Channel Talent: Extreme Networks Senior VP Pete Doolittle
First, the big picture: Even before Doolittle arrived, Extreme Networks has been plenty busy in 2019. Key moves include:
- acquiring Aerohive Networks for cloud-managed wireless LAN services;
- partnering more deeply with Broadcom; and
- unveiling ExtremeCloud IQ — a cloud- based management platform for Aerohive (now) and Extreme wired switches (January 2020).
Doolittle is certainly familiar with Extreme Networks’ target markets. At Cisco Systems over the past decade or so, he was deeply involved with enterprise networking sales; Cisco Meraki wireless solutions; and SD-WAN sales.
Now, Doolittle will apply his know-how as senior VP of Americas sales at Extreme Networks. But where exactly will he focus his near- and long-term partner efforts? This interview with ChannelE2E, conducted over email, provides some answers.
ChannelE2E: What attracted you to Extreme Networks?
Doolittle: The networking industry is approaching a critical inflection point — customers and partners are tiring of restrictive incumbent offerings, and are demanding smarter alternatives.
They want the network to be an intelligent, self-optimizing business driver – not static plumbing. They want the ability to choose from best-of-breed solutions and flexible delivery models that drive innovation and enable delivery of meaningful business outcomes, versus monolithic technology stacks and confusing/trapping licensing models that keep them beholden to a single vendor.
With the recent acquisitions that Extreme has made to build an end-to-end enterprise networking portfolio, and its strategic focus on cloud, Extreme is in a unique position to offer true choice, flexibility and investment protection to our customers, unlike many of our competitors.
ChannelE2E: What are your key priorities for the first 90 days on the job?
Doolittle: As the company goes through a rapid migration to a software and cloud-led company, we need to set in motion an evolved GTM that focuses Extreme around a few key tenants. At the core, we want to take a consulting approach by truly understanding customer business drivers, their digital transformation goals, and then marrying their vision to our technology solutions. We have the ability to provide a seamless migration from their current Extreme/Aerohive solutions and/or competitive solutions to our platform with minimal disruption, while offering complete investment protection throughout the process.
ChannelE2E: What are your longer-term priorities, particularly as they pertain to partners?
Doolittle: Our partners are always looking for opportunities for new revenue sources. Historically, partners in our industry have been forced to take complex networking products and work hard to optimize the management, design and deployment of those platforms. We are taking major strides to make the connectivity layer much easier to deploy, manage and optimize, and we are looking forward to providing a trail map for our partners to enhance their revenue options by accelerating their ability to provide full-stack managed services and application development on our platforms. This will allow our partners to provide another value chain for their customers and become more sticky and profitable as we collectively drive major business outcomes for end customers.
ChannelE2E: Are there particular types of partners (size, focus, business model, vertical, etc.) that you’re seeking to engage?
Doolittle: Extreme has recently revamped our sales team to be verticalized, focusing on:
- Public Sector (State & Local Government, Federal, Education);
- Sports & Entertainment; and
We’re innovating rapidly and building customer-focused go-to-market motions around each of those fields.
ChannelE2E: Any other key points partners should keep in mind?
Doolittle: It is an exciting time to be at Extreme. The company is fully committed to the cloud as a transformation vehicle. We’re aligned and focused on providing solutions, offers and motions that will set up our customers and partners for success as they continue to provide new and exciting services to their customers and employees.