Mumbai: The San Jose based networking major Extreme Networks in the past two years has strengthened its networking capabilities and expanded its solution and product portfolio through some key acquisitions.
Between 2016-2018, Extreme Networks made three acquisitions in the networking technology space. These include Zebra Technologies’ wireless LAN (WLAN), Brocade’s data center networking business and Avaya’s networking business.
These three buyouts have given the edge to Extreme Networks over its rivals across markets including India in terms of company’s overall business, solution and product portfolio, customers, partners and industry segments.
“If you look at from global as well as India perspective, we have seen a plethora of customer acquisitions in the last one and a half year – one is by the virtue of brand acquisitions, which we have done. And I would be very right in saying that in last one year we were able to integrate these solutions very much into our portfolio,” said Subhasish Gupta, Extreme Networks’ Regional Director – India & SAARC.
“What I mean is that we follow a very strong software suite, which is a part of our overall solution and all these brand acquisitions which we have done, they are all well integrated with our software suite,” added Gupta.
The acquisitions have led to an addition of new enterprise accounts and customers in PSUs and Utility space, forming alliances with new channel partners and system integrators (SI) as well as new business opportunities and acceptance of Extreme Networks.
“We are seeing good opportunities and higher acceptance in these customer portfolio to go ahead and do cross selling of our other solutions,” said Gupta.
New partners and partnerships
According to Gupta, many of these partners were never Extreme Networks’ partners. “For instance, lets say VPI — they were never our partners, but when we acquired Zebra’s WLAN business, they become a very logical extension of our partnership program and have well integrated in last one year with us. They play in a very specific logistics customer base,” informed Gupta.
The company is also banking on such specialize partners and system integrators to make inroads into the markets by building good relationships with them.
Although, these brand buyouts have made a positive impact on Extreme Networks’ business globally, according to Gupta, but the company had to address customers’ concerns and apprehensions that became its customers through the acquisition route.
From a customer perspective, there’s always these concerns of post technology product sales support and services, which even becomes more crucial in situations like acquisitions. Possibilities of discontinuation of support and services or even products by the acquiring company can’t be ruled out and it directly impacts the existing customers.
“Yes, this question is valid because initially there was some amount of apprehension these customers had when Extreme acquired Brocade’ data center business,” admitted Gupta.
“Now in all earnest, our idea was to keep as much comfort to the existing customers, so that they don’t have any apprehensions moving forward and more or less I would say, we have been able to handle that pretty well,” said Gupta.
In case of Brocade’s data center business buyout, Extreme Networks focused on scaling up expertise and skills required for data center and also it hired people. That’s how the company has successfully addressed apprehensions of customers and hold on to most of the existing customers, explained Gupta.
Many of the data center players like Netmagic and NxtGen along with enterprises like Axis Securities, SBI Capital and other are Brocade customers but now they are Extreme Networks customers. “These enterprise customers continue to buy and invest now in Extreme,” added Gupta.
Future product roadmap
Interestingly, post the brand buyouts, company has re-branded the acquired products to Extreme Networks however it hasn’t discontinued any of them.
In fact, as far as the future roadmap of these different product lines is concerned, Gupta informed that company has continued to follow the product roadmap without any changes, but it has made further enhancements in terms of features, integration and functionalities.
Bullish on Indian market
Although, Extreme Networks has been in India since 2003 with a R&D lab in Chennai, the three acquisitions has also strengthened its sales and R&D capabilities here. Now the company has three more R&D labs focused on different technologies and overall strength of 850 people in India.
“From India business perspective, we are seeing a very solid traction with customers. So our business has grown around 32% over the last year (Y-o-Y) and we believe that now we are in a solid position to get into a very high business growth in the country,” said Gupta.
“When we acquire businesses, it takes time to build skill sets and so we have taken some time to build skills and hold the existing customers. So from here, I don’t see any reason why we should not see a very strong revenue growth for Extreme in India,” pointed out Gupta.
However, compared to other OEMs like Cisco and HPE, Extreme Networks hasn’t able to fortify its position in the Indian market. “If you look at Cisco and HPE kind of OEMs, they still have certain market shares but Extreme doesn’t have market share in this country, which is close to a billion dollar in market size. So I am pretty bullish that in the next two years, if we do our act properly, we should able to get into market share,” concluded Gupta.