Extreme Networks Closes Avaya Acquisition

Extreme Networks CEO emphasizes his confidence that he can succeed where Avaya failed.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Jul 21, 2017
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Extreme Networks closed on its acquisition of networking assets from Avaya this week. Extreme emerged as the winning bidder for Avaya's enterprise networking business unit in a deal valued at $100 million. Avaya had itself acquired the enterprise networking business from Nortel Networks for $900 million in December 2009.

In a webinar detailing the how the newly combined assets from Avaya would be integrated with Extreme Networking, CEO Ed Meyercord emphasized that the plan was to have as little disruption as possible for clients.

Meyercord recounted that it was just over a year ago that he had his first conversation with Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy about the networking assets. Kennedy told Meyercord that the networking business was a solid area, to which Meyercord retorted asking if that was the case, why was Avaya selling it?

Meyercord said that Kennedy noted that the problem at Avaya is focus and much of the company's efforts have been in Unified Communications and not networking.

In contrast Meyercord emphasized that Extreme is all about networking.

"We're really excited to be focused on networking," Meyercord said. "This is our sweet spot and this is all that we're doing and we're focused."

With bringing on Avaya's technology, Meyercord said that Extreme Networks will now have over 3,000 employees and well over 30,000 customers. The plan is to have all of the existing Avaya products become Extreme product, with new branding to roll out as new devices are built.

Dan Dulac, VP of Product Management and Marketing at Extreme Networks detailed a comprehensive roadmap of innovations that the combined company is planning over the remainder of 2017.

Among the new product set to debut is the VSP 8600 which is an extension of the popular Virtual Services switching platform from Avaya. Extreme's X690 high-density 10/100G switch is also set for an update in September 2017 providing more power to customers.

Extreme also plans on updating its ExtremeCloud management solution to provide integrated wired and wireless cloud management of networking gear from both Avaya and Extreme.

The other big item on Extreme Networks roadmap is the acquisition of data center networking assets from Brocade in a deal valued at $55 million that was first announced in March 2017, but has not yet closed.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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