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Extreme Networks: We’re Growing and ‘Ready for a Fight’

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… the partner community around those customers — and we’re seeing some great traction.

CP: What kind of momentum has Extreme experienced since its acquisitions?

GM: The Extreme Capital Solutions program is gaining a lot of interest, and we’ve had extremely good feedback from our partners. It really allows them to win deals and opportunities that they wouldn’t have done in the past by potentially leveraging the zero-percent financing, moving the deal from a capex to an opex, or maybe some creative financing solutions around monthly payments, or payments per port or per access point. And that really plays into the world of IoT, where you’ve got thousands of devices or millions of devices connected to the network, and the way that the network is deployed is almost always in a managed-service-provider type of environment … and typically a lot of that leads into monthly billing per device, etc. So we’re seeing good traction, but it’s still early with those programs. These are really things that were built for the future and we’ll talk more about enhancements in that space at this year’s partner conference.

CP: Let’s talk about new and latest opportunities for partners. For example, Extreme last month announced Smart OmniEdge, an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled network edge solution.

GM: The new Smart OmniEdge technology is very exciting for our partners. We’re just in the process of finalizing a master specialization for Smart OmniEdge, so in the future we’ll have just three master specializations to keep things simple. We’ll have the automated campus, the agile data center and then the Smart OmniEdge. We’re in the early stages of this offering, but we’re seeing a lot of interest from the partners. And with Smart OmniEdge, it’s about educating partners on the technology, making sure they have the right skill set, but also taking advantage of these changes in the marketplace where customers are looking for more of a cloud-based managed offering, a managed-service offering, and they’re looking for the network to take care of itself, to be intelligent and to be automated. And there’s great profitability for partners in all of that. So that’s one of the things I’m most excited about moving forward.

Also, early next month we’re launching Extreme Dojo for Partners, which is an internal sales and technical enablement platform that we’ve been using with our own salespeople. It’s themed around the karate dojo and it gives sales and technical the opportunity to expand their knowledge from a white belt all the way through to a black belt. It’s gamification, it’s an exciting and interactive way of learning. It will allow our partner sales and technical folks to (obtain) the same training and the same knowledge, whether that’s at a technology level or a vertical level.

CP: What sort of feedback have you been receiving from partners? Are there things they like, don’t like, about the unified partner program?

GM: I would say that now that we’re through the acquisitions, everyone’s really satisfied with the economics of the partner program. And with the dojo, we’re going to get more training; we’re going to be more focused on enablement and training. That’s one of the biggest things with partners; they’ve got a real hunger right now to consume …

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