At Brocade's partner summit in Las Vegas, the company has launched a "wide range of new program elements" to show their commitment to partners and the channel. Here are some details about Brocade's strategy, and the implications for VARs.

Brocade launched their Alliance Partner Network (APN) initiative about a year ago. Fast forward to the present, and the APN enhancements are pretty straight forward.

There's the reseller and distributor growth programs, designed to provide "product-specific rebate programs" for Gigabit Ethernet solutions and their line of FCX Series Switches. There's also vertical market initiatives that are designed to help partners sell into vertical markets. Custom tools help partners hone in on the areas and learn how to sell into specific markets along with what solutions in the Brocade portfolio are available for them to leverage. The APN program has also been enhanced to "utilize a sophisticated identification system to generate highly targeted leads" essentially helping partners find work and increase their revenue.

APN has also gained some channel enablement programs, which are designed to provide low-cost or no-cost training and marketing materials to partners. Lastly, Brocade's MyBrocade online portal has also been revamped for ease of access and use to custom pages, community and managing programs.

The Brocade partner program enhancements arrive at a key time for the storage and networking company. Brocade is trying to bolster its Ethernet networking business (acquired through the Foundry Networks buyout in 2008), even as the company seeks to work more closely with Ethernet rival Hewlett-Packard. In fact, Brocade will be on hand for the HP Americas Partner Conference 2010 (April 26-28, Las Vegas).

We'll be watching.

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