10 Things Partners Need To Know About Extreme's New Partner Program

The New Extreme

Partners hailing from Avaya, Brocade Communications and Zebra Technologies cheered as Extreme Networks unveiled its new Partner Program today at Extreme Global Partner Summit in Orlando, Fla.

"They're significantly increasing their value in the field with this. It's absolutely great news for partners," said James Marsh, chief revenue officer and owner of Carousel Industries, an Exeter, R.I.-based Extreme partner, ranked No. 61 on CRN's 2017 Solution Provider 500 list.

The San Jose, Calif.-based networking vendor's new program seeks to unify and simplify things for the channel following its acquisitions of Avaya's networking business, Zebra Technologies wireless LAN technology, and planned purchase of Brocade's data center business. Here are the 10 things partners need to know.


A major theme in the Extreme Partner Program is an emphasis on cross-selling its new product portfolio, which includes Brocade's switching, routing and analytics data center technology, Avaya's switching fabric and Zebra's WiNG software, to name a few. Extreme has also acquired several large customers, such as Wal-mart and FedEX, through the acquisitions that opens the door to partners in new accounts.

Many of Extreme's new incentives, specializations, training and programs are geared towards partners selling into new verticals and accounts as well as end-to-end solutions.

Proposal-Based MDF Program

Extreme is now offering proposal-based market development funds, called Extreme Development Funds. The vendor said this will make it easier for partners to customize marketing efforts and grow their customer base.

"Our partners will be able to build more strategic plans with us, access more money to develop enablement and demand generation around going after new customers or possibly starting to sell a different part of the portfolio that they don't sell today," said Gordon Mackintosh, senior director of Extreme's Worldwide Partner Organization.

Three Partner Levels, Not Four

Extreme has condensed its partner levels from four, to three. The top partner tier is Diamond, followed by Gold and Authorized.

More Upfront Discounts, Less Specialized Pricing

Extreme is increasing upfront discounts in an effort to reduce special pricing. The majority of the vendor's business is transacted through special pricing.

Mackintosh said upfront discounts for Diamond partners will increase 8 points to 50 percent, while Gold partners will see a 6-point jump to 48 percent. "It will be easy for the partners [because] they don’t have to wait for special pricing. It will give them differentiated pricing as well, depending on the level," he said. The new program will also offer 19.5 percent in backend rebates for partners.

Free Exotic Trips

Extreme is launching its second Ultimate Warrior Partner Incentive Program with the goal of pushing partners to sell new technologies they haven't sold before. The program offers prizes and free exotic trips to Diamond and Gold level partners who meet certain growth requirements and sell more of the Extreme portfolio.

The first Ultimate Warrior winners received a free VIP trip for two on safari in Kenya. Extreme is still discussing where the trip will be for the winners of the second Ultimate Warrior program.

New Specializations

Extreme is launching eight new specializations: Extreme Wireless Access, Extreme Data Centre, Extreme Software, Extreme Campus Switching, Extreme Networks, Master Data Centre Automation, Master Campus Automation and Master Enterprise Automation.

The idea is to smoothly on-board Brocade, Avaya and Zebra partners into these specializations.

"View these as part of an integration strategy where we pull in all the training from Brocade, for example, into one place. … The partners who are already specialized can continue to do that, and they'll get that specialization automatically," said Mackintosh. "Also, for a partner that's not selling [a specific] technology but wants to get into it, they'll see exactly what needs to be done in terms of training and enablement."

Extreme Talk Tracks

Extreme Talk Tracks is a new cloud-based offering that helps partners navigate the sales conversation with customers. The software gives partners case studies, insights, exclusive content, videos and answers questions on selling in specific industry verticals. Talk Tracks is open to all partners.

"The cool thing about it is, after the conversation takes place, the person giving the conversation can rate the effectiveness of the conversation and recommend updates to Talk Track to make it better. So we can see what's resonating and what's working all over the world so we can fine-tune sales conversations through the cloud very quickly to ensure our salesforce and our partner salesforce have the best message as possible," said Mackintosh.

Next-Generation Partner Portal

Partners tout Extreme's next-generation Unified Partner Portal as a platform where partners can set up alerts, receive training and tailor marketing content based on their specific business needs. Extreme insight account managers also have access to the portal and can push relevant information to partners. The portal offers a one-stop-shop for marketing leads, deal registration and global concierge.

Internet of Things Program

Extreme is launching a new Business Transformation Program aimed to match partners to potential Internet of Things opportunitiesaimed at matching partners to potential Internet of Things opportunities. The vendor has been working with a company identifying digital consultants who advise organizations on digital transformation in regard to IoT. Extreme will seek partners who specialize in a certain vertical who have an IoT deployment or two under their belt.

"What we're trying to do is sort of like a dating service. We're trying to match our channel with their vertical IoT expertise to a set of consultants who will be engaging the customer on these digital transformation products," said Mackintosh.

Self-Paced, Continuous Online Training

Extreme said it's honoring existing training certifications in the new program, while enabling partners to participate in self-paced online training to ensure they stay certified on an ongoing basis.

"This means that they don't have the mad panic where they lose a certification and it effects a rebate, and then they have to send someone out to the field for a couple of weeks. Our training is going to be self-paced and ongoing. So they're going to be continuously learning with Extreme and stay certified," said Mackintosh.