John Barger Recognized as An IT Channel Game-Changer

I’m pleased to announce that CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Extreme’s VP of Sales Enablement and Training John Barger as one of their 100 People You Don’t Know But Should for 2021. This annual list recognizes professionals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to support their partners and the broader channel ecosystem.

CRN’s annual “100 People You Don’t Know But Should” list spotlights some of the best and brightest in the channel. The selections are based on feedback from leading solution providers and industry executives, and I could not be more thrilled to see John on this list. His years of experience, desire to win, and commitment to execution help us drive global channel efforts, while elevating Extreme’s vision of the Infinite Enterprise.

“There are truly talented folks who make game-changing, creative, and strategic decisions every day behind the scenes,” said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company. “With the 100 People You Don’t Know But Should, we are excited to shine a light on this exceptional group and honor them for their remarkably important work on behalf of their partners and their contributions to the IT channel at large.”

John began his career involved in several startups and co-founded two companies (Bitcasting and Certeon) that went on to be acquired by EMC and Array Networks, subsequently. He joined Enterasys Networks in December 2012, nine months before the company was acquired by Extreme Networks. When John joined Extreme, he was tapped to lead several systems engineering groups. His leadership and success did not go unnoticed, and he was soon selected to lead the worldwide systems engineering organization. John’s successful training and enablement initiatives within the systems engineering organization highlighted the need for a brand-new companywide sales enablement function at Extreme, and there was no doubt that John was the perfect choice to lead the new global sales enablement function.

Today, John plays a crucial role in our partner training and enablement programs and has a tremendous impact on the work Extreme does to support our channel community.

Meet John – One of the Game-Changers on Team Extreme!

Congrats on your CRN recognition, John! Can you share with us what drew you to Extreme nine years ago?

I joined Enterasys/Extreme due to their laser focus on the customer experience. Nine years later, that vision still lives and is even more true today. At Extreme, we review every action we take (new product, feature, website, support tool, etc.) and ask, “How does this improve the customer experience?” If we don’t have a great answer, we go back to the drawing board.

What do you enjoy about working with Extreme’s channel community?

Our Channel Partners are our lifeblood. Without our amazing partners, we would not be able to scale to meet the needs of our customers. Many of our partners collaborate with us to make sure we succeed together, and others challenge us to be better and tackle new obstacles. I’ve met and collaborated so many of our partners and gained some lifelong friends along the way.

What does this distinction mean to you?

When I first heard the news, I was surprised and humbled – it was truly unexpected. I am VERY lucky to have an amazing team that builds great content, platforms, and programs to support our channel. They are the ones who deserve this honor. The Extreme Enablement team is a special group that never says “no” or “that can’t be done.” They just keep making it happen. Early on, I set a mission for the Enablement team. I wanted our customers, partners, and internal sellers to be stunned by the quality of the enablement content they receive and the enablement platforms they use. The Enablement team here at Extreme has made that happen over and over again.

What about Extreme’s Partner Program stands out to you?

I’ve always been very impressed by the people in the Extreme channel organization. From leaders like Joe Vitalone, Sean Collins, Brenda Richardson, and Kilynn Sommer to the individual contributors, this is a channel organization that’s hyper-focused on success and growth. I’m very proud of what my team does to help the channel continue to flourish.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m a tinkerer and builder. I love working on different projects. Whether that’s adding more IoT/smart home capabilities to my house or upgrading my Jeep. For the last few years, I’ve taken on a Christmas project with my now 10-year-old son. In 2019, we built a Hackintosh computer from the ground up. Complete with RGB lights and a very cool case. The timing really worked out as he used that for remote schooling last year. In 2020, we built a full stand-up arcade cabinet with professional joysticks and buttons, 20 different emulators, and more games than we could ever play. This year, we’re going to design and build a robot with built in artificial intelligence. My son wants to name it JARVIS after the AI in the Iron Man movies.

Congratulations to John on this well-deserved recognition! Your passion, drive, and leadership are admired across the company and by our channel community. Thank you for your constant commitment to excellence!

Want to hear more about Extreme’s Partner Program? Visit

The 100 People You Don’t Know But Should will be featured in the October issue of CRN Magazine and can be found online at

About the Author
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Lisa Yeaton
Senior Manager, Corporate Marketing

Lisa Yeaton is a Senior Manager, Corporate Marketing at Extreme Networks. In her role, Lisa oversees all of Extreme's corporate social media accounts and creates corporate communications content.

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