Brocade CEO Aims to Grow Faster than Cisco in Developing Markets

Brocade announced its third quarter fiscal 2014 earnings this week, showing mixed growth across its networking and SAN storage business units.

For the quarter, Brocade reported revenue of $545 million, up two percent year-over-year. Brocade’s SAN business revenue came in at $380 million, up three percent year-over-year. The IP networking business segment did not fare as well, with revenue reported at $166 million for a one percent year-over-year decline.

During his company’s call with financial analysts, CEO Lloyd Carney was asked repeatedly about Brocade’s exposure in Russia as well as other developing markets.

“I mean, people talk about the potential for Europe to fall into a recession based on what’s going on there,” Carney said. “So we are doing great in the European market, we’re doing great in the BRIC markets but we just think it’s prudent to be cautious in our projections.”

While Cisco is the dominant brand name for networking around the world, Carney doesn’t see that same brand impact in the emerging markets. In his view, Brocade has the advantage of having the technically superior product.

“The developing countries, when we go to sell in those markets, they don’t buy based on brand, they could care less that Cisco is the dominant player,” Carney said. “They’re going to think out of the box and they are going to plug it in and they are going to compare it feature for feature, performance for performance and they are going to buy the best technical solution.”

Carney added that Brocade has a high win percentage rate in developing countries, and he is confident that there is a good sales pipeline for his company.

The impact of Software Defined Networking (SDN) is also being made apparent at Brocade.

“We are seeing new customer engagements because of our SDN story that pulls through our routing products, that pulls through our traditional Ethernet fabric products,” Carney said. “There is probably no engagement I can think of right now, where we are doing a trial on our SDN and NFV story where it doesn’t include traditional products also.”

Carney also emphasized a point he has made before – that SDN right now is a land grab. Carney made a similar claim during his company’s first quarter earnings call in February.

“The message to the team and our marching orders are it’s a land grab right now,” Carney said. “If you grab as many customers as possible, get as many trials going as possible, and ensure that we exposing to as broad of audience as possible our portfolio of SDN products, because we have superior products from a performance standpoint.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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