Dossier Name: Theresa Caragol Designation: Vice President, Global Channels Company: Extreme Networks Current Role: Overseeing strategy and successful execution for Extreme Networks’ worldwide channels, encompassing more than 700 partners in more than 50 countries. Career Graph: Caragol worked with Ciena as VP of Channels and Alliances. There, she established a strong and diverse partner ecosystem and industry-recognized channel program. In the last 17 years Caragol has worked for IBM, Nortel and Bay Networks.
the globe. That’s essential for an organization whose channel-base is growing. We need to make some of the key partnerships truly global. To achieve this, we have already launched phase-1 of our global partner program, which ensures returns to partners who have invested in Extreme Networks. Channel enablement programs and marketing are two areas that partners say Extreme Networks has lagged behind in recent years. When you came on-board this April, did you look into these areas? Yes. I got in touch with a few partners across the globe. While they agreed unanimously that our products are great, they felt that Extreme was not using the channel very effectively and was not building business partnerships with the channel. I think there is a huge difference between channel and real partnerships. And, that’s what I hope to be driving across the world.
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VP, Global Channels, Extreme Networks, has revamped the company’s channel approach. You masterminded the channel program at your previous company, Ciena. How different is it to work with a company that already has a legacy partner program? When I joined Ciena, they were trying to define their channel. While we changed that in five years, here at Extreme Networks, it’s all about the channel. We are immensely channel-
focused, and my challenge was to take it to the next level. The exciting part for me is that different geographies are doing it differently. India has its own way, while Latin America’s doing it totally differently. While that’s good, because it’s entrepreneurial and that’s how you win, we have to figure out how to apply best practices across
You have spoken about the need for the channel to be represented as a single entity. Considering that Extreme Networks’ a decentralized organization, how will you ensure this happens? Before I joined, we did not have a formal channel structure. We had a global partner program, but it wasn’t the same across continents.