Extreme Networks has set its sights on being the "alternative" to the likes of Cisco after completing the acquisition of Avaya's networking buisness, according to UK and Benelux regional director Sean Collins.
Extreme completed its $100m (£77m) acquisition of Avaya's networking division earlier this week to conclude a deal which it expects to add an extra $200m to its top line in the first 12 months.
Extreme Networks will integrate its recently acquired Avaya networking business into a new partner programme that is set to launch in January, according to UK and Benelux sales director Sean Collins.
Collins revealed to CRN that Extreme will continue operating the acquired networking business through the Avaya channels for the first couple of months, before launching a partner programme combining the existing Extreme components and the Avaya business in January.
"We have entered into a transition services agreement with Avaya. So until the end of September we will continue to do business through the Avaya channels. That will enable us to speak with the partner base and understand some of the operational aspects of the way they do business and see if we can hopefully keep them as they are, if not improve them," he said.
"The plan is that they will continue on the Avaya partner programme, so that business continues. The only element that is different is that the quotes will be separate from the UC (unified communications) business of Avaya and those from Extreme.
"They will still have access to all the same products so that makes it very simple for them."
Collins said that the two partner programmes are likely to run side by side until the end of the year, when a combined programme will launch.
Extreme currently has around 200 partners in the UK and is expecting to see an additional 120 partners join the programme, Collins said.
"The plan is that at the beginning of January we'll have a unified programme that will take the best from the Avaya partner programme and the Extreme Networks programme.
"We're waiting that long because we have another acquisition [Brocade's networking business] in the train so we want to make sure that we do this one unified programme at once."
Alongside the acquisitions Extreme Networks is set to move to larger premises in its native Green Park, Reading, and will hire a larger channel team as it looks to move closer to the industry leaders.
"We're still relatively small," said Collins. "We're not [among] the Ciscos and HPs but our ambition is certainly to be the alternative to them and that's creating a lot of groundswell."
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