New exec to help Juniper partners, unify field team efforts

In the wake of workforce and facility reductions, Juniper Networks appoints a new vice president of worldwide partner and field marketing.

In alignment with Juniper Networks' new strategic vision, laid out by CEO Shaygan Kheradpir at the vendor's Global Partner Conference this past January in Las Vegas, and following news earlier this month of a reduction in Juniper's work force, the company this week revealed it has appointed Matt Hurley as vice president of worldwide partner and field marketing. Hurley replaces Luanne Tierney, who served as vice president of worldwide partner marketing at Juniper since February 2011.

The move combines Juniper's global partner marketing team with the company's field marketing organization, the next logical step in creating a single go-to-market strategy for all of the company's channels, according to Hurley.

"Forming a single marketing organization is significant because it unifies all of our motions as an organization and will enhance our ability to support our partners better across all of the regions. It helps us make sure that every time we build a product, launch a product or a solution, any kind of program we do or demand generation, our efforts will include partners in those discussions," he said.

Juniper's sales teams and partners were brought together at the vendor's Global Partner Conference to hear the company's vision, strategy and plans for 2014. One of the four key principals laid out by Kheradpir at the event was fostering a deliberate dependence on Juniper partners, functioning together as one Juniper team.

As Juniper moves toward its vision for what it calls "high-IQ networks" and cloud agility, the unification of the global marketing teams brings those two groups at Juniper together for go-to-market discussions.

For the first few months in his new position, Hurley will travel and talk to Juniper partners. "My top concern is for us to be able to help partners generate demand for their business and win with our products," he said.

While Hurley wasn't ready to outline his top three objectives for the year, he did reiterate the company's commitment to understand what it needs to do to help partners drive more demand and unify that with Juniper field team efforts. He also said that on the services side, the company will encourage partners to participate in more projects that go beyond maintenance.

"Expect to see us roll out this year a professional services marketplace that allows our partners to participate when we have professional services opportunities and for them to actually take those opportunities and run with them," Hurley said.

Juniper also recently began revamping its Partner Center, the company's partner portal, to provide a better experience for Juniper partners.

By June, Hurley expects to have a new platform formulated that targets initiatives for his organizations.

Hurley said Juniper wants partners to know that the unification move will not disrupt any of the channel marketing programs, support or initiatives.

"We're 100% committed to our partner strategy, and we're growing our investment in partners," he said, adding that in the past few days he has increased the headcount for staff members responsible for creating partner enablement assets and support of worldwide programs.

In February, Juniper reached a deal with hedge fund Elliott Management and announced plans to cut $160 million in costs from its business by the first quarter in 2015, including trimming its product line. That same month, the company announced an Integrated Operating Plan (IOP), which includes a focus on providing high-IQ networks and cloud agility; a new corporate structure, called One-Juniper, that optimizes internal engineering, go-to-marketing teams and R&D around High IQ networks and cloud agility and streamlines operations and the business portfolio; enhanced efficiency and improved cost management; and an aggressive new capital allocation plan.

In early April, the company reported a worldwide workforce reduction of 6%, which equates to almost 600 employees, and the shuttering of 12% of its leased facilities. The company's deal with Riverbed Technology, made in 2012, to license Riverbed's application delivery controller (ADC) technology is also ending.

A shake up of Juniper channel executives has been ongoing since the highly publicized departure of channel veteran Frank Vitagliano, senior vice president of Americas Partners at Juniper, in March 2013.

In October 2013, the company named two new channel executives, David Helfer, vice president of worldwide channels and commercial, and Doug Erickson, vice president of worldwide partner programs and development.

Emilio Umeoka, senior vice president of worldwide partners, stepped down.

Chris Jones, hired in May 2013 to replace Vitagliano, left the company just months later, in November. This past January, the company named Jonathan Belcher as the new U.S. channel chief.

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