I am con­ser­va­tive, though very ag­gres­sive on the filed

In an in­ter­ac­tion with PC Quest; Dinesh Verma, MD, Ju­niper In­dia & SAARC talks about his ex­pe­ri­ence in Ju­niper so far and strate­gies for times ahead

PCQuest - - CONTENTS - – Anushruti Singh anushrutis@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

You’ve been here for about a year now. From a Ju­niper In­dia per­spec­tive, what has been hap­pen­ing over the last one year?

I think it’s a very, very ex­cit­ing jour­ney. It’s some­thing like a startup. We’ve been here, start­ing up the or­ga­ni­za­tion part with a much re­peated brand. So, I’m en­joy­ing ev­ery bit of it. As you see, we had a mar­ket pres­ence which was there in Telco. We were the lead­ing IP provider with al­most all the tel­cos in the coun­try. But after hav­ing come on board, I think our em­pha­sis was get­ting into more of the other ver­ti­cals, which are, gov­ern­ment, de­fense, and en­ter­prises. And now we have got­ten into that in a big way.

We’re get­ting suc­cesses both in gov­ern­ment as well as in en­ter­prises. The de­pen­dency of the ser­vice provider has gone down be­cause the num­bers have gone up. I can’t share those num­bers but the ear­lier we were de­pen­dent, more or less, 75% on tel­cos. It has come down to around 50%- 55%, whereas the oth­ers have taken up in an equal pro­por­tion. So that’s very heart­en­ing. We hired a lot of peo­ple from out­side. That, along with the great ta­lent that we had in­ter­nally, have been re-aligned ap­pro­pri­ately and we’re go­ing ahead with th­ese two sec­tors full speed.

The jour­ney has been quite sat­is­fy­ing, as of now, and there’s a lot more to do. There is a clear-cut vi­sion on how to do it and how to go about it. And the en­tire or­ga­ni­za­tion is com­pletely chan­nel­ized to­wards that. We haven’t changed our strat­egy be­cause strat­egy can’t be changed ev­ery month. And so, we have fixed our­selves on that path right in Jan­uary, when our new year started, and we’re re­li­giously fol­low­ing that. There are humps, but we’re re­li­giously fol­low­ing it. So, I think we should be able to do well and do jus­tice to the brand that we’re all work­ing for.

What sort of so­lu­tion is the gov­ern­ment us­ing?

We have few very spe­cific ar­eas that we’re get­ting into the gov­ern­ment. One is the cloud. The data cen­ters that they’re build­ing up. An­other one is on Dig­i­tal In­dia. And the third one is on their sur­veil­lance projects that are com­ing up. The fourth one is on the state wise DNA net­works which are com­ing up for re­fresh. All th­ese four ver­ti­cals within the gov­ern­ment re­quire a lot of cloud in­fra­struc­ture, they re­quire lot of WAN in­fra­struc­ture and we’re very, very strong, glob­ally, in both th­ese.

We’re work­ing with Ut­tarak­hand, Ra­jasthan, Te­lan­gana, Andhra, UP and so on. With Dig­i­tal In­dia per­spec­tive we’re look­ing at the end-to-end fiber roll­outs. It’s still in its early stages but we are al­ready be­gin­ning to see great progress.

In terms of both, from the SIs and the chan­nel per­spec­tive that you work with, and what are the cor­ner­stones of the strat­egy right now?

Whichever were the form­ing ac­counts, we wanted to have an inch wide mile-deep story. Go deeper into the ac­count and do the form­ing.

And for the hunt­ing ac­counts we were fo­cused on the top 65 per re­gion…East-West-South...North-South-West... we were only con­cen­trat­ing on 65 large ac­counts, which were to be di­rectly han­dled by us, the rest will be done by

the part­ner. So that was the sec­ond part.

The third piece was to en­hance the part­ner­ship. Ear­lier we were de­pen­dent on one or two, but now we have added a cou­ple more to our port­fo­lio and large ones are also play­ing their part.

Th­ese were the 3 ma­jor pil­lars of the strat­egy that we looked after from the GTM per­spec­tive in Jan­uary. It’s a very sim­ple, straight­for­ward one but we aligned our team ac­cord­ingly. We re­in­forced the team, we aligned the team ac­cord­ingly. There were peo­ple who were go­ing after ev­ery deal. So, we seg­re­gated them from the ma­tu­rity per­spec­tive. Now, one or two se­nior sales­per­sons only con­cen­trate on the large 65 ac­counts. From whether it’s a gov­ern­ment or an en­ter­prise, pri­mar­ily it’s an en­ter­prise. And the sec­ond one was, we formed a sep­a­rate gov­ern­ment team which only looks after the gov­ern­ment projects across the coun­try.

Will there be some over­lap be­tween th­ese top 65 en­ter­prise ac­counts?

Not at all. We have re­struc­tured the telco ac­counts with the key ac­count man­age­ment prin­ci­ple so that we have a fo­cused ap­proach. Thus, not one in­di­vid­ual is han­dling more than one ac­count now. Ear­lier they were han­dling a cou­ple of them. Now one in­di­vid­ual per ac­count, with the team as­so­ci­ated with it.

So it could be a key ac­count man­ager with a sales­per­son and the tech­nol­ogy peo­ple around it, or two sales peo­ple with a tech­nol­ogy team around it, de­pend­ing on the com­plex­ity and the vol­ume of the busi­ness that we’re get­ting from that par­tic­u­lar cus­tomer and the po­ten­tial to go after it. And then we formed a sep­a­rate team to hunt for the new ac­counts where our pres­ence is not there.

Within en­ter­prises, any spe­cific fo­cus on the mid mar­ket seg­ment?

That is be­ing driven through our part­ners. So we fo­cus on the large 65 en­ter­prise ac­counts, as I said, and then we may have some other 15 to 20 odd cus­tomers. The rest is be­ing done by the part­ners.

So, over­all what is the so­lu­tions port­fo­lio that you have in the mar­ket?

1. The cloud so­lu­tion: which en­tails the Q - fab­ric switch­ing, the or­ches­tra­tion and the an­a­lyt­ics. This can be used across the ver­ti­cals, across the so­lu­tions, whether it’s gov­ern­ment or telco or en­ter­prise, de­pend­ing on the scale that we can make use of. But it’s a ver­ti­cal so­lu­tion that goes. 2. The sec­ond one is the ac­cess. How you ac­cess that par­tic­u­lar cloud? Whether it’s in the cam­pus (on premise) or whether it’s pub­lic. If it’s pub­lic, then you have to cre­ate a com­plete WAN in­fra­struc­ture.

You know Ju­niper has been ex­tremely strong in creat- ing metro Eth­er­net, WAN net­works and code net­works us­ing our MX port­fo­lio and PTX port­fo­lio. Th­ese are the 2 ma­jor port­fo­lios that we have. And there are umpteen num­ber of vari­ants in th­ese two.

The sec­ond one is the LAN in­fra­struc­ture that you can cre­ate within the premises which could be based on EX port­fo­lio or the QFX port­fo­lio, de­pend­ing on the com­plex­ity that the LAN in­fra­struc­ture re­quires.

The se­cu­rity is em­bed­ded be­cause we have the higher end SRX fire­walls. But we had cre­ated a dif­fer­ent ar­chi­tec­ture called soft­ware de­fined se­cure net­works which is all per­va­sive se­cu­rity across the points, which is not only the fire­walls at the pa­ram­e­ter but right at the ingress point of the de­vice that you’re us­ing or through which you’re ac­cess­ing. And then we have cy­ber se­cu­rity port­fo­lio which goes across this. So that’s the sec­ond ver­ti­cal. 3. The third ver­ti­cal is the next gen­er­a­tion telco clouds which is the cloud­i­fi­ca­tion of ser­vices which can go up till the edge and then you have the com­plete or­ches­tra­tion layer, and then you can have the com­plete an­a­lyt­ics layer on top of it.

So, th­ese are the 3 pil­lars which we’re work­ing on, as of to­day. The fourth will be soft­ware as a ser­vice which will take an­other 18 to 24 months be­fore it gets pic­tured.

How was the in­ter­nal re­align­ment done since Jan­uary. You men­tioned some of the struc­tur­ing but in terms of the man­power?

So, the in­ter­nal man­power, I didn’t have to do much ac­tu­ally. We just had to re­al­lo­cate the peo­ple ac­cord­ing to the ver­ti­cal that they’re suited with. We hired few more ex­ec­u­tives from the mar­ket­place and just gave them th­ese three tasks, dis­cussed the strat­egy which is very very sim­ple and clear and then we’re just ex­e­cut­ing it. We’re not mak­ing any­thing very com­plex. Be­cause the more com­plex you make it, the less worth it is. That’s what I firmly be­lieve in. Keep it sim­ple.

Over the next 12 to 18 months, in terms of mar­ket share, are there any spe­cific tar­get you have in mind?

We just want to in­crease it by 10% YoY (an­nu­ally) at the min­i­mum. At the barest min­i­mum, it should be at least 10%, if not more. We are on the way to do it. I don’t want to set a large goal and then fail. I want to go with small steps and take it over. Be­cause most peo­ple, in or­der to make his­tory go for large big items and then they fail in 2 years and go back.

You may con­sider me as very con­ser­va­tive, though I’m very ag­gres­sive on the field. But the ques­tion is, let me as­sess the vol­ume. Let me as­sess the way it is and then take a very cal­cu­lated step. But from my per­spec­tive, I think our CAGR should be more than 10% over the next three years. I can give any num­ber, but this is what the re­al­ity is.

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