Extreme partners: Avaya’s networking business purchase a ‘solid move’

Middle East-based Extreme Networks partners upbeat acquisition will open up more opportunities for them

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Extreme partners: Avaya’s networking business purchase a ‘solid move’ Weston ME Group managing director Steve Lockie, says the planned acquisition puts the company in a perfect position to use its expertise, supply capabilities and services to support the Avaya partners.
By  Manda Banda Published  March 9, 2017

Extreme Networks channel partners in the Middle East have expressed optimism about the vendor's plans to purchase Avaya's Networking business assets for $100m in which Extreme will serve as the primary bidder in a section 363 sales under the Bankruptcy Code.

The deal once finalised, will generate over $200m in annual revenue for Extreme Networks, the company stated.

Avaya filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 19th January, 2017, to restructure the burden of debt which has been following the unified communications vendor for nearly a decade since it was acquired for $8.2bn in 2007 from private equity firms Silver Lake Partners and TPG Capital.

After the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Avaya partners were quick in showing support for the vendor saying it was the right move to getting the company back on track.

Manish Bakshi, director, at Dubai-based systems integration firm MDS PACC, an Avaya networking business partner, said that: "We are really excited to be a part of a larger pure-play networking brand. We strongly believe this development will be great for our systems integration business as it opens up a much larger market segment for us."

Bakshi added that Avaya has been a leader in the campus arena with its cutting edge Fabric technology, while Extreme Networks leads in the consolidation and data centre segment. "This purchase along with the recent acquisition of Zebra's WLAN business unit makes Extreme Networks potentially the third largest networking company in the world," he enthused. "We are looking forward to the opportunities this opens for us."

Channel partners say Extreme's purchase of Avaya's Networking business is a solid move that will help renew competition in the enterprise networking space with the likes of Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell EMC.

"What Extreme Networks is doing is a solid move and a step in the right direction," said one senior executive, whose company resells both Avaya and Extreme networking solutions but declined to be identified. "I hope now, the Extreme Networks channel team will be bolstered once the deal goes through and we will begin to see greater channel visibility like Avaya has in the Middle East."

Steve Lockie, group managing director at Westcon Middle East Group, an Avaya and Extreme Networks value-added distributor (VAD), said this is good news for Westcon as the company knows the Avaya channel very well and haa a long standing, strong relationship with Extreme Networks. "This puts us in a perfect position to use our expertise, supply capabilities and services to support the Avaya partners as they start familiarising themselves with working with Extreme," he said.

Lockie added that the planned acquisition provides confidence to Westcon's Avaya channel partners and their customers that their Avaya infrastructure investment is now owned by an organisation that specialises in providing high quality and high performance networks. "This can only be good news for end user customers, channel partners and Westcon," he said.

Ed Meyercord, president and CEO, Extreme Networks said when the announcement was made that the addition of Avaya's networking business is consistent with the company's growth strategy and will broaden Extreme's enterprise solutions capabilities by complementing its product portfolio across vertical markets."Furthermore, we expect the Avaya business to generate over $200m in annual revenue, increase our market share and offer new opportunities for our customers," Meyercord said in a statement.

He added that although the agreement is subject to required approvals, the timing of which is uncertain, the company expects the combined businesses can achieve synergies and provide accretion to Extreme's fiscal 2018 earnings and cash flow.

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