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Move Your Network into the Future – Lessons Learned from Wayne Gretzky’s Career

Stephen Collins Co-Op, Marketing Automation Published 7 Feb 2019

Are you a game changer? Do you ever think about how it would feel to be the greatest ever— the absolute best at what you do?

For superstars like Wayne Gretzky, there was little left to imagine. Statistically speaking, Gretzky is undeniably the best hockey player to ever skate the ice. He holds 61 NHL records – many of which, fans agree, may never be broken.

So, what made Gretzky a dominant force over 20 seasons? After all, Gretzky’s size, strength, and speed were lackluster compared to his fierce competitors.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzky

What did it take to earn the nickname, “The Great One?” It wasn’t Gretzky’s four Stanley Cup championships in only five years or his constant position as the league’s leading scorer. It was his supernatural ability to see the play develop before it happened. He skated to where the puck was going to be, not where it was.

Extreme Networks recognizes Gretzky’s success and we’ve taken a page or two from his playbook.

With our full product and service portfolio of end-to-end networking solutions, we solve our customers’ problems before they occur. At our upcoming global user conference Extreme Connect 2019 our theme is Future Forward because we’re addressing where the networking industry is headed and how our solutions will continue to solve digital transformation challenges affecting our customers. The conference will be a three-day, action-packed event in the heart of Nashville, where networking visionaries and featured guest speaker, Wayne Gretzky, will showcase the future of networking. While Gretzky scored 92 goals in the 1981 season, the Extreme Connect technical breakout sessions aim to score only one – to help you make the most informed decisions possible about migrating, designing, and implementing the right solutions for your organization.

Lead by Example and with Selflessness

Another monumental aspect of Gretzky’s legacy was his pure love for the game. He understood that hockey has always been about something bigger than just himself. He worked incredibly hard to raise up his teammates and is credited for the most assists in one season. Gretzky never played just for himself, he played for the fans who believed in him.

That same passionate, humble, and dedicated attitude is also embraced by Extreme’s President and CEO Ed Meyercord. In 2018, Business Insider recognized Ed as a Top Tech CEO with a 93% employee approval rating. Like Gretzky, Ed’s attitude and values are electrifying! While Ed may not have a slapshot quite as potent at Gretzky’s, he brings out the best in people, and rallies the Extreme Team to accomplish great things. Ed has cultivated our team-centric culture that is focused on enhancing business outcomes as a customer-driven networking company.

In 2018 our team’s focus on customers, hard work, and success was highlighted by industry analysts and customers! Extreme emerged as a leader in the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure and was named a challenger in 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking. Additionally, end users recognized Extreme as a 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Data Center Networking and as a 2018 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure.  

Always Be Agile and Innovative

For those that may not be aware, Wayne Gretzky was smaller in size than most of his competitors. He entered the NHL at a young age as well – he was only 17 at the time and weighed 20 pounds less than the average  player. He was immediately dismissed by the leagues as too small and weak. Gretzky went on to defy the odds and analysts’ predictions and scored 50 goals in his first 39 games as an NHL player. His smaller stature, agility, and defiance made his accomplishments even more stunning! When it came to his skills, his edgework was elite; he would make an elusive sidestep or swivel and like magic, he was on the other side of the competition ready to score.

I’d say the same is true about Extreme Networks’ abilities. Just three years ago we were the 13th largest networking provider; today we’re the third. We’ve been able to grow by being easy to do business with, constantly innovating our technology offerings, and putting customers first. We provide agile, adaptive, and secure networking solutions that are built to address our customers’ needs and desires. There’s a reason why 98% of customers recommend Extreme solutions.

“The greatest athlete in any sport really seems to enjoy the game when there is more on the line.” – Wayne Gretzky

At Extreme our pure-focus is on networking, it’s our goal to be the greatest vendor and partner for our end users. We know digital transformation is the difference between customers’ ultimate business success or failure. We design our solutions based on customer feedback to address the challenges of today and tomorrow.

See firsthand how our customer-driven networking solutions can optimize your business outcomes, and hear from the greatest NHL player of all-time, Wayne Gretzky, at Extreme Connect 2019.

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