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Interview: Brocade's new MD lays out SDN strategy

Brian Karlovsky | Oct. 23, 2014
Former Polycom MD, Gary Denman, looks to expand software channel in Australia.

The challenge for Brocade is now to understand the differences between the software channel and the hardware channel, according to Denman.

"How do you engage all of the software channel versus the hardware channel," he said.

"One of the big changes for us is consumption. There is no point in selling technology that never gets used. It has to get consumed and adopted and that's the Cloud phenomenon as well.

"With that comes an enhanced responsibility to engage with our customers through a life cycle and I think traditionally a lot of hardware organisations have implemented equipment and moved forward, rather than moving to lifecycle managing their customers.

"They don't want us to fly in and fly out, they want us there."

Denman said the most critical thing was for the company to find its channels going forward.

"On our announcement of the SDN controller we talked about if you were to develop applications that sit on top of the controller, then we will allow troubleshooting and engagement around those applications inside the controller environment.

"Because if we are going to support an ecosystem and it's all on OpenDaylight then we have a responsibility to develop the ecosystem - which is definitely something we are doing."

By introducing open source into the SDN equation, customers are free to innovate on their own, or they can partner with the OpenDaylight community to develop new capabilities that modern networks require.

Denman said the company would not have made an investment in the technology and shifted their business model without a belief in the philosophy of what it was trying to achieve.

"SDN is still very much in its early stages, so we would have discussions around that over the next six months and we will see some more iterations of new technologies that will come forward out of that, and continue to reinforce the portfolio," he said.

"We are going to grow the company. I think we are looking to make sure we have got the mix of our business right.

"From an external perspective, it is to make sure we have got a good channel.

"Customer satisfaction is an area of focus for us which we haven't necessarily focused on the so much and that is relevant to the channel."

"That's a huge challenge. We don't want to compete with our channel that's the last thing we can afford to do. We can't scale in the way that we need to.

"And everyone is going to bring their unique play into an end-to-end solution.

"Under SDN someone may own the overall piece, but there are many different pieces to that puzzle that require different skill sets and currently we don't see a single organisation providing that yet."


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