Juniper names two new channel execs amid organizational changes

Juniper names David Helfer and Doug Erickson to high-level channel spots and plans to bring together its channel and commercial sales teams.

Juniper Networks Inc. today revealed that it has named two new channel executives and is bringing together its channel and commercial sales teams at a global level.

The Juniper leadership changes include the appointment of David Helfer, a 13-year veteran at Juniper, to the newly created role of vice president of worldwide channels and commercial, and Doug Erickson, with Juniper since 2004, as the new vice president of worldwide partner programs and development.

Emilio Umeoka, senior vice president of worldwide partners at Juniper, recently stepped down from his role at the company.

Helfer spent the past three years in London running the channel and alliances organization in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Erickson ran the channel organization at NetScreen Technology prior to Juniper’s acquisition of that company in 2004. At Juniper, he helped get Juniper’s J-Partner Program up and running as well as develop its most recent iteration, Juniper Partner Advantage. Erickson helped formalize Juniper’s enterprise sector, in a go-to-market role.

In his new role, Erickson returns to his roots, working with channel partners. He outlined his current priorities, noting his first priority: to listen.

“The Juniper Partner Advantage program has had great momentum. What I now need to do is listen to our partners, customers and direct field salespeople on how to keep the momentum of the Partner Advantage Program going,” he said.

That includes what the company needs to double down on, revisit or change.

Erickson’s second priority is to simplify the Partner Advantage program and make it more impactful for partners.

The new channel leadership plans on engaging with its partners at three upcoming Partner Advisory Councils that are scheduled prior to Juniper’s Global Partner Conference scheduled for January 2014 in Las Vegas.

The new VP also has plans to help activate partners into the recently launched Partner Advantage Cloud Program and Juniper Partner Advantage Services programs to achieve the right level of return on investment for their businesses.

And, finally, Erickson wants partners to learn more about Juniper’s security focus and the opportunities around security for channel partners.

The organizational change at Juniper was made to increase the synergy between Juniper's channel partner organization and the commercial organization’s go-to-market strategies, according to Helfer. Juniper's commercial organization is the territory coverage model for the company’s direct sales force.

“This organizational change is to recognize the synergy between the two organizations, and it’s about selling with partners,” said Helfer. Juniper has 2,500 partners in North America.

Helfer noted, for example, that at Juniper’s Global Partner Conference in January, the company will for the first time have its partners and direct sales teams in the same room at the same time.

“What we want partners to see from what we’re doing is the focus, simplicity and ease of doing business with Juniper and the tight alignment of the channel and commercial teams,” he said.

In April, Juniper appointed Chris Jones as the vice president of Americas Partner Sales. Jones previously held the position of vice president of worldwide commercial sales at the company. Jones replaced Frank Vitagliano, who left his channel role at Juniper for a job at Dell.

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