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Extreme Networks Channel Chief On How The Aerohive Deal Will Drive More Subscription Services And Transform Partners Into MSPs

‘We want to capture the transition in the market. Subscriptions and cloud offers up the opportunity for partners to fine-tune solutions on an ongoing basis to support the customer, so we want to drive as much subscription business as possible where it makes sense,’ Extreme Networks' channel leader Gordon Mackintosh tells CRN.

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What are Extreme's plans for its channel strategy moving forward?

We are investing more in channels in terms of people, platforms, and programs going into our fiscal year 2020, which has just started. We are going to have more partner account managers in the field working with our larger partners to develop them and help them build out their capabilities, and in turn, help us go after new customers. We are also in the process of setting up an insight partner account manager team so that any partner of any size can always get some support and have someone to help grow their business with them.

We are investing heavily in platforms, enablement, and e-learning training systems. We are enriching our content and we are adding the Aerohive content, which is a really unique, gamified learning experience for partners that is very different than anything else I've seen in the industry. We are also going to be laser-focused on driving frictionless sales for our partners. As part of that transformation strategy, the final phase of that is going live soon and partners will be able to place orders based on their level in the partner program without any touch from Extreme. Lastly, we are going to focus on taking that new technology in our portfolio to new customers, so we are going to make improvements in our MDF [marketing development funds] processes and tools and adding new campaigns. In summary, we are adding resources to align our partner opportunities and help them specialize and build new capabilities. We see partners specializing in Extreme Networks growing faster -- sometimes 10-15 percent faster than the partners that aren't -- so we'll continue to double down on that.

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