Chuck Berger Extreme Networks president and CEO

Chuck Berger, Extreme Networks president and CEO

Extreme Networks Conference: Two Companies Now One

Extreme Networks is hosting its first channel conference since its acquisition of Enterasys last year. So what's on tap for the new networking behemoth?

Extreme Networks (EXTR) is hosting its first channel partner conference since its acquisition of Enterasys Networks was finalized. The company promises what Ed Sullivan would call “a really big show,” bringing together more than 220 channel partners from both companies for two days of, quite literally, togetherness.

So what will I be keeping a lookout for during this two-day confab in (not) Las Vegas—Summerlin, to be specific? Read on to find out:

  1. What’s the Partner Vibe? Any company can wave the banner of channel, the proof will be in the excitement level of its partners when they assemble under one roof. Extreme has the advantage of having a notoriously channel-friendly CEO and president in Chuck Berger, and it just last week announced a revamped channel program that incorporates what VP of Global Channels Theresa Caragol termed “the best of both [Extreme and Enterasys] programs,” so signs so far point to good vibrations.
  2. How’s the Product Landscape? One of the reasons Extreme acquired Enterasys was for its top-shelf wireless offerings, Caragol said, adding that partners from both companies now have access to a much broader portfolio of offerings. And the company’s moves in software-defined networks and analytics are what’s going to differentiate Extreme in the networking space. How well partners are able to take these offerings to market, however, remains.
  3. Where Does Extreme Stand Financially? Quite well, according to its preliminary fourth-quarter earnings. Extreme exceeded its previously announced estimates, with GAAP revenue expected to be $153 million to $155 million, compared to guidance of $143 million to $148 million. Not bad for a company that’s been busy absorbing another company.

It will be interesting to see how Extreme’s channel-first message will resonate among its partners, both existing and acquired. So far the company seems to be on the right track, and if nothing else, Extreme could get the award for fastest whole-company integration with a minimal amount of pain (seven months start to finish). That, right there, is something.

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