If you’re using a computer, then every six seconds you’re communicating across a piece of Brocade technology. This is a calculation Marcus Jewell, Vice President EMEA at Brocade, shares while explaining the successes of the technology company. “We're the enabler, we enable everything to work so as social media explodes, as mobility increases, as mobile phones do more, as consumption of multimedia online increases, all of these things can only be made possible using the technology we sell. So we're not the instigator to the solution but we're the critical path in delivering it. As society expresses itself in different ways, as certain cultures change their attitudes to being online, everything is driven from the technology that companies like Brocade make.”
Founded in 1995, Brocade is headquartered in San Jose, California, with almost 5,000 employees across 36 countries and annual revenues over $2 billion. It is a leader in data centre networking, known for being a pioneer of Ethernet fabrics with approximately 70 percent share of the SAN (storage area network) switching market. It is also the creator of the most widely adopted NFV (network function virtualisation) solution with more than 100 million production hours.
Marcus Jewell heads up around 650 employees in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As well as strong sales and marketing teams, there is also a UK-based engineering force, as Jewell explains: “A lot of our software products are written in the UK in the Cambridge Science Park, where we have a staff count of around 160 engineers.” The engineering team has created a virtual traffic manager, which is a software traffic manager device. Jewell adds: “The focus for the virtual traffic manager is e-commerce and retail. People who use it a lot would be Microsoft Azure, IBM SoftLayer and Amazon Web Services, people who are looking to manage their traffic flows across the internet.” As suggested by the calculation at the beginning of this article, Brocade’s product portfolio is extremely widely used. Jewell says: “Everybody from enterprises to cloud service providers, from banks and central government bodies to defence to schools.”
But Brocade doesn’t sell direct, it works with a selection of leading partners. Jewell adds: “Everything we do is through partnership. In our SAN business we're 100% OEM, everything we sell is with either via EMC, IBM, HP or HDS (Hitachi Data Services). They're the big four in the storage market and they take our products to market so we're probably the most successful OEM company that's ever existed because we've managed to keep all the market players satisfied at the same time.”
Read the full interview in the February 2016 issue of Business Review Europe.