Extreme Networks enables partners with new Broadcom partnership, channel program enhancements

The channel announcements include ExtremeForward, a new MSP program for cloud-driven networking, and a new ExtremeCloud IQ specialization.

Gordon Mackintosh, Extreme Networks’ vice president of worldwide channels

At their annual Partner Summit in San Diego, Extreme Networks has made a series of announcements designed to strengthen their partner community. The broader one, which will impact Extreme customers as well, is a new partnership with Broadcom, which will see Broadcom’s chipset and silicon become the preferred ones for Extreme’s enterprise campus networking solutions. The other is a series of programmatic initiatives for partners, including their new ExtremeForward MSP program for cloud-driven networking.

The Broadcom announcement makes their networking products the preferred ones to power Extreme Networks’ family of access, edge, and campus networking solutions.

“We see a significant opportunity here, although it can be hard to estimate what its impact and ultimate importance will be,” said Abby Strong, Extreme Networks’ VP of Product Marketing. “They are the dominant silicon vendor, and we were built on Broadcom chips, so there is immediate compatibility there. We feel that will resonate with customers and partners, as will the fact that they are flexible, open and built on industry standards.”

Extreme and Broadcom are collaborating on a validated campus networking design that will become available later this year. Extreme will also become a member of Broadcom’s early access and support program, gaining priority access to Broadcom testing, technology, and training. Extreme expects that this will allow them to introduce new networking solutions to the market faster.

As befits a partner event, Extreme also made a flurry of programmatic and enablement-related announcements.

“One of the big ones is ExtremeForward, our MSP program for cloud-driven networking,” said Gordon Mackintosh, Extreme Networks’ vice president of worldwide channels. “This is all about how we accelerate this business moving forward, and to accomplish this we have added a lot of flexibility to the program.”

Extreme will introduce a new ExtremeCloud IQ specialization in January, followed by a new Master Specialization in July 2020 for Applications & Cloud.

“Because partners are at different stages in becoming an MSP, the Extreme Cloud IQ specialization will assist them, including providing consultations to help them build out their business plan,” Mackintosh said. “Compared to some of our other specializations, this one is lighter, and can be described as more of a turnkey specialization.”

Another new element is Extreme Virtual Assistant [EVA], which Mackintosh described as a first of its kind for a partner program.

“This is a chat bot that uses Machine Learning,” he said. “It provides Level One information to partners, things like ‘has my deal registration been approved.’ If it can’t deal with the inquiry, the second level support is human, and we have invested in a new team for that.”

Extreme is also introducing a new platform, Collaborate2Win. It lets partners can identify other partners who have a specific expertise and are willing to team up to sell a complete solution to a customer.

A new Extreme Communities Program (Champions and Heroes) is being introduced to the partner program.

One alteration is being made to Extreme’s rebate programs, a bonus for new portfolio sales within the Diamond Growth Rebate. The Black Diamond Program will also continue into 2020, but with incremental requirements to be cloud-ready.

Finally, Extreme is announcing the Aerohive partners are now being levelled into the Extreme Partner Program. Some elements of the old Aerohive program, such as the lead generation tool, are also coming into the Extreme program as well.

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