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Tue 1 May 2007 04:04 PM

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Juniper gets aggressive

Recently-appointed distribution boss spells out plans to expand channel.

Networking vendor Juniper's recently appointed MEA distribution manager John Andrews claims the vendor is looking to double the number of channel partners it works with in the region. He also reckons that as Juniper's channel expands, so too will its workforce in the region.

Andrews claims his new role at the networking vendor - which he took up earlier this year - calls for him to drive channel growth, and revealed that the vendor has its sights firmly fixed on enlarging its distribution channel.

"The growth potential and market size in the region is huge," he said. "I'd imagine we'll be expanding the team further to try and cope with the fact that one of our goals in distribution is to increase the number of partners we have - we're looking to increase probably by 100% over the coming four months which would mean an increase in size internally as well as externally, as we'll need the people to cope with that," he revealed.

The vendor's new distribution boss, who previously occupied channel roles at McAfee, Schlumberger and APC, has been based in Dubai since 1997 and claims Juniper's growth in the region played an important part in his decision to take on the role.

"I was very familiar with Netscreen when they were really coming into the region in a big way, and at the same time I saw Juniper coming along steadily and when the two combined forces it seemed to me that for the first time, potentially ever, there was a realistic competitor to Cisco," he said. "I don't think there's any other company growing at the rate Juniper is growing right now - going from 10 to 12 people around 12 to 18 months ago to having something between 65 and 70 people across the region now."

He added that Juniper's sudden upsurge in regional workforce allows him the freedom to interact more with distributors and focus on business development.

"As a distribution manager there's a lot of emphasis placed on generating commercial business and working with distributors to develop channels," he said. "We've already got a lot of people in the channel team, so it really frees up the role I have to be less of an administration and policing role and more of a business development role - trying to initiate a high level of commercial activity though distribution," he concluded.

Juniper, which currently distributes through Almasa, Mindware, Spectrum-Comguard and Online Distribution in the Middle East, recently reported a 12% year-on-year decline in first quarter net profit to US$67m. Sales climbed 11% to US$627m. "Our first quarter results were in line with expectations," said CEO Scott Kriens.

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