Rami Rahim, the Canadian born CEO of Juniper Networks

Published: June 3rd, 2015

TORONTO – In part two of the Rami Rahim interview with CDN, the newly appointed CEO of Juniper Networks opens up about the channel and its importance to the networking vendor.

Read Part One of the Interview with Rami Rahim.

Juniper’s channel strategy has the company using solution providers a majority of the time, Rahim said. Juniper’s current channel program spans the globe and specifically in the enterprise space the company’s go-to-market approach is through the channel.

Rahim, a Toronto native, also gives his viewpoint on the net neutrality debate as well as how vital security is to the future success of Juniper Networks.

The following is an edited transcript.

CDN Now: Where is Juniper Networks with its security solutions?

Rami Rahim: It’s an important part of our strategy. Security is no longer the domain of the lone hacker. It’s now with organized crime. CEOs and boards are taking it seriously. When customers want to invest in building networks with us we must give them peace of mind and it should be resilient to attacks. They want to run their businesses without interruption and that’s intimately tied to the network. We built a high performance firewall that’s on the perimeter called SRX and it keeps the bad guys out. It’s a virtual solution that provides far more agility and it uses open interfaces to allow other security products to collaborate with it.

CDN Now: You are the new CEO. Do you have any new ideas for your channel in terms of direction or strategy?

R.R.: The channel has always represented the bulk of our business. We have an effective partner program and I take the channel seriously. Earlier this year we had a sales kick off with a new product strategy and we invited our channel partners to be there with the sales team. There was no daylight for both in terms of access to information. We provided each group with the same information. This sent a powerful message to them that they are important in helping us get the solutions in the hands of the customers. I am personally spending a lot of time with channel partners and they will continue to be the go to market strategy for us.

CDN Now: You are spending a lot of time with the channel partners; what are they telling you?

R.R.: We listen carefully to all partners. They are never shy on giving us feedback on what is working and what we need to improve on. Recently the feedback has been positive so far and some have acknowledged they are seeing more innovation from Juniper. I appreciate it. They acknowledge we are making it easier for them to work with us on campaigns, for example, that drive demand and lead to more customer wins.

CDN Now: Where do you stand on the net neutrality debate?

R.R.: Net neutrality; we believe in a free and open Internet. It’s important to us and the Internet is arguably the single most important platform for innovation in this world. It’s important to make it free and open. I’m not a big fan of the Internet being regulated by governments like the way the legacy phone service was historically regulated. That is our stance.

CDN Now: You are Canadian and you are in Canada. What are your thoughts on the Canadian market for Juniper Networks?

R.R.: Canada has always been an important market for us and the customers in Canada are forward-looking. They are not afraid to shake things up. We love customers like that and value them. They are the ones who take advantage of the latest technology as a true differentiator in the marketplace. I’m always pleased to come up to Canada and talk strategy with customers and the channel to make sure we are completely aligned. While I’m here I do take advantage of it and spend time with family and friends. The Canadian market is a good growth engine for us and we have a fantastic sales team here.

CDN Now: How does Canada compare to other mature markets that Juniper is in?

R.R.: There are different customers around the world and some of them are in different phases of their journey with next generation networks and adopting automation to crush operational costs. We have seen that customers – large telcos, enterprises, and cable operators – are becoming very serious about making the transition and leveraging the best technology in making that transition. And, I think we have been a good partner to them.