suite of infrastructure hardware products and solutions through a handful of partners in New Zealand, says the growth is reflected in the $100 million investment it has made in this huge market last year.

This includes the opening of a regional briefing centre in Singapore in February and an ANZ testing and training facility in Sydney in May.

The company's APAC presence has grown from a two-person operation in 2002 to an 800 strong regional staff today, working in 11 countries. According to Charlie Foo, who was appointed APAC VP in May, Australia and New Zealand account for between 18 percent and 25 percent of revenue in this region.

"There's a pretty reasonable level of maturity and sophistication among our partners and users in Australia and New Zealand, and it's a good market to drive new initiatives and test pilot new initiatives," Foo says. "It's steady growth."

Foo was speaking to Reseller News at Brocade's business partner conference in Kunming China in early August. He attributed part of the growth in ANZ to the footprint already established by Ethernet switch vendor Foundry Solutions which Brocade purchased in 2008. The acquisition broadly expanded Brocade's portfolio, adding to its OEM-delivered SAN products.

The company distributes in New Zealand through Connector Systems, and works with such partners as Datacom and Asnet, while listing other integrators, such as Fujitsu, on the partner locator section of its web page.

"The challenge we have for every market, and New Zealand is included, is to be able to focus our strategy on a market segment," says Foo. "Every market has its own focus and that's something that I'm working closely with the ANZ people right now. For Australia we've identified the segment. For New Zealand it's something we are looking at. It's an SMB kind of market."

Foo says that despite this preponderance of small organisations in New Zealand, Brocade plans to launch a marketing campaign around its campus solutions, which it characterises as end-to-end LAN solutions that are more in line with larger enterprises.

According to Regan McGrath, Brocade's recently appointed global channel chief, the biggest challenge the organisation faces is brand awareness.

McGrath believe Brocade's technology speaks for itself, particularly around Ethernet fabric.

"Basically, what we contend is with all the dynamics going on with virtualisation and cloud, what's required for VM mobility is a big, flat layer-2 network, not a three-tier spanning tree network because in a spanning tree network, you can't move VMs very easily," he says. "The spanning tree protocol basically assumes the problem is going to happen and you buy twice as much gear than you need, to wait for something to happen. The common math of current architecture is 40 percent of ports go unutilised. So a lot of wasted capital resources occurs with current architectures, which just aren't built for the virtualised, cloud enabled world we live in."

That is the company's calling card for datacentre customers, McGrath says. Its campus products have been refreshed recently under the ICX line of Ethernet switches with "mix and match stacking" and the ability to manage multiple switches using a single IP address.

McGrath is also hopeful for the Brocade Network Subscription solution, which is a monthly service that allows for the purchase of products on a per-port basis, which he says is attractive to hosted service providers.

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