For the last few years Extreme Networks has been quietly executing on its vision to provide end-to-end network solutions for enterprise customers. The latest acquisition of Brocade adds enterprise-class data center switching, routing, and network analytics. It will also come with many existing customers and enough revenue to push Extreme over the one-billion-dollar mark.
While the Brocade acquisition is interesting on its own merits, it is important to note that this marks the third network-focused acquisition in the last year for Extreme. The other acquisitions were the Avaya networking and Zebra WLAN businesses. The rationale is very easy to follow – Extreme wants to be a viable choice for an enterprise’s end-to-end networking environment. And Extreme is quick to point out that networking is its sole focus.
It’s still early, but the strategy seems to be working. Extreme and its partners are beginning to report that more enterprises are inviting Extreme to have conversations beyond just the WLAN and campus environment. The Brocade deal should provide additional opportunities for a seat at the table in end-to-end network discussions.
This doesn’t mean all the hard work is behind Extreme, in fact, it is just beginning. The process of completely integrating all these solutions will take time, but Extreme and the newly acquired companies state they are up for the task. Apparently becoming part of a company whose sole focus is networking has breathed new energy into the acquired companies.
If Extreme can accelerate the integration and support all its newly acquired customers the same way it supports its existing customers, it should get additional converts. Extreme customers that ESG has spoken to are very enthusiastic about Extreme support and their ability to get a problem resolved on the first call. In fact, Extreme cites that over 94% of support calls are resolved in under an hour by the person who answered the call. Extending that level of relentless dedication to supporting their extended customer base should also help their cause.
Extreme’s vision to provide enterprise-class end-to-end solutions has been enabled through a series of strategic acquisitions over the last year. With the Brocade acquisition complete, it now needs to educate the market on its end-to-end solutions, highlight its early wins to provide evidence of success, and ensure it continues to integrate these new organizations to provide seamless solutions.