Vitagliano: Channel Reorg Opens New Doors For Juniper Partners

Juniper's Frank Vitagliano says his company's new channel management structure will not only make it easier for channel partners to do business with the networking and security vendor, but it will also give them more opportunities earlier in the deal-making process.

As first reported on Wednesday, Vitagliano is adding responsibility for U.S. enterprise operations to his existing role as vice president of worldwide channels. The new arrangement means he will oversee U.S. enterprise sales, state and local sales, the emerging technology group and enterprise inside sales, in addition to his established channel duties.

He says the company decided to make the move to optimize the way it does business.

"As we looked more at the size of the opportunity we have with the channel and in the enterprise market, we realized we needed a new level of focus on each segment," Vitagliano says.

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He adds that the new structure is more meaningful than simply having all regional managers and reps reporting to one person. Juniper now will have three regional vice presidents under Vitagliano whose job will be overseeing each group of account managers.

"We're consolidating our resources into units that are closer to the customer, which should help from a speed and execution standpoint," he says.

That, in turn, should help partners be more productive on their existing accounts while driving more business.

"It's not about what we couldn't do before [under the old structure], but how quickly we could get it done," he says. "We'll be able to get channel partners engaged earlier in the deal process and do a better job of planning on the major accounts. They'll also be able to participate in the more lucrative aspects of a deal, such as services engagements, instead of being there for fulfillment only."

Bob Bruce will continue to run the Americas channels operation and will serve as acting regional manager in the Western region until Juniper finds a permanent replacement.

Other executives also are getting expanded roles. Donna Grothjan is now vice president of worldwide channel strategy and operations, a role in which she will lead Juniper's go-to-market strategy through the channel, as well as the operations and infrastructure that goes with it. Steve Pataky has been promoted to vice president of worldwide channel development and programs, where he will lead Juniper's partner development strategy and core program engines. And David Helfer has been promoted to vice president of worldwide strategic partners to lead the sales efforts of the company's largest partners.

"It's very critical to have someone like Donna in that role, and Steve's job will be to develop partner programs and make sure they're implemented in a way partners can understand," Vitagliano says. "The moves really strengthen us and will help me focus on my new enterprise role."