This week I am escaping the cold and wet northeast to head to the warm and sunny climate of Scottsdale, Arizona to attend the Extreme Networks customer event aptly named “Connect.” While there, I will take part in an analyst panel hosted by Norman Rice, the Extreme CMO, discussing trends and initiatives that are impacting the network.
This will be the first global user conference for the Extreme team and it is well timed, as it is the culmination of the Extreme Now world tour that was designed to introduce users and prospects to the “new” Extreme. This event should be highly educational for attendees, as it will pull in users from classic Extreme as well as all the recently acquired companies such as Zebra WLAN, Avaya, and Brocade who want to understand how their technology will fit into the overall roadmap. While the Brocade acquisition is still very recent, I am betting these users (as well as myself) will be looking to see what kind of solutions Extreme is pulling together leveraging existing as well as these newly added capabilities. I expect the sessions on end-to-end solutions and roadmaps will be very well attended.
The other key area of interest will be the executive keynotes, where users will get a better sense of the company vision and execution plan for the “new” Extreme. One area that should be of comfort to the users of the acquired companies is that Extreme’s only focus is on networking. So there are no distractions to dilute resources and attention away from its core business. Indeed, the employees from the acquired companies that I have talked to are excited about working for a “networking company” again. I am looking forward to hearing from the execs and talking to the attendees to see what they think of the new Extreme.Look for more on this topic later this week on my post-show blog and possibly even a post-show video (if I can figure out how to use the camera by then!).