Brocade Adds New Financial Incentives for Channel Partners

Vendor says rewards, extra discounts, training geared to existing partners selling campus LAN solutions and also serve as recruitment tools.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. said last week that it is offering channel partners new financial incentives, including bigger discounts for registered deals and demonstration units, along with a seed unit program for its ICX switches, in moves to spur sales of its campus LAN products.

The inducements are tied to new entries to the vendor’s switches lineup, specifically the ICX 6430 and ICX 6450. The vendor also unveiled an impending technology it is calling HyperEdge, which is an access layer to smooth automation and simplify management of campus LAN networking products.

Brocade said that the financial bonuses are aimed at existing partners delivering campus LAN solutions, specifically its ICX switches, and also believes that its overall compensation posture will attract new channel partners to the fold. Brocade currently lists about 350 Elite and Premier-level partners and reportedly has grown its entry-level Select roster by some 20 percent from last year’s total of 6,500 members.

With the new incentives, channel partners registering deals that include the vendor’s ICX products will receive extra discount points beyond current levels for secured sales. The vendor also has lowered prices for demonstration equipment used for sales presentations or labs, officials said.

Brocade similarly widened the scope of its Rewards program for channel partner sales representatives to include all of its Ethernet networking gear and offered that it will link further financial incentives to key products and solutions throughout this year as it did with its new ICX switches.

Brocade’s seed unit program enables channel partners to test the new ICX switches in advance to acquire a working knowledge with which to educate customers. The vendor said that it has made available “hundreds of units” to partners worldwide to promote customer engagement.

"With the introductions of the Brocade ICX product portfolio and the new campus-focused APN initiatives, Brocade is delivering on its promise of leveraging the strength of the channel to bring about IT transformation while empowering our partners to be more competitive," said Barbara Spicek, Brocade vice president, Global Channels.

Since taking the reins of Brocade’s channel program three years ago, Spicek has consistently upgraded the vendor’s financial rewards package, in the process embedding a pay-for-performance metric as one of the program’s core tenets and, indeed, this latest round of incentives follows the same format.

The company backed the financial offers by launching a new online training web site at its MyBrocade portal, featuring new course material on its campus LAN portfolio. In addition, Brocade is now offering specialized sales training courses and supplying more sales-ready tools and information to assist channel partners throughout the sales cycle.

The vendor also has lined up a new technical accreditation, called the Accredited Campus Networking Specialist, to educate channel partners about the Brocade Layer 2/3 Ethernet products for campus networks.

Julio Sanchez, vice president, Business Development at FishNet Security Inc., a Kansas City, MO-based IT security solutions provider, praised Brocade’s campus LAN products and channel program.

"Our customers continually turn to us to provide the guidance and technical expertise necessary for a successful implementation,” he said. “With Brocade, we get the most innovative campus LAN products on the market today and the right programs to help us compete and win."

Brocade recently reported $58.6 million in earnings for its first fiscal quarter 2012, more than double the $26.9 million in recorded for the same period last year. Revenue for the quarter climbed 2.7 percent year-over-year to $560.6 million, Brocade said.

While the vendor’s services and Ethernet product sales slipped by 4.9 percent and 2.1 percent respectively for the quarter, data storage sales rose 6.6 percent when compared to the similar period last year, officials said.

TAGS: networking,Brocade,channel program,channel partners,incentives,ICX switch,Barbara Spicek

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