Learn how Brocade is making the right moves to be a significant SDN player.
Announced a few weeks back, Brocade recruited Jeff Lindholm as SVP of World-Wide Sales. While this announcement was covered by mainstream IT press, like our post about Mark Smith joining Arista Networks highlighted in January – Jeff’s hire was pretty much ignored in SDN circles. Perhaps it’s because the SDN speaker circuit is filled with marketing VPs, researchers, engineers, and smart CTO’s or perhaps because we are all frothy over a new technology and forget about the unsung sales and systems engineering teams that get this exciting technology in the hands of customers.
Either way, we’ve been watching Brocade and their SDN strategy for a while and see Jeff’s hire as a continuation of smart moves made by the company. Here’s four reasons why we are bullish on Brocade:
- Hire of Jeff Lindholm: I worked with Jeff when he was VP of Worldwide Sales at Juniper he’s a true professional who knows his craft who also happens to be fun to work with. If I had to select one skill that I respect most about Jeff , it is his ability to recruit, retain, and motivate strong sales teams. The service provider sales team at Juniper during Jeff’s tenure was second to none. At Brocade, Jeff has a compelling SDN vision, competitive product (Fabric), and increasing MLX Market Share. One item that’s been lacking at Brocade has been credible sales capabilities to scale Brocade’s networking to the next level. Jeff is well suited to solve this problem.
- Juniper’s Lack of Execution and Talent Exodus: Just as the stars appear to be lining up for Brocade, they are helped with continued struggles of Juniper. This has potential to be a self-filling prophesy on both sides — Juniper’s struggles make it easier for Brocade to gain market share and exodus of talented people bitter about being left out of the Contrail SDN spin-in make it easier for Brocade to recruit quality, experienced talent to further develop and market differentiated products to perhaps make further inroads.
- Acquisition of Verivue by Akamai: Verivue was the company where Juniper’s high caliber sales talent landed after they left Juniper. Now that Verivue has been acquired – expect to see Jeff ‘ bring the band back together’ which has potential to provide, for the first time, Brocade with a world-class service provider sales team.
- Acquisition of Vyatta: In just about every meeting Roy and I have with service providers – the conversation turns to how we can help them virtualize L3 – L7 services in the WAN and Datacenter. This conversation quickly turns to virtualizing routing and firewalls both of which Brocade can now provide with Vyatta software. With the right product focus – we could see Brocade with a compelling NFV solution that combines MLX with Vyatta software running on servers to deliver virtual L3 – L7 services. All they need is a robust SDN Controller to orchestrate these services with the MLX.
In summary, while the jury is out on Brocade and it’s long-term prospects, we are encouraged by the continued progress the company continues to make and with the hire of Jeff Lindholm we see Brocade building needed muscle to scale networking revenue.