Brocade is looking to grow its UK channel business by half in the next 12 months, having trebled the number of managed partners selling its wares in the past year.
The firm's UK channel sales boss John Mitchell said the vendor now has 25 managed partners, including four top-tier Elite VARs, 15 mid-tier Premier partners and six entry-level Target resellers.
He added that in the coming year, he wants to grow UK channel revenue by about half – a target he described as "highly achievable". The firm's approach to growing the business will be to work more closely with its existing partners, and Mitchell said he is not on the lookout for too many partners in the future.
At a Brocade partner event in Prague in June, the firm conceded that it had an "awareness issue" and promised to up its marketing and brand presence. Mitchell said he is striving for a similar goal in the UK.
"Everyone wants a better brand; relevance is key. At Brocade, we are no different to other people," he said.
"Brocade's approach is to be differentiated and if that means [encouraging] partners to be disruptive and put challenging technology into end users, that is our way of building the brand. We do need to do that, and we are continuing to do that. Of the partners we have targeted, the majority said they do want a relationship with Brocade, which is great."
In the UK, Brocade works with Azlan and Avnet – which between them also work with rivals Cisco and Juniper – but Mitchell said Brocade holds its own against the competition.
"We're a challenger vendor, we have conflict with Cisco wherever we are; people always say ‘we sell Cisco', so we're used to that and it's no problem," he said.
"Avnet sells Juniper and other competing vendors, but we can only focus on what be believe are our core points. Azlan also has a big Cisco relationship. We're significant enough [for disties] to target certain partners and put a certain number of people into a Brocade team, so we have dedicated resource in both."
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