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Extreme Networks Expands WiFi Capabilities with Aerohive Acquisition

Wednesday Jun 26th 2019 by Sean Michael Kerner

Apparently, Extreme Networks isn't done buying technology vendors, yet.

Extreme Networks has grown its portfolio significantly in recent years via acquisitions. It's a trend that was further extended on June 26, with the planned $272 million acquisition of WLAN vendor Aerohive Networks. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of Extreme Networks' fiscal 2020.

Aerohive was founded back in 2006 and made a big splash a year later with its technology which was among the first to offer a controller-less approach to enterprise WiFi.

"This acquisition will bring new automation and intelligence capabilities to Extreme Elements portfolio," Extreme Networks CEO Ed Meyercord said during an investor call announcing the deal. "It will expand Extreme’s technology leadership and Wi-Fi and NAC, adding cloud-managed Wi-Fi and NAC solutions to complement our on-premise technology, driving Extreme deeper into key verticals and presenting numerous opportunities for cross-sell and up-sell within the combined portfolio."

David Flynn, CEO of Aerohive commented during the call that over the last 18 months, his company has announced multiple new products including SD-WAN, a cloud managed branch routing offering, 802.11ac WiFi 6 access points the A3 standalone security solution.

"We bring to Extreme industry leading cloud-management, driven by an ISO 27001 certified microservices cloud architecture with native machine learning and AI, and a near-term roadmap that includes machine learning and AI-driven proactive problem resolution, and 3D topology view of the access network," Flynn said. "We offer a full stack cloud-management at the edge that I believe will be highly complementary to Extreme’s switching business and drive cross-sell opportunities."

Extreme Transformation

The acquisition of Aerohive is part of a transformation that has been ongoing at at Extreme Networks over the past five years. Meyercord became CEO of Extreme Networks in April 2015.

Since then, Extreme Networks has picked up a number of high quality networking assets including the $55 million acquisition of WLAN technology from Zebra in September 2016. That was followed in 2017 by the $100 million acquisition of Avaya's IP networking business as well as the acquisition of Brocade's Data Center networking assets.

"This is an exciting next step on the journey Extreme has been on for the past five years," Meyercord said. "First, when this current management team took over the Company, we focused on right sizing the business and refocusing on enterprise networking."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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