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
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.