Brocade's CEO talks about McData integration

Earlier this month, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. ran a full-page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal promising its customers and users of McData Corp.'s director switches that once the merger between the two companies is completed sometime in the first quarter, Brocade will continue to service both vendors' current products for up to five years. The ad also promised a minimum of six months' advance notice before taking any product off the market. Brocade CEO Mike Klayko and Tom Buiocchi, vice president of worldwide marketing at San Jose-based Brocade, recently spoke with Computerworld to clarify the companies' integration road map.

Once the deal closes with McData, how long will it take to integrate the two companies?

Klayko: We're not waiting. We're doing some prework planning as best we can. We've actually put together a project office with a full-time integration team. A lot of this is around speed because you want to eliminate uncertainty and anxiety. So, the first thing we looked at is how do we do this for the customer. We went out and talked to customers -- our own customers and McData customers. We said, "We don't want to disrupt your business." That was first and foremost. We don't want to have any disruption. We have some direction, and it's pretty much around the director [switch] space.

Our future converged platforms going forward are more similar than different. Until we have that converged platform on that next generation of technology, what we're going to continue to do is support you on the Intrepid 6140, the Intrepid i10K and the SilkWorm 48000 [director-class switches].

So it's our intent that the day we close, we'll have a fully rationalized product line that we're going to communicate to the marketplace and to our customer base. Each and every person in the organization will understand their role. It's our intention to have this done at close. We're anticipating our first fiscal quarter.

So do you go forward with McData's director-class switch and admit that yours was inferior, lead with your director, or integrate the two?