Hello and happy holidays!
This past year has been unlike any other in our lifetime. Though we have all experienced major challenges, we have worked together to support each other and adapt to the new reality. In our communities, we have stayed connected through virtual gatherings, as many of you may be doing during holiday celebrations this season. And at Extreme, I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish within the virtual walls of our business. We’d like to take this time to share some of the critical milestones we’ve achieved together with you, our customers and partners.
Like many of you, our business was affected by the pandemic, and we quickly transitioned most of our workforce to their homes. Thanks to the tenacity and focus of our teams, we actually accelerated the execution of our plan to bring simplicity to the complexity of networking and to create a more effortless experience for those doing business with us.
We introduced the industry’s only unlimited data plan for cloud-managed networks and made the platform deployable across all major cloud providers, as well as privately or on-premises, offering unprecedented choice. We made our ExtremeCloud IQ Pilot subscription portable across the entire portfolio, delivering unmatched simplicity and license portability. We also introduced new universal switching and wireless platforms to enable simplified ordering, licensing, and warranty processes, and to minimize the total cost of ownership.
For our partner community, we introduced a new self-service platform, Extreme Empower, to provide automatic quote configuration and deal registration. Now, our partners can generate new quotes within minutes and progress sales conversations with customers and prospects at an efficient pace. We also offered payment deferment options to financially support partners dealing with the fallout of the global pandemic; free remote cloud technical certification training, as well as the ability for Extreme channel partners to maintain their partner program status into calendar year 2021.
It is fair to say all of our customers around the world are considering the “next normal” and how they will come back to work. They are also thinking about the future of their networks in a more distributed environment as part of this exercise. As we continue to challenge the status quo in our industry with the highest quality and fastest-growing cloud management platform, we’re finding that more of you want to hear from Extreme. This is driving an unprecedented number of opportunities and record growth. We thank you.
2020 was primarily overshadowed by the pandemic, but over the summer, issues of inequality and injustice were thrown into sharp focus. With the full support of our Board, we created a Corporate Social Responsibility Council to promote sustainable development, corporate philanthropy, and the empowerment of people both inside and outside Extreme. Katy Motiey is our first Chief Sustainability Officer, in addition to her role as Chief Administrative Officer, and led the publication of our 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
We also appointed Kimberley Basnight to Head of Diversity and Inclusion, in addition to her role as Vice President of Talent and head of all human resources, to empower her to serve as an agent of positive change. Kimberley founded the Black at Extreme employee resource group and spearheaded the creation of additional employee resource groups for the advancement of Hispanic, Asian, Indian, and LBGTQ employees, as well as military veterans. Together, we will champion and facilitate workplace diversity by embracing our differences.
In addition to our expanded efforts to promote sustainability and diversity, COVID-19 exposed a new side of the digital divide that we felt inspired to address as a technology company. Everyone is now working, learning, and living from home, meaning those without reliable network connectivity are without a lifeline. I am proud to share that Extreme has partnered with United Way globally to help bring critical Wi-Fi connectivity, training, and technology to communities in need (see our donation page here). At the same time the digital divide is widening, so is the technology skills gap. Our increased reliance on technology has led to an increased need for trained technology professionals. To help address this challenge, we launched Extreme Academy Live, an eight-week introductory course to networking basics that is accessible to everyone, from those just starting their career to those looking to retrain for a new experience.
There is a lot to look forward to in 2021 - and not just the end of 2020! Extreme Networks will celebrate our 25th anniversary, and we can’t wait to share our vision for the coming years with you. We are in the midst of a sea change in the world of networking, driven by the cloud, and we are innovating with a next-generation solutions portfolio to help you navigate the challenge and complexity of distributed networking and increased mobility wherever you are on your digital transformation journey. Whether data, devices, or people, it is our goal to make connecting feel effortless, which enables all of us to advance how we live, work, and engage.
Thank you for your support and partnership. I hope you enjoy this winter holiday season however you choose to celebrate. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. Our team is always ready to assist you in any way possible.
Wishing you and your families health and happiness,
President and CEO