Brocade shifts focus from exhibition to customers

Brocade is using GITEX to meet key customers and clients this year, as opposed to simply proclaiming its presence at the show, the company’s EMEA Vice President, Marcus Jewell, said today.

Jewell told CNME that Brocade made a conscious decision not to exhibit at GITEX on its own this week, and instead opted for exhibiting off the backs of partners such as Mindware.

That’s a global decision on all trade shows. Basically, there’s to many confusing messages, we believe, in the market at the minute,” he explained. “There are three things that are confusing people. And looking at how people are presenting themselves, we’re actually quite pleased that we didn’t exhibit, because we think we need another year for the message to settle down.”

The three big terms confusing GITEX visitors this year are cloud, software-defined networking (SDN), and network function evolution (NFE), Jewell said. Because of the confused messaging around these buzz terms, Brocade thought it better to simply hold close meetings with key customers, he added.

“It’s been really interesting just to focus on meeting with our key clients. We’ve had a lot of good ministry meetings, and we’ve got a lot of large deals and prospects,” Jewell said.

From these meetings, Jewell explained that Brocade was able to understand some of the key pain points facing business heads in the region. He said that he’d sensed a lot of confusion about some emerging technologies, and that Brocade was attempting to bring a clearer message about these trends to the table.

“I think the presence of some people has been very good, and all of our competitors have very good products – we respect all of them – but we think the messaging could be a lot clearer,” he added.

“I think people have probably left with more things to worry about rather than getting solutions and I think that’s the wrong thing. I think they should come to a show and leave with clarity on what steps they need to make, as opposed to more questions to ask, and that’s what customers have told us they’ve found.”

Despite this, Jewell said that Brocade was in no way writing GITEX off – the trade show was simply more about customers than exhibiting this year for Brocade.

“We’ll be back next year with a big presence because I think we’ve learnt a lot from how other people have gone,” he said.

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