10 Most Strategic Networking Vendors

There are a lot of vendors in the networking space vying for solution providers’ attention. Here are the 10 partners say they can bank on.

Jun 23, 2009
http://www.crn.com/networking/218100912;jsessionid=2554WG0UN1VCKQSNDLPSKH0CJUNN2JVN?pgno=1

Integrators surveyed recently for Channelweb.com’s 2009 State of Technology: Networking study picked out the companies they consider to be their most strategic partners. Here are the top 10 vendors that made the cut.

1. Microsoft
Headquarters: Redmond, Wash.
2008 Revenue: $60.42 billion
Channel Chief: Allison Watson, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group
Why It’s a Strategic Networking Partner: Microsoft’s plethora of messaging, voice and video products put it front and center for unified communications partners. Its big name and bigger marketing budget make it a must-have for many solution providers’ line cards.

2. Cisco Systems
Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.
2008 Revenue: $39.5 billion
Channel Chief: Keith Goodwin, senior vice president, Worldwide Channels
Why It’s a Strategic Networking Partner: Cisco Systems continues to be the biggest name in networking, and its footprint is only expanding. Earlier this year, the company made a major play for data center market share with its Unified Computing Systems, which combine networking and server technology onto a single platform.

3. Hewlett-Packard
Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.
2008 Revenue: $118.4 billion
Channel Chief: Adrian Jones, vice president and general manager, HP Solution Partners Organization, Americas
Why It’s a Strategic Networking Partner: Hewlett-Packard’s ProCurve Networking division continues to be one of the fastest-growing infrastructure players out there. Its lifetime warranty is the cornerstone of its value proposition, a warranty model that is so popular with VARs and end users that it has forced rival Cisco Systems to adopt a similar strategy. Cisco began offering a limited lifetime warranty on a select group of switches earlier this year in apparent recognition that HP is on the right path.

4. Adtran
Headquarters: Huntsville, Ala.
2008 Revenue: $500.7 million
Channel Chief: Ted Cole, vice president, Channel Sales
Why It’s a Strategic Networking Partner: Adtran is a perennial channel favorite, offering solid, SMB-focused products at attractive prices. Its recently launched NetVanta 1544 family of Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches aims to bring higher bandwidth aggregation hardware to market at an affordable price point.

5. Siemens Enterprise Communications Group
Headquarters: Reston, Va.
2008 Revenue: $4 billion
Channel Chief: Mark Vayda, president of Worldwide Sales
Why It’s a Strategic Networking Partner: Siemens Enterprise Communications Group is a joint venture formed last fall that includes a few familiar networking names. Owned by private-equity firm Gores Group and Siemens AG, the venture brings together Siemens Enterprise Communications and the businesses of Enterasys Networks and SER Solutions, both of which are owned by Gores Group. The end result is a company with a full line of networking, VoIP and unified communications tools.

6. Brocade
Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.
2008 Revenue: $1.47 billion (excluding Foundry)
Channel Chief: Barbara Spicek, vice president of Worldwide Channels
Why It’s a Strategic Networking Partner: Storage giant Brocade might not have been a strategic partner for many networking VARs before its December 2008 acquisition of Foundry Networks, but it is now. With the move, Brocade bulked up its portfolio and positioned itself for a strong play in the data center, where it is facing off against rivals such as Cisco Systems.

7. SMC Networks
Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.
2008 Revenue: Not available
Channel Chief: Keith Alexis, vice president of Sales - Americas
Why It’s a Strategic Partner: SMC offers a full range of wired networking, wireless networking and VoIP gear, all targeted specifically at small business customers.

8. Avaya
Headquarters: Basking Ridge, N.J.
2008 Revenue: Not available
Channel Chief: Jeremy Butt, vice president of Worldwide Channels
Why It’s a Strategic Networking Partner: Avaya controls a large portion of the VoIP market, building up its stake as it migrates legacy customers to its IP-PBX platforms.

9. Juniper Networks
Headquarters: Sunnyvale, Calif.
2008 Revenue: $3.57 billion
Channel Chief: Frank Vitagliano, senior vice president, Worldwide Channels
Why It’s a Strategic Networking Partner: Much of Juniper’s attention of late has been focused on building up its data center portfolio, giving its channel partners a lineup of high-end boxes to position against the many competitors vying for the same market. And it continues to upgrade its other enterprise router and switch families.

10. AT&T
Headquarters: San Antonio
2008 Revenue: $124 billion
Channel Chief: Kevin Leonard, AT&T vice president, Alternate Channels
Why It’s a Strategic Networking Partner: AT&T is about more than just connectivity. Yes, the service provider offers its access services through the channel, but it has more in its bag of tricks, including data, security, hosting and enterprise mobility services.

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