Brocade (Nasdaq:BRCD) today announced that it has introduced several significant enhancements to the Brocade ® Alliance Partner Network ( APN) program and Global Education offerings to help channel partners capitalize on Ethernet fabric-based technology opportunities. These partner investments include the introduction of the Virtualized Fabric Partner Specialization and the new Brocade Certified Ethernet Fabric Engineer (BCEFE) Certification designed to support partners in the delivery of Ethernet fabric technologies, including the award winning Brocade VDX™ 6720 Data Center Switch. The Virtualized Fabric Partner Specialization is a technology-centric designation for partners who possess a deep understanding of design, implementation and maintenance of Ethernet fabric architectures. To receive this specialization, partners must be an Elite partner within the APN program and satisfy a specific set of requirements, one of which is having BCEFE-certified personnel on staff. As with other Brocade specializations, qualified partners are eligible for program benefits, ranging from pre-sales support and access to proof-of-concept labs, and can progressively apply multiple specializations to their overall rebate to receive greater rewards. Elite-level reseller partners may also leverage these specializations for participation in the Brocade Value Incentive Programs (VIPs), which are true pay-for-performance programs structured to reward and recognize partners who invest in expanding their personnel expertise and skill sets. Recognizing the distinct skill set required for the design and deployment of Ethernet fabric-based networks, Brocade has also developed the BCEFE Certification to directly address the needs of partners who want to distinguish themselves in an increasingly competitive market. Partners who achieve the BCEFE Certification will receive training and education on a broad set of Ethernet fabric-related topics, including technology theory and concepts, Brocade VDX hardware and product features, installation, configuration, management and troubleshooting. Open to all Brocade partners and end-user customers, this new certification is an integral requirement for anyone looking to secure the Virtualized Fabric Partner Specialization. Brocade continues to invest in channel education initiatives on a global basis to deliver world-class training, certification and accreditation opportunities. To fully support partners as they progress towards acquiring a broad range of networking skills, Brocade has also restructured its Global Education offerings by adding a wide array of coursework options and dedicated learning tracks to help partners quickly enhance their skills in regard to convergence, virtualization and cloud technologies. Brocade Global Education classes adhere to open standards-based principles, providing a level of flexibility and versatility not available from courses offered by other networking vendors.