Brocade Adds Services Certification to Boost VAR Profitability

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Four months after unveiling its Alliance Partner Network program, Brocade is expanding the reseller channel partner program to enable partners to boost their profits by selling services. Networking vendor Brocade says the new components of the program will enable partners to become certified for professional services and for support services.

Looking to help its reseller channel partners boost their profitability by making it easier for them to offer services, networking vendor Brocade is expanding its Alliance Partner Network program to enable partners to offer Brocade-certified services and support.

Specifically, Brocade will enable its channel partners to get certified for its Professional Services Program (PSP), which allows them to sell Brocade-provided professional services or their own services as Brocade-certified. Partners can also now participate in Brocade’s Support Delivery Program (SDP), which enables channel partners to deliver Tier 1 and Tier 2 support.

"A key focus and pressure for partners is profitability," Barbara Spicek, vice president of global channel sales for Brocade, tells Channel Insider. "That is the key point of this brand new rollout—offering partners the ability to make a good profit with Brocade."

Spicek says that channel partners can help defray the cost of PSP certification by using market development funds available from Brocade. She says the certification requires five to six courses, each taking two to three days, but that much of that can be received via the Web, minimizing time away from the business.
For the Support Delivery Program, partners must employ specified numbers of Tier 1 and Tier 2 level engineers and keep certain levels of stock and parts on hand in inventory, she says.

Services are widely recognized in the IT industry as the means to hedge against the low margins and high risk of relying on pure transactional hardware and software sales. Dell proved that once again this week by moving to acquire IT consulting firm Perot Systems.

Spicek says two partners who already offer professional services are on track to receive PSP certifications soon.

In addition, Brocade is now offering networking customers the Brocade Assurance Limited Lifetime Warranty program, a limited lifetime warranty on new purchases of high-performance Brocade FastIron WS compact switches, Brocade FastIron CX edge switches and Brocade TurboIron 24X compact 10 Gigabit Ethernet top-of-rack switches.  
Brocade says this warranty is being offered for the first time and will help reduce total cost of ownership and financial risk.

Brocade formally announced its Brocade Alliance Partner Network in May.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com