“We want to continue our strong commitment to our channel base”
What are the latest channel initiatives that you have announced in India?
We launched our channel partner programme in India in March 2009. The channel partner programme enhancements include many innovative loyalty schemes, such as the introduction of four partner levels: Platinum, Diamond, Gold and Silver. These titles will be awarded to partners based on sales and pre-sales skillset, revenue commitment and service capabilities. Under this new programme, we have signed around 20 mid-to-large System Integrators across India.
How will channel partner be benefited ?
The Extreme Networks Channel Partner Programme is built on Value, Innovation, and Commitment – as well as tools that can help the partners build business and increase revenues. We set the stage for success of our partners with training, sales and marketing tools, superior service and support, and incentives to promote success. We offer certain unique benefits like: Deal Registration, Partner Market Development Funds (MDF), Loyalty Growth Fund: Partner Loyalty Growth Fund and Lead Generation Programme to partners for encouraging their long-term partnership with us.
What are the eligibility criteria for the channels?
As aforementioned, we have a multi-tier channel partnership model. The requirements vary for each of these levels (explained in detail in the table below)
What is the purpose of launching this programme?
We, at Extreme Networks, aim to gain a stronger foothold in the Converged Enterprise and Carrier Ethernet markets, where the company focusses on delivering increased performance, simplicity and value to its customers. Under this programme, we want to continue our strong commitment to our channel base that helps us achieve our business targets. Thus, we have made the necessary investments in training, technical and sales competence and business development with tools to help them grow.
How important are channel partners for you?
Our channel partner group is an extension of our sales force that represents us in the market. We wish to work closely with the channel partner base and take our growth to the next level. Simultaneously, with our beneficial programmes / loyalty schemes, we wish to recognize and reward our top performers.
How many channel partners are you currently working with?
Extreme Networks’ go-to-market strategy consists of alliances and System Integrators. Avaya, Ericsson and Siemens are our global alliance partners and these organizations sell / bundle our products along with their converge solutions. Besides this, we have 20 mid-to-large size System Integrators (SIs) who normally focus on enterprise space in all the major cities of India.
Do you have any channel expansion plans?
The valuable channel relationships remain critical to Extreme Networks and the company is offering programme enhancements to partners that directly benefit their business models. Under our recently launched partner programme, we are in the process of signing up key partners across India. We are looking for SIs who focus primarily on datacenter, government & education, healthcare & hospitality space. Additionally, we are also planning to have distribution partner to support our tier-II partners at a later stage. Extreme Networks plans to reach out to the vendors and establish a good foothold in the market.
What are the verticals that you are targeting?
Our prime focus for the year 2009 is on some key identified sectors in the Indian market: Higher Education, Government, Datacenters, Telecom / ISP, Healthcare, Hospitality, Banking sector.
What are the growth drivers for you?
The Indian market currently offers many business drivers to us. The key one out of many is the recent trend among Indian customers of upgrading / revamping their old 100 Mbps networks to 1G and 10G-based networks. Additionally, increasingly many customers are looking for secured and converged networks. This gives Extreme Networks an immense opportunity to innovate and devise new technologies.
What are the challenges faced by you?
The biggest challenge faced by us is the lack of awareness among many customers about the options of products available that can result in lowering the CAPEX and OPEX costs. Customers still opt for unmanaged and unsecured Ethernet switches that are deployed with befuddled technologies. Thus, a determination and drive among the Indian corporates to employ best technological infrastructure will help our business and area of service. Alongside, the efforts of channel partners must be in tandem with our long-term business strategy.