Extreme Networks To Buy Enterasys For $180M, Double Its Size


Enterasys itself sees Extreme's acquisition as a positive move.

"I look at it as a triple-double here," said Enterasys Chief Marketing Officer Vala Afshar. "You're talking doubling our revenue -- there is a $600 million to $700 million potential synergy between the two companies -- and you're doubling the number of customers. It's fascinating that two companies can compete in the same market for so long and yet have minimal overlap [between customer base]. So you're doubling the revenue, you're doubling the customers and, what's really exciting, is that you're doubling the talent pool."

Both Extreme and Enterasys, which have roughly 700 and 1,300 partners worldwide, respectively, said the acquisition spells good news for the channel.

Afshar said the companies are still working out the details around channel executive teams and what the combined Enterasys-Extreme partner program will look like. He did say, however, an "integration team" will be put into place to navigate the integration of both Enterasys' and Extreme's product portfolios and channels.

"[Extreme] is committed to their channel; we're committed to our channel and partners who invest in us, and, ultimately, once the close is official, certainly the combined company will support both companies' combined portfolio," Afshar said. "It just doesn't make sense for either company to naturally disrupt the current portfolio. We have committed and loyal customers and partners."

Extreme's Caragol agreed, and said she expects minimal channel conflict between Enterasys and Extreme partners, given how little overlap there is between the companies' customers.

"For Extreme partners, it's business as usual. Until the integration is finalized, everyone needs to continue to drive their own solutions," Caragol said. "Over time, as the companies come together, we will look at reference architectures for the right customer opportunities and will publish those in time, along with an entire enablement and training plan for partners."

Paul Maier, senior vice president of product technology and president of the S1 IT data division at ConvergeOne, an Eagan, Minn.-based solution provider, said the Extreme's acquisition of Enterasys will help him bulk up his product portfolio, particularly around wireless and deep packet inspection solutions.

"From a partner standpoint, this provides additional scale as well as capability and technology investment opportunity for Extreme, which can ultimately only benefit the customer," Maier said. "ConvergeOne is really focused on providing best-of-breed solutions for our customers with a full-service. ... I think the addition of the Enterasys wireless capability and deep packet inspection together with the Extreme switching excellence are going to give us a much broader solution set for our customers."

Maier said he's not concerned about competition from Enterasys partners, as the two channels merge.

"I see it being much more complementary than competitive," Maier said. "I think it has a lot of upside for the customer and for us as a partner."

Chip Thompson, general manager at LevelOne Technology, a Waco, Texas-based solution provider and Enterasys partner, also views the deal as a win.

"In general, for LevelOne, I think it's good thing," Thompson said. "[Extreme and Enterasys] both have their market segments where they are very strong, and from what I've read, combining the Extreme data center pieces with Enterasys' single-pane-of-glass network management, wireless and edge [products], I think it will be a good fit."

PUBLISHED SEPT. 12, 2013