Wi-Fi Expert Devin Akin Talks Connected Future – Short-Range Wireless, AI/ML, & More

Stephanie Rodriguez Co-Op, Vertical Solutions Marketing Published 28 Feb 2019

“If you turn on a light switch and it doesn’t work, it’s kind of shocking. You’re like, what in the world is going on here? Wi-Fi is expected to be equally dependable, along with the Ethernet back-end, all the way to the core. Reliability and stability are the pillars that hold up user experience, and user experience is king.” – Devin Akin, Director of Sales Enablement, Extreme Networks

Meet the Expert – Devin Akin at Extreme Connect 2019

You may know Devin Akin as a co-founder of the CWNP program or from the many conferences where he describes the future of Wi-Fi; and now as the Director of Sales Enablement for Extreme, Devin is responsible for evangelism, Wi-Fi training, major accounts, and strategic business development initiatives.

As a customer-driven networking company, Extreme works tirelessly to recruit the best and brightest technology experts in the industry. Our teams come together to collaborate and solve important issues for our customers because we’re all focused on redefining the network to create the best possible business outcomes for end users.

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Devin to discuss where networking is heading and what he is looking forward to most about our upcoming user conference, Extreme Connect 2019. Here’s a glimpse of our Q&A:

Question #1: Can you tell us a little about your background in networking?

Devin: Prior to Extreme, I have been a network engineer at two carriers, two VARs, two previous manufacturers, and worked for myself as a consultant and trainer for the last five years. I have worked in Wi-Fi full time since 2001, co-founding the CWNP Program.

As the Director of Sales Enablement – I deliver Wi-Fi training, write courseware, work with the PLM team on Wi-Fi related offerings, help field teams help customers, and evaluate Wi-Fi related technical partnerships.

Question #2: What are your thoughts on the future of wireless technologies and networking?

Devin: 802.11ax is an incremental change, but the most important change that I see coming over the next decade is short-range wireless (60GHz), such as 802.11ay. I believe we’ll start to see APs with many different kinds of radios: 5GHz, 2.4GHz, 900MHz, 60GHz, BLE, 3.5GHz, cellular, but of course such APs, if they come to market, is years away.

I also think that AI/ML technologies will begin helping with reducing the overhead of mundane administrative tasks.

Question #3: What future technology and trends should we be on the lookout for when it comes to the network? 

Devin: Some networking hardware categories are commoditized, so the major differentiations are going to be in software and platform intelligence. The industry, and certainly Extreme, is driving toward a true single-pane-of-glass network management platform that gives core-to-edge visibility, control, and diagnostics. Access control, analytics, and reasonable levels of machine learning are going to help us realize networks that have much lower OPEX while delivering a much higher quality of user experience.

Question #4: What are you looking forward to the most about Extreme Connect 2019?

Devin: Extreme is a very people-oriented company. I’m personally looking forward to getting to know more partners and customers well. I look forward to hearing about their plans for the future, how we can meet their needs, and what kind of innovative solutions they require from Extreme.

I hope attendees take home an experience that shows them that Extreme is not the type of company that just sells a box and walks away…. rather, we truly want to partner with our customers for the long-haul to help them digitally transform their businesses.

Question #5: You’re presenting “Wi-Fi 6: Migration Strategies and Best Practices,” at Extreme Connect. Why should attendees add this session to their schedules?

Devin: If there’s one thing that my peers will tell you about me is that I don’t pontificate marketing fluff. I give it to partners and customers straight. If something is good, then it’s good. If it’s bad, then it’s bad.

My goal is to educate the attendees on what Wi-Fi 6 is and isn’t and what it can deliver and what it cannot. Wi-Fi 6 has some potential benefits, but it’s far less than most of the hype that’s already in the market. If you’re looking to rightly divide between the facts and fiction of this technology, you will want to attend my presentation.

What are the facts vs fiction about Wi-Fi 6? Find out when you attend Devin’s can’t miss, Extreme Connect 2019 breakout session: “Wi-Fi 6: Migration Strategies and Best Practices.”

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Want to learn more about Wi-Fi 6 or Extreme Connect 2019? Check out the related resources below: 

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