Brocade two years ago introduced a new subscription model through which customers could get networking technology from the company on a pay-as-you-go basis, enabling businesses to pay for what they need and not have to spend a lot of money upfront.
Now the vendor, through a partnership with Aruba Networks, is offering a broad range of wireless networking technology through the subscription program. It's a move that will benefit current customers and extend the reach of the program to businesses that might not have considered Brocade without a strong wireless offering.
"This is the first time we will include the ability for customers to subscribe [for technology] from a third party," Lisa Paquette-Nelson, senior director of Brocade Capital Solutions, told eWEEK. With Aruba on board, businesses have access to a more complete offering of networking solutions, "from the core to the access layer to wireless."
Brocade introduced its network subscription model to help address the rapidly changing dynamics and demands in the data center brought about by such trends as mobile computing, software-defined networking (SDN), cloud computing and bring-your-own-device (BYOD). Combined with the continued tightening of IT budgets, enterprises are looking for more cost-affordable ways to acquire technology while enabling network infrastructures to be more agile and flexible, according to company officials.
The response to the subscription plan has been strong, according to Paquette-Nelson. Brocade now has hundreds of subscription schedules, and the company is seeing that many customers that initially use the program to acquire some particular networking technologies are expanding their use of the program for other products. More than 80 percent of subscription customers take out subscriptions for more products.
In addition, it has proved to be a strong customer-acquisition tool, she said. More than 90 percent of businesses leveraging the subscription model had never bought Brocade equipment before.
"This is opening a tremendous number of new doors for Brocade," Paquette-Nelson said. The program "has allowed us to engage with customers that had no Brocade in their environments before this."
Under the program, businesses can bring Brocade enterprise solutions into their environments and pay a monthly fee, turning their infrastructures from a capital expenditure into an operating expenditure. They can upgrade at any time, scale up or down as needed, and more quickly align their infrastructures with their needs, company officials said.
Through the partnership with Aruba, Brocade now is offering a range of Aruba wireless technology, including its gigabit wireless LAN 802.11ac mobility controllers and access points. In addition, customers can get subscriptions for such offerings as ClearPass Access Management, AirWave Network Management and Meridian Apps, for indoor mapping and location capabilities.
To subscribe to Aruba solutions through the Brocade Network Subscription program, organizations must make sure that the bulk of the technologies they get through the subscription is from Brocade.
"As organizations strive to deliver always-on network services to their employees and customers, their ability to cost-efficiently acquire the necessary infrastructure at the right time is critical to their success," John DiLullo, executive vice president at Aruba, said in a statement. "Aruba and Brocade have delivered a solution that scales on demand as customer requirements change, resulting in an attractive option when selecting the right network infrastructure."