Extreme Networks CEO: Beating Cisco An ‘Exclamation Mark’ On Fiscal Year 2022
“We’re the right size company to work with. Partners feel like when they work with Extreme they can make a difference and they can influence our decision making. I’m not sure that’s true with our competitors,” Extreme Networks’ CEO Ed Meyercord tells CRN following the end of the company’s record-breaking fiscal 2022.
How big an issue is supply chain in meeting the demand for Extreme’s record bookings?
We have a record backlog now of $513 million [and] from a product perspective, it’s over half of your product. If we look at our funnel of opportunities, which is a leading indicator for us, all the sales teams put in all the opportunities this year, versus where we were last year, we were well into the double-digits again, and that’s a leading indicator of growth for Extreme. So, the strength that we’ve seen is continuing as we turn the corner and we’re more confident today in terms of our ability to step supply up. With all the initiatives taken, the magnitude of our backlog, our teams are calling for sequential steps in the release of supply, which will create 10 to 15 percent of revenue growth. Everyone is talking about this book to bill ratio, which is what are we selling and booking and what are we shipping out. In a normal world, we would be one to one. But we’ve been booking so much more, which is why we’re building the backlog. But what we’re saying is we see this coming together in our fourth [fiscal] quarter of next year. That’s what we think we’ll turn over and then start to actually bring down that load. And that’s what we’re so excited about at Extreme is that we will be by far the fastest growing player in our industry. No one will be close. We’re going to unlock this wave of very high revenue growth.
It also means investment. We’re really excited about what we’re going to be able to do as far as investing in future growth and that that relates to innovation on the product side. We’re innovating with our cloud, we’re coming out with our AIOps, Digital Twin, and CoPilot, our AI/ML tool for higher performance in the network, and then the evolution of our hardware portfolio with the continuation of universal platforms. The most flexible hardware in the industry for the enterprise. All of these are kind of coming together — the fabric, the core, the campus — and then the extension of fabric out to the edge, all managed with our cloud. Then, with SD-WAN we’ve just launched, now we can extend beyond the campus, across the wide area network, from the same. And that’s the difference between us and everyone else. People have the capability to some degree, but with Extreme, you can manage all this with one cloud.