Extreme Networks' CEO says the firm does not want to be seen as a mini Cisco as he pledged to exploit the "disruptive" effect of Aruba's acquisition by HPE.
Edward Meyercord said that Aruba has become "disenfranchised" through being acquired by HPE, which may cause the firm's partners to look for alternative networking services.
"We believe the acquisition has resulted in disruption for HPE's partners and so there is an opportunity to exploit," he said.
The firm is looking to expand its operations in the UK and hopes to build on previous successful ventures in UK industries such as healthcare, education, manufacturing and local government.
The CEO explained that Extreme has no intention of simply aping networking heavyweight Cisco, which Meyercord claimed currently holds a 65 per cent share of the global market, and will not target the market leader's entrenched partners as part of its expansion.
"We do not want to be a little Cisco," said Meyercord. "Our target market is below Cisco's interests – we can use our smaller size to our advantage and really focus on wireless networking. I think of us as a 20-year-old start-up company – we spent 19 years selling hardware; we are now dedicated to selling solutions and solving customer issues such as WiFi and connecting lots of different devices."
Last year, Extreme reduced its workforce by 18 per cent, eliminating 285 positions in an effort to cut $40m (€36m) from its annual cost base.
"The lay-offs have proved very beneficial for us, and have allowed us to target a single market rather than spreading ourselves too widely," said Meyercord.
Despite giving Cisco a wide berth in the competitive market, Extreme has hired several execs from the rival firm as part of a large-scale reshuffle. These include Gordon Mackintosh, who joined Extreme Networks in January as senior director of the vendor's worldwide partner organisation, having served more than eight years at the rival company; and Bob Gault, ex-Cisco VP, who joined Extreme as VP of worldwide sales in 2014.
After the US, Extreme's second-highest region of growth is Germany, where its network of partners has offered a firm foothold in the automotive manufacturing and healthcare industries.
"Germany is our largest market in EMEA. It has done some very creative things with the portfolio in manufacturing, healthcare and education," said Norman Rice, Extreme's executive VP of global marketing and corporate development.
"We want to take the German DNA and replicate it. Our success story in Germany was down to a fantastic partner network where we were able to establish an open and intimate relationship with our partners. Why do people buy from us? They buy from us for our customer intimacy."
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