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.