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Thought Leaders in Online Education: Mike Pellerin, Director, Enterasys University (Extreme Networks) (Part 1)

Posted on Saturday, Jan 11th 2014

Enterasys is experimenting with a concept of corporate massive open online courses (MOOCs). Interesting concept. Read on!

Sramana Mitra: Let us start by setting some context. Tell our audience about yourself and Enterasys. Then, we’ll take it from there.

Mike Pellerin: Enterasys has recently been acquired by Extreme Networks in November. Enterasys Networks evolved from a manufacturing cable company named Cabletron that was founded in the early 1990’s. They invented some nice patents like blinking out with the lights on with the computer equipment and then evolved into the computer network game space. Fast forward about ten to fifteen years, when I joined the organization. My background is in the computer science field and I started out in the quality assurance engineering. After learning the bits and bytes of all the different technologies, I transitioned into running the education team about 10 years ago.

Sramana Mitra: So, the company is a networking investment company that has an education business. Is that correct?

Mike Pellerin: That is correct. It is part of our culture here at Extreme Networks. We not only provide hands on training to our employees, but also provide training to our partners and customers. Our goal is to be able to provide enable them to perform their job at a much higher efficiency rate. To put that comment into a better context, you have urgent and important issues to handle but you can still go play golf. Usually, they never get to go play golf because they are busy with important and urgent related issues. Our goal is to enable them to become strategic; let them go play golf by enabling them to do their job better, faster, more efficiently, and effectively. We have spent the last two years taking that to the next level where have started partnering with a number of universities around the world. We offer our hands-on-technical training by combining lectures with labs.

Sramana Mitra: In some sense you are pushing these into engineering programs where you have a networking computer science or electrical engineering networking course. Is that where you are positioned?

Mike Pellerin: That’s correct.

Sramana Mitra: That’s interesting.

Mike Pellerin: We have a number of universities focused on STEM (Science and Technology, Engineering and Math) programs. We would like to help them raise the level of knowledge that their students have above and beyond what most of the traditional, either online learning or break-in motor style classroom environment, can provide.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Online Education: Mike Pellerin, Director, Enterasys University (Extreme Networks)
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