The new Extreme Networks is off and rolling


The story of Extreme Networks is one of the more remarkable turnarounds I’ve seen in technology in years. About two years ago the company had a market cap of under $300 million, and I thought they were a sure-fire acquisition target for someone who wanted some decent technology on the cheap — because it was becoming apparently clear that the once-cool networking company had lost its way like so many others before it.

Many of the brand names we have known in the past — Nortel, 3Com, Cabletron, Lucent, FORE systems and Foundry — all dropped as Cisco got bigger and HP Networking gobbled up the low end. There just didn’t seem to be room for another vendor. If an acquisition happened, it would likely fall on the scrap heap that so many other networking vendors have been tossed on.

Then Ed Meyercord succeeded Chuck Berger as CEO and put a new strategy in place. The plan was to roll up some of the smaller networking vendors and create a bigger, stronger vendor capable of going toe to toe with the big guys.

Yesterday Extreme Networks announced its Q4 Fiscal Year 2017 results, and it’s clear the plan is working and the company is off and rolling. The company’s $178.7 million in revenue was well above the $171.8 million the Street was expecting. This wasn’t a one-time occurrence. Q1 Fiscal Year 2018 guidance was estimated to be $200 million to  $210 million, which will include about 11 weeks of Avaya Networking in it.

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