Juniper Networks' new managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Nathan McGregor, has been tasked with steering the company’s local strategy and operational elements of A/NZ sales, with the goal of capitalising on the strong network demands in the region.
ARN met with McGregor recently at Juniper’s North Sydney offices to discuss the path forward for the Australian arm of one of the largest networking companies in the world.
You have been in the job nearly a month now, how are you finding it so far?
I have been with Juniper for eight-and-a-half years now and I worked at the Telstra business for close to five so I have a good sense that this is the role I am ready for and have been working towards since I have been at the company. I am really excited about the leadership role at Juniper. It’s a great company that I have always enjoy working for and this is the perfect next step for me.
Obviously the emergence of Cloud is driving strong network demand in the region, what is your strategy to take advantage of this in the local market?
As a corporate strategy, we sit behind our messaging of High IQ networks and Cloud building and I think they relate to the questions you are posing there. The high demand network challenges, I see those both from the service provider side in dealing directly with Telstra, but also, I am seeing it very much from the enterprise side as they have been a channel to market for Juniper equipment. Some of the work we are seeing here locally is even being driven out of corporate opportunities such as UBS Warburg. We made a recent announcement for localised deployment of datacentres. That’s dealing with both of those ends of that network challenge - on the Cloud building side.
And high performance agile Cloud networks and also high IQ networking to service the interconnect between those Clouds. We see great demand and opportunity for Juniper in that space.
What goals do you hope to achieve in your role over the next 12 months?
I can see growth opportunities for Juniper in the market. I think with the alignment of our company now very clearly behind our routing, switching and security portfolios, and solving the problems of scale, automation and innovation. Combine all of those things and our opportunities are very much with taking our partners to greater things in terms of best of breed capabilities of our technology combined with our ecosystem of partners to really create a lot more demand and growth opportunities for us and our partners.
What are the major challenges your partners are facing in building the Cloud and how will you help them overcome these challenges?
I see them personally along the lines of automation capabilities within the Cloud. You look at the bulk of our referenceable Cloud opportunities and the ones that are referenceable are typically to do with private Cloud organisations, so UBS, Fox Sports, University of Auckland are all references on the Cloud business for us. It’s definitely a growing market for us. You think about the Cloud opportunity for us being the switching, the routing and the security, we actually have solutions in all of those categories that fit specifically in the Cloud network opportunities.
This is where we are creating a lot more value for our resellers as this whole transformation within enterprise takes shape. Most of our enterprise customers are starting to use global Cloud operators, the likes that I don’t need the mention. I have been speaking to those directly and that’s what I’m doing a lot more of: getting out of this Telstra role and engaging with the business and our partners and our end customers. I am seeing amazing examples already of the uptake of all forms of Cloud on the public side, the internal datacentre side and also private hosted Cloud. I am happy to say we have got pieces of business in each of those segments.
What role does the channel have to play in your go-to-market strategy?
Read more: Analysis: Channel of rapid change
A huge part, we only service our end customers through the resellers and channel market. But what we will do with them is we will create more value with by making sure our solutions are better targeted to the growing demand of networks. Some of our partners, even the smaller ones are starting to evolve to doing small hosted type network opportunities. Take out a niche of an application type delivery, put it in a hosted environment that they build-own-operate and sell services of that. Those sort of more niche areas are where we are beginning to see more opportunities for our partners in addition to picking up all of our solution and building Cloud
Are you on the lookout for new partners and if so, what type of partners are you looking for?
We aren’t on the look out at this stage. We are always working with the partner community to understand who best fits our technology and who requires the use of Juniper solutions to meet their customer needs. Our community right now is a very health partner community that deals with managed service providers all the way down to small individual geography based resellers. We will map our requirement as we need to with our partners. But it’s all the partners that invest in Juniper that are getting the big results in the market place. So you take an investment in Juniper, you learn skillsets and you will definitely be delivered a growing business, and you will definitely be delivered a more profitable business by working with Juniper networking. That is being seen by our partner community and the influx of investment in Juniper accreditations and capability. When we focus in on our growing network demands, then I think we are getting pretty good success all round.
What is your key market differentiator that will give you a leg up on rivals such as Cisco?
We are a pure play provider in routing, switching, security. We want to be the best in each of those areas and we are the best in many respects. The things we then do differently on top of that, I’m calling them scale automation and innovation, but effectively the scale and security are two elements of networking requirements. So we have high scale networking and skewer networks.
The second part is in automation, which I say is simplification and automation of the networking environments. These are things that we focus on heavily as a business to ensure that capability is taken care of in these routing, switching and security domains.
The third bit is innovation. Now I know that’s a highly overused term at the moment. In Juniper’s terminology we think of it as open. We will use openness to ensure that we can differentiate between vendors that are trying to be all things to all people. So, no lock-in. You will see the benefits of that are already out there for all to see in terms of the Aruba announcement that was already made our ability to bring in partners to that ecosystem to create more value for our partners. To deliver a better end-to-end to solution - that’s what we do and that’s how we differentiate for market share.
What do you see as the most disruptive forces in the market over the next 3-5 years?
Massive bandwidth is not going away and video in both the consumer and the enterprise world is a huge change in our market place. I will add mobility to that, 44 per cent of customers now are using BYOD and 34 per cent of those that aren’t using it are talking about using in the couple of years.
That’s a huge trend shift and if you combine that second element with the shift towards Cloud environments - there a storm that’s being created here in terms of enterprises being able to deal with those challenges. These are the disruptive forces we are seeing in the market place.