Jason Gress, founder and president of InterVision Systems Technologies, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based solution provider, said much of InterVision's Juniper business already fell under the commercial sales organization, so the merger with the channel division seems like a logical next step.
"It will create a lot of synergy and, as they align, more consistency for channel partners," Gress said.
Gress also said he was happy to see Helfer, a 13-year Juniper vet, at the helm of the newly merged unit. Juniper also on Thursday appointed Doug Erickson, former senior director of enterprise strategy and planning, as its new vice president of worldwide partner programs and development, another move applauded by Gress.
"They're veterans of Juniper, and I think promoting internally gives the organization more of a hit-the-ground-running strategy, versus bringing folks in from outside," Gress told CRN.
As for Umeoka's departure -- which follows that of Juniper's former North American channel chief Frank Vitagliano this March, along with the announced retirement of CEO Kevin Johnson in August -- partners said they haven't felt any major impacts on their businesses just yet.
"None of [these executive changes] have really affected us yet because the local channel teams haven't changed," said Pat Grillo, president and CEO of Atrion Communication Resources, a Branchburg, N.J.-based solution provider. "We've haven't noticed any changes yet."
Chris Becerra, vice president of sales at Terrapin Systems, a San Jose, Calif.- based solution provider, said he's not surprised to see another executive shake-up at Juniper, especially given the looming departure of Johnson. He is, however, anxious to hear how Juniper's new leadership team will help partners take advantage of one of the industry's most buzzed-about trends: software-defined networking.
"With Kevin Johnson on his way out, we kind of thought there would be some changes, and there probably will be some further changes. So, I'm not surprised," Becerra said. "I'm more concerned about how they address this whole open, software-defined networking approach in a way that's not cannibalizing some of their hard-margin technology."
PUBLISHED Oct. 3, 2013