Through the following interview with Greg Reyes, Chairman and CEO of Brocade Communications Systems, The Korea IT Times provides readers with an insightful perspective on the current situation and the outlook for the SAN market.
Q. The economic downturn since 2000 has inhibited the IT industry from growing rapidly. When do you think all segments in the industry, including hardware and software might undergo a recovery
SAN technology has continued in high demand, even during the recent years of economic downturn, because it delivers a very strong return on IT investment and has the potential to help accelerate business productivity. It is difficult to predict when other segments of the IT market will start to gain significant momentum. Many IT departments have spent very little on new hardware and software in recent years, so should an institution such Pentagon in Washington D.C. decide to revamp its IT infrastructure that would help to create the necessary momentum for spending in future.
Q. It's widely accepted that for enterprises to introduce SAN solutions is a key means of upgrading IT infrastructure. What are the strong points of Brocade SAN solutions compared to those of your competitors
Brocade's strength is based on a history of delivering products that customers know they can absolutely rely on in mission critical enterprise environments. Additionally, Brocade is committed to providing its customers with investment protection; our products are designed with well-defined upgrade paths and roadmaps to higher port counts, greater port density, and technology upgrades, with little disruption to the computer environment.
Brocade's strength in the market is the result of focusing our attention in three key areas. First, we listen intently to end-user customers in order to understand their needs so that we can develop and deliver the solutions they require the most, when they need them the most. We work hard to create strong, lasting relationships with our OEM partners and often collaborate with them in developing new products. We also work closely with worldclass storage solution providers to ensure that they can deliver solutions to meet all their customers' needs.
Q. What are the financial results for Brocade in the first half of calendar 2004 compared to the same period for calendar 2003 How do you evaluate these results
Financially, Brocade has reported consistent growth in revenues plus improvements in operating performance during the current year, compared to the one previous.
We think this is a direct result of the strength of our product line, commitment to support our customers and focus on operational excellence.
In addition to the improving financial results, 2004 has been a very exciting year for Brocade. During the first half we completely refurbished our product line. We delivered two new entry-level products for the growing Small and Medium Business (SMB) market, the SilkWorm 3250 and 3850. We also introduced the new SilkWorm 24000 Director, along with an industry-first investment protection plan, which enables enterprise customers to easily upgrade their existing SilkWorm 12000 Directors to SilkWorm 24000 Directors and beyond.
In addition, we brought to market the SilkWorm Multiprotocol Router to extend connectivity between SANs for enhanced access and resource sharing. We also delivered a new bladed product with IBM to serve the growing market for bladed servers.
Q. What is Brocade's marketing strategy in the remaining period of calendar 2004
Which market segment(s) do you intend to target
During the remainder of this year Brocade will continue to focus on delivering solutions that support the need to improve storage utilization and efficiency in data centers across three market segments: entry, mid-range and enterprise.
Q. How would you describe Brocade's roadmap in regard to its strategy and the products it plans to introduce in the future
Going forward, Brocade bases its strategy on a three-pronged approach - we are building on the largest installed base and ecosystem of partners in the industry, entering new emerging growth markets by extending our technology, and delivering innovative platforms and products that provide our customers with new solutions. To execute this strategy, you will see us continue to offer SAN Director and Switch products that offer the leading cost/performance balance in each market segment. We will offer our partners new capabilities for operating and managing data storage networks, based not only on greater speed and greater port density, but on the increasing ability to use intelligent fabric architectures to bring new capability to the SAN.
Q. What do you think about the Korean Fair Trade Commission probe of MS Messenger ption item" sales practice
The Korean government does not have a very different view from the EU executive commission. Leading businesses with high market share should also be guaranteed in their work enhancing their products' functions. Only the benefit of consumers matters. We are cooperating with the investigation process.
The US federal court made a decision in favor of Microsoft recently and we expect that the Korean government will file a similar ruling in the Messenger case.