By Chiradeep Rao , Regional Director, India & SAARC-Extreme Networks
Extreme Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXTR) is a provider of high-performance Ethernet switching for cloud, data center and mobile networks. Based in Santa Clara, CA, the company with a market cap of $350.76 Million has more than 6,000 customers in more than 50 countries.,/i>
Juggling with hats
Juggling with all the hats that I wear, my initial challenge lies in building the new team and keeping the existing team aligned to focus on large opportunities in the space of data center and enterprise mobility where innovation and change is frequent in the market place.
I also ensure that our messaging goes through our partner community as well. We work with these people on a calendar basis to aid their presales trained on the latest developments in tune with the offerings we make to our customers. Today, a lot of these partners would probably be selling gears from several vendors, so it is important that we get our message and view as a buyer for them. Hence, our current priority is to work on projecting and getting the same end message delivered to the customers that we need.
Making customers happy is a major challenge and we foresee it as an opportunity to grow. We have a quick assessment of support infrastructure and capabilities and a detailed plan that includes the support capabilities to the next level and customer satisfaction details, which helps leverage better business deals.
We are extremely focused on switching and wireless. Within this space we are focused on the data center and mobility space while the larger players have presence across whole range of products and portfolio. We spend around 60 percent of our R&D expenditure into data center switching and these investments are mostly influenced by the trends prevailing in the market.
Among the few trends that the industry is witnessing is the migration to cloud which is happening gradually. To some extend enterprises have built private clouds to different levels of sophistications. Public cloud in India is still in her baby steps. Service providers are currently in the stage of setting infrastructure for public cloud of trying business models for their end customers. Some of the giants are trying out for hybrid clouds but the biggest issue there is of security and management of data. We are still in the adoption stream.
Mobility is another trend shaping the industry. Typically it is driven by access to a data anywhere on any device. But if you need mobility with security levels that are permissible and identity management, you need virtualization to be working at both client end and server levels.
The other trend is Software Defining Network (SDN) which is still in its infancy. This will help bring a certain level of program ability at the software level for networking gear.
The next few years will witness client side mobility becoming mainstream. We have a number of technologies available but being able to smoothen out all the operational issues and getting the confidence of the managers is what will happen in the coming years to make the dream come true.
Challenges to go Cloud
It is multifold and ROI takes the first place where increase productivity or reduced cost is the major concern for any company. No companies want to invest in cloud just for a good architecture.
Security is yet another concern. Most companies have different levels of security policies and access. It is to enable this architecture while complying with the company’s security policy. You have to do a lot in terms of protecting data that you have while centrally ensuring identity management and correct access.
Ensure that you do not cut honors in terms of ensuring that the solution is an end-to-end solution in terms of security perspective. To make this happen, the companies must keep the master access to these data restricted to one certified individual and not many.
Road map Ahead
In the market, big players need a good economy to sail with benefits, while small players like us just have to be intelligent and pick the slots that we want to go after. Since 2008, customers’ attitude has changed. Their wallet has shrunk and they have to do more with less. Unlike early days, they are far more open from the attitude perspective. We want to tap this opportunity and will focus on the things we do not have yet. The enterprise data center and service provider data centers that cater in part with things like clouds and others will be our spotlight. We are seeing data center upgrades and that's yet another tapping point for us.