After nearly ten years working in a number of account management and business development roles, Ken Lord has just taken up the job of leading Juniper Networks’ operations in New Zealand, as he takes over from Ian Quinn as the company’s new country manager. Quinn has since been promoted to an APAC role, as director of Converged Supercore.
Lord graduated from Massey University with a B Tech degree in the mid-90s and took up a role at Telecom as a graduate engineer. “I spent most of my time at the Telecom working on the company’s very first ADSL, ATM and IP networks. Following that, I spent three years roving around APAC working for Nokia as a pre-sales engineer in their Broadband Systems group. I then made the jump into account management,” he says. In his career so far, Lord has passed through companies such as Telecom, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent.
He has been with Juniper Networks since 2008, when he initially led a team in New Zealand responsible for driving the company’s business in the service provider sector. He took over the role of country manager this month and is now leveraging his 15 years of experience in the telco sector to further grow Juniper’s business in the country.
Lord lives in Wellington with his wife and three kids but was born and bred in trout-fishing wonderland Turangi, at the southern end of Lake Taupo. He says he grew into his current role through a variety of others but IT has always been a fundamental part of his career. His interest in technology started in his teen years and ended up driving him away from his interest in architecture.
Lord says that this is a good time for him to be taking the helm of Juniper in New Zealand, due to a number of circumstances surrounding the industry and the trends that IT is experiencing. He says the industry, like the economy in general, has gone through some troubled times but “things will start to pick up”.
“There’s no question that efficiencies brought about by things like the mobile internet and cloud computing are going to play an ever-increasing role in people’s business and personal lives. It’s great to be working for a company that is at the forefront of innovation in these areas. I think the future is bright,” he adds.
Juniper Networks says it continues to invest in growing opportunities for its channel partners. As country manager, Lord will be focusing on helping Juniper partners get new business.
The company has also this month announced a partnership with Riverbed in wide area network (WAN) optimisation, application delivery and mobility. The two vendors said in an announcement that the partnership will result in new technologies for enterprises looking to increase the efficiency of their IT infrastructures, while delivering applications securely across devices, networks and clouds. Juniper Networks is licensing Riverbed's application delivery controller (ADC) technology for approximately US$75 million. The two companies will integrate Riverbed's Steelhead Mobile technology into the Juniper Network Junos Pulse client to provide a mobile acceleration solution for mobile devices.
Back in January this year, the company launched its inaugural global partner conference where it announced a number of enhancements to how it works with its channel, including training, certification and rebates combined in a new partner programme, Partner Advantage. At the time, the company said it had not been paying enough attention to partners but 2012 would be the year to change that.
What are you currently reading?
Culture Connection by Marty Parker. I’m pretty early in the book, but it’s an interesting perspective on how corporate culture can drive competitiveness.
What would be the best advice you could give to someone in the same business as you?
Back yourself! There’s nothing better than the occasional “sink or swim” experience to really help you grow. Also, if you don’t have a go, you may never know what you can achieve.
Do you have any favourite sports?
I’m a keen All Blacks and Chiefs supporter. In my younger days, I spent a fair amount of time on the Basketball court. Of course, right now, I’m loving the Olympics.
What's your favourite gadget?
I’m not really much of a gadget guy, but I’d struggle to be without my iPhone 4S.
And your favourite website?
What's your drink of choice?
Peppermint tea during the day and a good Central Otago Pinot Noir after hours.
If you weren't in technology, what would you be doing?
I’m a really keen musician so it would be nice to think that I’d be doing that. Who knows though...
Could you describe what a typical day in your role involves?
Any given day could bring a range of things – working with the team to develop our plans and strategies to go to market; attending industry events; spending face-to-face time with our customers; plus the inevitable overhead.
What do you love the most about your job?
Working with a fantastic team – it can’t be beaten.