Extreme Networks seeks to soothe Avaya customers, partners with consistency pledge

Avaya customers are assured of consistency in service support, Avaya partners will be invited into the Extreme channel program, and further details on platform integration will be disclosed beginning with another webinar after the Avaya deal closes on July 1.

Norman Rice, Extreme’s EVP of Global Marketing, Supply Chain, & Corporate Development

A month ago, Extreme Networks announced that it had won the bid in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Avaya’s networking business. That acquisition, coming on the heels of Extreme’s earlier acquisition of the former Motorola Wireless LAN assets from Zebra Technologies, and their pending acquisition of Brocade’s data centre assets, is part of a focused strategy to challenge both Cisco and HPE in the enterprise. Many Avaya customers and partners have a natural concern about Extreme’s plan for the Avaya assets, however. So to deal with this, today Extreme held a webinar aimed at the customers and partners of Avaya – as well as those from Brocade. It was the first of three scheduled webinars regarding the integration plans for these two companies.

“Enterprises are less risk-tolerant than service providers,” said Norman Rice, Extreme Networks’ EVP of Global Marketing, Supply Chain, & Corporate Development, whose role in the company includes strategy around M&As. “Extreme is focused on the enterprise, and we believe we are positioned well to help them in their transition, because our service and support is the best in the industry.”

Rice said that this webinar is designed to begin the process of communication with the customers, partners and employees of both Avaya and Brocade.

“We will have another webinar after Avaya closes on July 1, and a third on August 12 when we close on Brocade,” he stated. “It’s all about consistency of communication.”

One key roadmap element that was not in this webinar is the future technology plans for the acquired assets.

“What we are announcing now is that what has been in Avaya’s public plan will be supported,” Rice said. “Addition details about how the platforms will converge will be in the next two webinars.”

Rice said that the overarching message in this webinar is assuring all the stakeholders that stability will be the watchword in the integration.

“The investments you have made are safe,” Rice said in addressing customers. “We will support the existing technology and published road maps because they are already GA or in development.

“Customers also want to ensure their investments are protected, so we will offer them full investment protection through their warranties and service support,” he added. “After closing, Avaya purchases will be mapped to Extreme to provide either the equal coverage they were receiving from Avaya, or better coverage from Extreme. They will receive the better of the two warranties. All Avaya support contracts will be transferred to Extreme as is and will be honored accordingly. After closing, support and services will be mapped to Extreme to again provide customers with the best option.”

Former Avaya channel partners will be rapidly integrated into the Extreme Networks partner program.

“We believe this program is substantially better than what they have now,” Rice said