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Juniper Networks’ new vice president of channel sales has a mission โ€“ to convert or recruit partners to the company’s evolving solutions-based sales strategy.

Blaine Raddon has been appointed to the role at a crucial time for the company.  Juniper’s recently fortified its product lineup with a series of switches โ€“ a move that fills out Juniper’s technology offerings. And the EX 3200, 4200 and 8200 switches are expected to make Juniper’s technology lineup more competitive with rival Cisco’s.

"Pulling together multiple product sets into a solution was very ingrained in what we did at IBM," said Raddon, who joined Juniper’s sales team last year to head sales in the U.S. western region after a 19-year career at IBM. "As Juniper grows up from being a smaller company to a bigger one, we will change our mindset from selling point products to selling solutions."

In his new role at Juniper, Raddon heads up all channel operations including distribution, the JPartner program and partner sales. His most recent role at IBM was as director of sales for the Ingram Micro relationship worldwide. He has 13 years of channel experience.

Now Raddon is faced with the task of ensuring the new switches, along with all the company’s other products, have coverage in all geographies. The question is: What’s the right way to do that?

"Do we need to go out and recruit new channel partners to sell switching? We found that most of our partners โ€“ 80 to 85 percent โ€“ had a practice that included that kind of technology," he said. So now Juniper is faced with the task of winning existing partners over to sell its new switches, due to be released by the end of March.

To get ready for that push, Juniper has been adding more muscle to its channel program over the last year with about a 20 percent increase to internal channel resources. But don’t expect a revolution overnight. 

"We are working on an evolution that takes us 18 months to two to three years down the road," Raddon said.

Click here to read about Juniper’s appointment of a former Sun technologist as executive vice president of emerging technologies.