Light Reading

Big Switch Poaches Sales VP From Juniper

Mitch Wagner
4/22/2014
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Big Switch CEO Doug Murray stayed close to home when naming a new VP Worldwide Sales this week -- he hired an alum from Juniper Networks, Murray's former employer.

Shaun Page, a 13-year Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) veteran, has been hired to lead the SDN company's sales and channel efforts, deepen coverage in key North American markets, set up distribution partnerships, and ramp Big Switch Networks in Asia-Pacific and Europe. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)

Page will also hire additional sales reps and sales engineers, Murray told Light Reading. "As we have products gaining traction, I don't want to be limited by the dynamic of not having enough sales folk."

Page was previously Juniper VP strategic accounts. He joined the router vendor via the acquisition of Unisphere Networks in 2002.

Shaun Page, Big Switch's new VP Worldwide Sales
Shaun Page, Big Switch's new VP Worldwide Sales

Page completes Big Switch's top management roster, following a string of hires including Prashant Gandhi, who joined in May as VP of product management, Joe Palazola, VP operations and customer support, hired February 4, as well as Jeffrey Wang, hired in December as VP engineering after stints at Cisco and Brocade. Murray joined as CEO in November. (See Murray Leads Big Switch Into Bare Metal Battle and Big Switch CEO: We're Not for Sale.)

Big Switch is making the transition from an overlay SDN model to bare metal -- what it calls "P+V," for "Physical Plus Virtual." Big Tap, a network monitoring tool, shipped version 3.0 in late January, and a new version is in beta today. The company's Cloud Fabric cloud operations management software is being tested by six customers, with a release date coming later this year, Murray said.

Last week, Big Switch named Rajeev Gupta, former director of worldwide partner development and investment strategies at Juniper Networks, as its first ever global channel chief. The channel is crucial to Big Switch, Murray said.

"When you look at something like SDN, when you're taking innovative software and marrying it to bare-metal switches and open networking devices, you want an ecosystem of partners that can help put the solutions and architectures together," said the CEO.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.


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DHagar
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DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/2/2014 | 5:46:12 PM
Big Switch Poaches Sales VP From Juniper
@lightbulb1, that sounds like a good model. 

So what pieces do you believe Big Switch has, and what pieces do you see that they have acquired from "Juniper"?
lightbulb1
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lightbulb1,
User Rank: Lightning
5/2/2014 | 2:44:35 PM
Re: Big Switch Poaches Sales VP From Juniper
cheaper, better, faster is a sole winning formula in silicon valley technology startup. 

if you have all three, you have 50% chance to win big;

if you have two of them, you have 10% to stay alive;

if you have one, you are a smart guy but dont start a company with it.

To do a successful startup is to make all three factors happen and have enough fund supportting it. The hiring strategy should serve this sole purpose and you can figure our what people you need around.
DHagar
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DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/23/2014 | 4:20:06 PM
Big Switch Poaches Sales VP From Juniper
@lightbuilb1, so what is your vision of a viable product of value today?  And what type of talent would you hire to create that value?
lightbulb1
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lightbulb1,
User Rank: Lightning
4/23/2014 | 4:06:07 PM
Re: Big Switch Poaches Sales VP From Juniper
DHagar, Dont get me wrong. These people are career accomplishers and they dont climb to the exec ranks by fooling around. but startups are challenging the deep-pocket big companies which has nearly infinite resources and political mussules. there have to be non-conventional thinkings and executions. SDN starts with a stanford research project and have been leveraged as a weapon against incumbent network dominat companies like Cisco and Juniper. It might still have some niche in data centers and largely faded now from being panacea technology. 
Mitch Wagner
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Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/23/2014 | 3:49:50 PM
Re: Big Switch Poaches Sales VP From Juniper
lightbulb1 - Interesting insight. What's the source of your inside knowledge? Are you a former employee?

Companies need sales, so I wouldn't say hiring a new VP of sales is wasted resources. On the other hand, you seem to think the product itself is a dud and BS would be better off hiring engineers to improve it?
DHagar
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DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/23/2014 | 2:54:14 PM
Big Switch Poaches Sales VP From Juniper
@lightbuilb1, you certainly have a lot of inside knowledge.  From what you see, it appears you think there is no talent - all show?  If so, that will certainly show up with no product value. 
lightbulb1
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lightbulb1,
User Rank: Lightning
4/23/2014 | 2:35:52 PM
Re: Big Switch Poaches Sales VP From Juniper
Bigswich never had a sound biz model and it is all about hypes and stories. I'd rather see they hire away some superstar engineers who can design 10x better and 10x faster product than the big corp than they line up a bunch of coporate beuracrates. They just burned thru $50mil and i dont know anybody stupid enough to pour more into it. I bet they are laying their eyes on Russians now. Nicira had the best timing to dump the company and it was never worth the money, VMW must be regreting every night.
DHagar
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DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/23/2014 | 1:31:07 PM
Big Switch Poaches Sales VP From Juniper
@pcharles09, good point about the reality of business.  Due diligence, and/or time, will reveal the ability to translate into product and true value.
DHagar
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DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/23/2014 | 1:26:14 PM
Big Switch Poaches Sales VP From Juniper
@lightbulb1, they have put together a good looking package of talent.  It will depend if they can translate that into product.  To your point, they have a good bet to place on the table.

 
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/22/2014 | 9:53:44 PM
Re: Big Switch Poaches Sales VP From Juniper
That's part of business. Sometimes people get dealt a bad hand without the proper due diligence.
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