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Extreme Consulting Lite

Extreme Networks is trying to strengthen it???s play in the mid-size market with two limited engagement assessment services, a Mid-Size Networks Security Assessment, $6000, and a Convergence Readiness Assessment, starting at $9500. The two day on-site assessments aimed at assisting mid-sized companies with defining the scope of security and convergence projects and determining the steps to get from where the company is to where it needs to be. Extreme claims that the assessment is vendor neutral, and that may be the case for equipment that Extreme doesn???t sell, but I bet any assessment will suggest Extreme hardware or it???s partners products.
Let???s face it, Extreme is a one trick pony in a sea of competitors that have diversified their product offerings in the last few years. Extreme has to do something to stay in the game and compete against vendors like Cisco, HP, and Nortel, that can offer broader solutions and going after the mid-market makes sense for them. I chuckle every time I talk to a vendor that is targeting the Fortune 500 or Fortune 100 because there are only 500 or 100 potential customers and a whole bunch of competitors. Do the math. It???s refreshing to see a vendor target a smaller, and much larger customer base.
While smaller IT shops, and Extreme???s initiative is aimed at companies ranging in size from 100 to 1000 users, probably do have more need for consulting on advanced network issues because the IT staff or busy running the network, the big question is why would a mid-sized company go to Extreme and not a trusted, or at least local, value added reseller, that can offer a broader set of services and possibly get discounts for consulting services? It???s not a matter of whether Extreme has the chops to provide consulting, it???s a matter of what a mid-sized company needs and that often means more reliance on a VAR for more than just assessment. That???s the hump Extreme has to get over.