Extreme Networks is playing the recession for now Computerworld

According to Extreme’s CEO, Ed Meyercord, supply chain difficulties did not prevent a record increase in revenues in the last quarter, in the area of ​​WiFi in particular.

Despite parts supply issues and a huge backlog of backlogs, Extreme Networks achieved record first-quarter revenue of nearly $300 million, up 11% from last year and 7% over the previous quarter. The backlog Mr. Meyercord referred to last week during the company’s quarterly earnings conference call stands at $555 million, which is also a record. To put that into perspective, that’s almost three full quarters of product revenue in the backlog, mostly due to supply chain issues. Ed Meyercord made no secret of his concerns about the economic backdrop, but said that when it comes to investing in networks, things are clear. “Continued revenue growth and a record backlog make us even more confident in our long-term growth prospects,” he said. His optimism stems from the fact that enterprises believe that networks are a strategic asset and that Extreme is working to simplify the deployment and management of these networks. “From what we see, networking initiatives are not on the back burner,” said Extreme’s CEO. “If enterprise customers need to reduce their expenses, networks are always among their priorities.”

Strong growth in wireless sales

While wireless revenue growth is significant, it is also an area where the delays are “significant”. Extreme strongly pushes WiFi 6E technology there. “If you think about our lifestyle, our working and shopping habits, if you think about the environments and the share of the wireless environment compared to the wired environment, you can easily see that it is growing, and I believe the life cycle of wireless is also shorter than that of traditional wired switches. Therefore, there are more upgrades, and therefore there is more volume and turnover in the wireless space,” said the CEO. This includes wireless cellular technology, including 5G for environments where WiFi is not the most suitable. “If we take the example of smart cities, things like longer range, lower latency, private cellular networks, support for self-driving vehicles, are not traditional WiFi solutions,” he added. said Mr. Meyercord. “That’s why I think we’ll see these other technologies emerge…” added the CEO.

This month, Gartner said that no single wireless technology will dominate, but that companies will use several to support various environments, from on-premises WiFi, to services for mobile devices, to low power protocols and even radio connectivity. So much so that the research firm predicts that by 2025, 60% of enterprises will use five or more wireless technologies simultaneously. “In the enterprise, the spectrum of solutions will include 4G, 5G, LTE, WiFi 5, 6, 7, all of which will generate new data for enterprises to use in analytics, and low-power systems. consumption will harvest energy directly from the grid. This means the network will become a source of direct business value,” Gartner said.

Machine learning to improve the network

According to Meyercord, Extreme is continually looking to expand and grow its automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities with cloud-based wireless and wired network management offerings under the umbrella of of ExtremeCloud IQ, including ExtremeCloud IQ CoPilot. “The idea is to leverage our AI/ML technology to identify network issues that customers may not have seen before or weren’t aware of and fix them automatically,” said Mr. Meyercord. More recently, Extreme upgraded CoPilot to include support for digital twins, virtual replicas of physical devices that companies can test on before making changes to real devices. “For example, virtual twin testing helps validate new network switches, access points and their configuration before applying it to the real world,” Extreme explained.

All suppliers affected by supply chain issues

The supply constraints Mr. Meyercord mentioned are widespread. Juniper Networks, a competitor to Extreme, said this week that its backlog stood at $2.3 billion, down $100 million from the previous quarter. Other companies, like Cisco and Arista, could make similar announcements on their order books in the coming weeks. Indeed, delivery times for some routers, switches and other equipment have already exceeded six months. Supply chain issues have prompted most major players in the networking industry to redesign or develop certain products to address component shortages and deliver products to customers.

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Extreme Networks is playing the recession for now Computerworld


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