Extreme Channel Chief: Partner Communication Critical During Acquisitions


… keep business as usual for the Brocade partners in November and December. They’ll experience rebates and access to MDF like they typically would, and then from Jan. 1, when our new Extreme unified partner program launches, they’ll be participating in that program. And actually from a Brocade partner perspective, they’ll see their back-end profitability double, which is great news for them.

CP: What are your goals for the first six months to a year for the new partner program?

GM: My goals for the program really are to ensure that we’re enabling the partners and the partners are becoming specialized at one level, and then secondly become master specialists in the automation of the campus and the automation of the data center with our new master specializations that we’re launching. It’s vitally important for them and for us, and for our customers so that’s going to be priority No. 1. Priority No. 2 is going to be ensuring through the Black Diamond status partners that we really build some exciting group plans customized to that partner that grows their business and grows our business profitably, and making sure that we execute against that as quickly as possible. And then just with any new partner program, making sure that it’s well-communicated and understood whether you’re a Black Diamond partner or a Gold partner, there [are] some fantastic benefits there that differentiate us in the industry, so communicating that and making sure everyone’s taking full advantage of the different elements of the program.

CP: Norman Rice III (Extreme’s chief marketing, development and product operations officer) said there could be more asset acquisitions like Zebra, Avaya and Brocade. How will that figure into the new program?

GM: I have no knowledge of any acquisitions on the horizon, but the good news from an Extreme perspective is we’ve done three within the space of a year and we’re becoming experts at integrating assets from companies from an engineering, marketing, sales and a partner-program perspective. And the way that we’ve designed the new partner program, it would be an easy fit to include a future acquisition if that was to happen. And with all we’ve learned through the onboarding of new partners and the communication with new partners, we’re becoming really good at it.

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