Extreme Networks CEO On Growing When Competition Is Shrinking: ‘The Evidence Is In The Growth’
While the tech industry suffers from large-scale layoffs, Extreme Networks had record hiring in the last six months. The company’s people and partners, according to CEO Ed Meyercord, are making all the difference and translating into double-digit revenue growth, while displacing the competition.
What areas is Extreme investing in this year?
We’ve made a lot of investments in bringing all of our systems up to be state of the art to make it easier to work with Extreme. All the platforms that we’re building in terms of our cloud platform, ExtremeCloud IQ, and Copilot automation tools, Digital Twin -- all these new technologies to make it easier for our enterprise customers and partners to deliver that high quality networking experience.
We continue to build momentum with ExtremeCloud IQ [cloud management platform]. We have a lot of differentiation in our cloud in terms of flexibility. You can be in AWS, GCP, Azure -- you pick the cloud platform. If you have a preference, we can provide that flexibility in terms of deployment options. With Copilot, we have a lot of enhancements around creating a virtual network environment to build, test [and] configure before you deploy the hardware, which is really innovative. Think about the amount of time, energy and money that saves for customers. If you need to make a change in configuration, or deploy network, then you can do it in the virtual world and then you can just add hardware and auto configure that. It’s a different kind of experience.
The other thing that we’re doing is with our Universal Hardware platforms [which] are the most flexible hardware platforms in the industry. You can buy a single piece of hardware and then you can manage and run different solutions from the same piece of equipment. So, there’s different -- we call them personalities -- that you could run from the same hardware. If you want to just shift and make an adjustment, you don’t have to physically remove hardware if you want to effectively change the solution, if you will. So, it’s this flexible hardware that we call Universal Hardware; we announced that it’s 60 percent of our sales, and that’s going to 90 percent over the course of the next 12 months. It’s been one of the fastest product transitions in our history as we migrated to this super flexible hardware, and then the ability to leverage flexible hardware to solve different problems, all managed from this cloud platform, from the core all the way to the edge, and now we’re extending across the wide area network [WAN]. It’s all about simplifying the experience and supporting customers and delivering this high-quality experience. You’ll probably see us lead the way in Wi-Fi 7 as well. We’re innovating and kind of first to market with the latest Wi-Fi technology and then all of that falls into cloud. Then, you’ll hear us talk about the evolution of SD-WAN and the extension of technologies from the core of the network out across the WAN that we think will be game changers and we have some releases coming up.
A lot of this is just around bringing these end-to-end solutions to enterprise customers, which is this one network, all managed from one cloud. Normally, there are many disparate management systems or platforms that people might use. In this case, we’ve got it all in one cloud. This is going to make it easier for the partner community as well as we pull all this together in a managed service. We are piloting a managed services platform with several partners with the anticipation of opening this up at the end of our fiscal year. These are all the excited things we’re working on, and all these investments are bringing new growth opportunities to Extreme.