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Extreme Networks Partner Business On the Rise Again

Extreme sees signs of recovery within partner-initiated business, outlines shift in focus to long tail partnerships.

Christine Horton

July 14, 2020

3 Min Read
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Extreme Networks says despite an initial drop in partner-initiated business during COVID-19, the vendor is seeing signs of recovery.

Sean Collins, Extreme Networks’ senior director, EMEA channels, said internationally, Extreme is still onboarding 10 new partners a day.

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Extreme Networks’ Sean Collins

“We have 6,000 partners internationally; that hasn’t dropped,” he said. “We looked at the partner-initiated business we have coming in. We had a pretty good level of run rate before we came into lockdown. That did drop by about 30% on partner-initiated business, but we have started to see that creep up now.

“We’re also measuring quotes through our distributors. Comparing it to this time last year, we’re seeing the same array of quotations coming through. So that tells us that there is a recovery happening within the business. We’re not seeing the same level of executed business, but we’re seeing the same level of distributors asking for quotes. We think there is a level of recovery that is occurring; the leading indicators are showing some positive signs.”

Keep up with resources for supporting partners and customers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Elsewhere, Collins admitted that the vendor needed to focus its efforts on its long-tail partner base.

“We think our big growth engine is in our long-tail partners; we’re onboarding them now and we’ve got to improve that journey for those partners. A lot of the time, we probably were focusing on the big partners that were bringing in the main part of that revenue. And you do that to your peril because your long tail continues to grow. So, a lot of our programs focus now on that long tail to bring them some of the benefits that our larger partners have been enjoying.”

Supply Chain Changes

Collins also described how partners are responding to customer demand by pushing for shorter lead times on certain products. This applies particularly to lines that support remote working, such as wireless access points.

However, the exec said large infrastructure projects have slipped.

“The balance is an acceleration to remote working and Wi-Fi product lines, but then large infrastructure projects have moved down. That’s what partners are telling us,” he said. “That’s how we’ve tried to be a little bit more flexible in the way they forecast to us, how we get them supply for those types of products. We’ve seen a change in that supply chain, we’ve had to adapt to that.”

The vendor outlined how its Lending Enablement & Assistance Program (LEAP), rolled out in April, is helping partners. It offers preferential financial terms and guarantees current channel partners maintain their existing competency certifications through 2020. It also provides a portfolio of free online training and other incentives.

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With the pandemic also accelerating my customers’ move to cloud services, Collins said there is “definitely a desire to provide more training information to our partners to help them build their monthly recurring revenue (MRR) practices.”

Unlimited Data

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Extreme Networks’ Abby Strong

Additionally, earlier this month, Extreme began offering ExtremeCloud IQ pilot users access to unlimited data for the lifetime of their subscriptions.

“We will be the only cloud networking vendor that allows our customers access to all data for the entire length of their subscription,” said Abby Strong, VP of product marketing. “We were already going to 90 days. compared to the 30 days that you see as the most common competitive offer. That would give them an entire quarter of look back capability.

“But now [partners] can show an entire years’ worth of PCI compliance, for example. They can look back and say, ‘This is what happened 12 months ago on this particular date for GDPR.’ Partners can build applications that can pull and access that data as needed.”

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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