Brocade has insisted it is holding its own as its channel partners look to cut down on the number of vendors they work with.
The vendor admitted that brand recognition has been a challenge in recent years, but said it has enjoyed "significant success" on that front recently, which has stood it in good stead as partners ditch vendors.
Some vendors have looked to place bigger bets on fewer channel partners recently, which has encouraged some resellers to become more choosy about which big names they work with.
Brocade's vice president of global channel sales, Pete Peterson – who joined in November from a 19-year stint at Tech Data in the US – agreed that the trend is happening in the channel but insisted his firm is not being sidelined for bigger, more well-known names.
"That is what one of the partners I had initially met with in the US is going through," he said. "They are rationalising their [vendors] down to what they call their 'elite six'. Fortunately, Brocade is one of those partners. Candidly... one of the more well-known, global brands, quite frankly, didn't make the cut. The feedback we heard was that our products are best of breed and that we have the ability to develop a services practice where [partners] don't compete against [us].
"So that's very attractive to many partners. It's not like with other brands where [a product] comes out and there are 47 resellers there carrying the same. We're very prescriptive and we like to do more with strategic partners who want to take this journey with us."
Brocade currently works with about 80 partners on a one-to-one basis in EMEA, with others working through distribution. Just a handful of its customers insist on working with Brocade direct, meaning more than 90 per cent of its sales are closed with partners.
Back in 2013, Brocade's CEO Lloyd Carney told CRN his firm had something of an "awareness issue" and vowed to fix it.
Peterson said this has paid off and it is something he wants to build on.
"We've had significant success [in terms of the brand] in the last six to 12 months," he said. "We're performing [in the] market and that is a testament that our brand is starting to resonate. But it is a continuing journey for us. We want to make sure that when folks think of Brocade, it's a broader view of what we have to offer from a solutions perspective – not just our traditional [tech]. That's the real focus. Most folks in our space have heard of us but I think many are not necessarily [aware of] our full offering."
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