Extreme Networks buys Infovista’s Ipanema SD-WAN business to accelerate Infinite Enterprise strategy

Extreme sees Ipanema’s cloud-native SD-WAN technology as significantly fortifying their existing SD-WAN capabilities, and as strengthening their Infinite Enterprise strategy.

Calvin Rowland, SVP of SaaS at Extreme Networks

Extreme Networks has announced their intent to acquire a newly created entity called Ipanematech SAS, which has been the SD-WAN division of Infovista since Infovista acquired Ipanema in 2015. While Extreme already had SD-WAN capabilities, this augments those with new cloud-managed SD-WAN solutions. The sale was for approximately $73 million, in cash, and the deal is expected to close in October 2021.

“We are not just buying an SD-WAN business, or an SD-WAN technology in isolation,” said Calvin Rowland, SVP of SaaS at Extreme Networks. “This is an accelerant for our vision of delivering the Infinite Enterprise, and accelerates our road map, in the same way that our acquisition of Aerohive did. What’s critical is using this technology for the Infinite Enterprise strategy.”

Extreme defined their Infinite Enterprise strategy earlier this year, their technology vision which supports a modern organization that must be able to extend anywhere and everywhere. This requires a cloud-driven, end-to-end enterprise networking strategy, with solutions from the wireless and IoT edge to the data centre.

Rowland, who joined Extreme a month ago to drive the market for their SaaS business after spending 20 years at F5, said that the decision to acquire the Ipanema technology followed a long survey of what was available in the market.

“We looked at more than one vendor, and finally zeroed in on them,” he indicated. “We evaluated the company from both a technology and a talent perspective, and the talent was part of the attraction. They have a strong Centre of Excellence, which is located in Paris, like Ipanema’s main offices.”

Rowland stressed that the technology is a strong fit.

“They are cloud native and fit nicely into our Extreme Cloud strategy,” he said. “Their solution automatically and dynamically adjusts traffic flows based on network conditions, and you need that for our Infinite Enterprise. It also provides complete visibility to all the devices being managed. We believe that this accelerates our ability to best serve customers.”

One area of possible concern is that when Ipanema was acquired in 2015, their market was essentially very large telcos. InfoVista stated several times over the years their intention to broaden that Go-to-Market strategy. The last time ChannelBuzz talked with them, in 2019, they stated that a top priority was to expand into the 1000-5000 seat market, particularly through the MSP channel. None of this happened, however.

“They are on the cusp of being ready to spin up their Go-to-Market, but they haven’t yet,” Rowland noted.

He is however, confident that Extreme will have more success than InfoVista did at this, because of Extreme’s track record.

“We have been very effective at tucking technologies into what is now our Infinite Enterprise strategy,” Rowland said. “We are good at Go-to-Market, and have over 50,000 customers. So we are not just hoping we will be successful. Our anticipation of success is based on our history.”

Extreme will make selling Ipanema as a SaaS offering the focus of their Go-to-Market.

“Extreme has been very clear about its intent to grow with cloud and SaaS and the XaaS model,” Rowland indicated. “We are making progress and starting to be rewarded with that. Ipanema had a more diverse strategy, including a small direct organization that worked with partners. So they have a mix of the XaaS model and direct channel touch.

“Their channel includes large telcos like Orange and BT, as well as GSI relationships, and those are of interest to us, needless to say,” Rowland added. “We bring to the table a more capable channel and partner program. They have a few small partners with SD WAN efficacy, so there may be some augmentation of our existing program there.” That is particularly the case because Ipanema, as a French based company, is relatively stronger in Europe.

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