Juniper CEO: Innovation Trumps Market Uncertainty To Drive Partner Success


In your high-level conversations with the C-suite, what's been key to getting customers to understand QFabric? What's the aha, lightbulb moment for explaining your competitive advantage there?

For them it's business value. You have a solution that lets them implement their data center and consume 75 to 80 percent less power in the network and do it with less capital expenditure and at a much lower total cost of ownership. For a CIO and a CXO, those are going to be very compelling things. Then, as they take a look at their organizations and have data center architects do speeds and feeds and benchmark it, the fact that QFabric can win on the technical benchmarks means we're seeing more and more traction behind the product. Some partners here have been talking about the sheer number of opportunities they have for working on QFabric deals.

So has early adoption of QFabric been in line with expectations?

Whenever you introduce a technology that has a new architecture in it, you know the sales process is going to take some time, because architecting data centers and building data centers with a new architectural approach is a period you have to go through to educate customers and be a part of their planning process. In terms of the wins we've secure, we're very pleased with the progress, but we've also realized it's going to take time. We'd like it to happen faster but the fact is that with an architectural sale like this, it's going to take time.

What are your thoughts on OpenFlow and its influence over networking?

We're at the table and we're participating and having the dialogue, so we'll see how it unfolds. I think we've recognized that there's some interesting concepts there. Will those be able to scale? The important thing for us is that we're at the table engaging and having the dialogue and being part of it.

Are C-suite customer leaders more willing to spend this year? Do you think the enterprise spend this year is going to be more robust?

Since we're in a quiet period, I just can't comment on any view of spending patterns in 2012.

Well are they at least optimistic? More cheerful maybe?

I understand the question, but those things get interpreted. So I apologize, but we're in a quiet period and I can't comment.

Looking ahead beyond 2013, what's your challenge? What keeps you up at night?

The challenge is to continue to shape the long-term agenda of the company. We have a three to five year product roadmap, and we have to be careful about how we're allocating resources. We will continue to do that. There are macroeconomic things we can't control but that we have to be aware of, and we have to be agile and respond to those. I think we do a pretty good job of that.