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Extreme starts anew after Enterasys buy

Jim Duffy | Nov. 27, 2013
Now that Extreme Networks has closed its acquisition of Enterasys, it's time to focus on the task at hand as a company twice its previous size.

"We will continue to support and develop a chip strategy going forward depending on what's already in the next generation of development for CoreFlow2, as well as what we see happening in merchant silicon," Berger said. "It depends on the state of merchant silicon down the road as well as next-generation CoreFlow2."

With all of this new technology, Extreme plans to focus intently on the wired/wireless convergence opportunity in the campus, as well as Big Data applications in the data center. Eighty percent of the combined company's revenues come from the campus and it has enjoyed some high-profile wins emphasizing mobility and BYOD: the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and its Liberty Financial Field home; and  Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.

"This is a trend throughout sports arenas that we will put a heavy emphasis on," Berger said. The combined company plans to grow better than the 6% to 8% rate for wired campus infrastructure, and the 20% to 25% rate for wireless.

"We will put significant emphasis on [what] Enterasys as a standalone company was not able to do," he says.

Data center infrastructure, meanwhile, is growing north of 50% and Extreme plans to map its own data center growth right along with that. Its new Summit X770 top-of-rack switch is targeted at Big Data applications, and the company plans to unveil 100G Ethernet switching in the first half of next year for Internet Exchange Point customers, Berger said.

Extreme will also converge its own OpenFabric software-defined network architecture with Enterasys' OneFabric scheme as the product lines come together over the next 18 to 24 months.

All of this opportunity with a combined Enterasys/Extreme company began to happen in the first days of Berger's job as Extreme CEO."Gores Group decided to sell Enterasys to someone as fast as they could," he said. "So the opportunity was presented to me literally on my first week on the job -- my third day on the job."

Berger, who earlier in his career did stints at Apple, Sun and Nuance among others, had just decided to come onboard as Extreme CEO after conducting some due diligence on the company.

"The consistent feedback I heard is that we have excellent hardware and operating system technology," he said. "I could not find one person that would not tell me that the technology was not only good but at the head of the pack in the industry."

It didn't hurt that Extreme also had $200 million cash on hand and a loyal installed base of several thousand customers.  

"It looked like a formula for success," Berger said.

He says it's now time for Extreme to end many years of cost cutting and start investing again in lead generation, marketing, service and support... and acquisitions.


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