Extreme Networks kicks off Connect Virtual event with major AI expansion through ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot

Extreme also announced the Extreme 9000 series, a new carrier grade product, and senior leadership changes which include Canadian market lead Paul Semak being promoted to SVP of Americas sales, adding the U.S. to management of Canada and Latin America.

Today, Extreme Networks begins the first day of their Extreme Connect Virtual event, the third annual version of their user conference. They made a pair or product announcements, with the one having the broader appeal to partners being the public beta of ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot, an expansion of their unified management platform’s AI capabilities through a new subscription level. They also announced the Extreme 9000 series, featuring the Extreme 9920 intelligent network visibility platform, a new offering for the service provider market.

Extreme also chose the event to formally announce some changes to their senior sales leadership. The big one for the North American channel is that Paul Semak, who had been VP Sales and Operations Americas International – managing Canada and Latin America – has been named as Senior Vice President of Americas Sales. He keeps his old roles for the present, but adds the U.S. to them.

Semak is a two-decade plus Cisco Canada veteran, who was recruited to Extreme in late 2018.

“A replacement will likely be named at some point for the Canada and Latin American management role,” said Joe Vitalone, Extreme’s Chief Revenue Officer, to whom Semak now reports.

The other major appointment announcement was Jeff Hurmuses as Vice President of APJC Sales.

The new ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot, is designed to deliver explainable artificial intelligence insights for IT network administrators, so that they can quickly resolve well-known but highly complex issues.

Joe Vitalone, Extreme’s Chief Revenue Officer

“Co-Pilot is an analytics tool that improves the quality of service, and tells you about problems before they become serious,” Vitalone said. “Co-Pilot looks into the network, and can fix it in a timely fashion.”

Because ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot is calibrated against an array of negative test cases, it is 99% false alarm free. This lets IT teams trust the validity of recommendations and spend less time on manual reviews.

“The driving of efficiencies into the network also lets you see what normal really looks like,” Vitalone added.

Vitalone also stressed that ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot embodies the broader ‘infinite enterprise’ theme that is a major focus of this year’s  Extreme Connect.

“You will hear a lot at Connect this year about the Infinite Enterprise, where work isn’t a place you go to, but a thing that you do,” he said.

Vitalone said that Extreme will continue to add feature functionality to CoPilot after the beta, when what they charge for it will also be determined. He does think that demand will be broad, because it fits a broad range of customer profiles.

“We think our service providers, MSPs, and customers large and small will be able to use it, as it is part of the Infinite Enterprise that allows support of the home with the same level of service as if people were in the office,” he stated.

The public beta will conclude in late 2021.

The other product announcement from the event, the introduction of the Extreme 9000 series, is a very strategic one for the company, but will impact relatively few partners compared to ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot.

“Extreme SLX has been our Go-to product in that environment, and Verizon in the U.S. is a major user of it,” Vitalone said. The 9000 series differs in being the first generation of cellular technologies built on cloud-native principles, specifically to address 5G use cases, many of which are still undefined. That requires a composable solution is flexible enough to be adjusted for specific purposes.

“It provides highly scalable traffic aggregation, brokers packets, filters data that needs to be sent on for analytics and down on CPU energy and space,” Vitalone said. “But it is a carrier grade product, and not a product for most of the channel.”

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