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Extreme Networks Channel Leader On Beating Cisco And HPE Aruba On Simplicity, Profitability With New Partner Program

Extreme Networks channel chief Gordon Mackintosh said his company is using recent acquisitions and a new, combined partner program to gain ground on Cisco and HPE Aruba.

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All The Ingredients

After closing three major acquisitions in 2017 to the tune of $210 million, Gordon Mackintosh, Extreme Networks' senior director of the vendor's worldwide partner organization, is using the company's newly combined channel program to gain ground on rivals like Cisco Systems and HPE Aruba.

Mackintosh says that since launching Jan. 1, the program has already begun attracting Cisco and HPE Aruba partners looking for better margins and relief from the partner-on-partner battles and distracting technology strategies that come with larger vendors' programs.

Extreme's program took what Mackintosh considers the best elements of Avaya, Brocade and Zebra Technologies after Extreme acquired networking assets from each company.

"We've integrated four partner programs into one unified partner program," Mackintosh said. "I got to see all the ingredients all the companies were using and what was working well and took the best pieces of each of them."

Mackintosh then organized the program into three tiers – Authorized, Gold and Diamond – with an exclusive Black Diamond designation for partners that drive significant new business revenue. The result is a program that focuses on partner enablement and profitability without resorting to an inflexible one-size-fits-all approach.

What follows is an edited excerpt of Mackintosh's conversation with CRN.

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