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Farewell IDC, Hello Juniper

I’m going to Juniper Networks. After two tours of duty and a total time of 10 years at IDC, the time has come for me to bundle up what I’ve learned and apply it. I’m not going to say much about what I’ll be doing at Juniper, but rather take this opportunity to say thanks to my colleagues and clients at IDC.

I owe Lee Doyle and Cindy Borovick huge debts of gratitude for their guidance, friendship, and butt kicking. Lee is one of the few analyst managers who doesn’t consider himself an expert just because an analyst who works for him covers a topic. He understands the intersection of telecommunications and IT in a way few others can compare. Cindy has one of the best BS filters I’ve ever seen. I’ll miss her “…that’s a good point, but I don’t think so because…[insert much better point here]” Those of you in compute and storage would be wise to raise her stature in your counsel.

The list of IDCers with whom I have shared many wins and a few losses is long and global. I learned a ton from all of you. Please don’t be strangers when you come to Silicon Valley.

My IDC’s Enterprise Communications Infrastructure practice is in good hands. Petr Jirovsky has been a joy to work with. His models and data products are world class. For those of you working with Petr, I implore you to listen closely. He speaks softly, and carries large sticks. Clients will see more of what Petr has created over the next year and it rocks. Jonathan Edwards has been coming up to speed quickly on telepresence and the future of real-time communications and collaboration. Keep an eye on him, he’s becoming an influential fellow.

If you are interested in my replacement, keep an eye on Lee Doyle’s twitter stream. If you are interested in *being* my replacement, let me know.

To my clients:
Thank you for all the questions and for all of your nuanced, spun, and honest answers to my questions. I’ve enjoyed incredible access to your smartest engineers, executives, customers, and investors. I will miss that access as it has been a fun and rewarding ride. I’m proud to count many of you as friends, mentors, and now some of you will become my sworn enemies whom I will crush… but I digress.

To those who provided me with career guidance over the last several months – a big thank you, you know who you are.

FAQ:

Are you moving to Silicon Valley?

Yes. We’re moving to Silicon Valley. If you’re connected to me on Facebook, you’ll see more on that front there.

Why network infrastructure instead of unified communications?

I almost went the UC route. I’ve had a blast investigating UC and telepresence. Unified Comms and collaboration is a fragmented gong show of a market and I’ll continue to keep tabs on it. My UC knowledge certainly won’t go unused. In the meantime, network infrastructure is getting interesting again. Over the next few years, CIOs will have to decide how deeply they want collaboration applications and compute/storage resources intertwined with the network while HP/3Com will create a new pricing environment and the adoption of IT architectures in building network devices shifts the way we think about the value of the network.

I was lucky enough to be able to choose from multiple sets of brilliant people and companies. In the end, the Juniper job was the best fit for me right now.

Why Juniper?

Networks from Juniper deliver video, clouds, voice, branch applications, etc easier, cheaper, and faster than the other guys. Juniper has phenomenal technology, great customers, and a growing set of offerings for the enterprise. All the major components are on the table and leading customers are more receptive to investigating alternative network suppliers than any other time in the last decade. While I think I have a good handle on Juniper’s SWOT, if there are things you think I should know about Juniper, for better or worse I’m all ears. Always.

We told you about our uber secret widget strategy recently…

This is not the first job offer I’ve had while working as an analyst at IDC. I’ve had a number of soft offers over the years and two other times where discussions advanced beyond the beverage in hand stage. While you are discussing changing your life on one front you have to continue to do your job on another. I’ve always honored NDAs and that continues.

You recently gave us a bunch of advice on our networking strategy… how much was it tainted by this?

It wasn’t. Juniper as an option for many has grown with additions to their product line and other investments that serve enterprise customers. My advice to consider them as a vendor has grown at a similar pace. I have a long history of promoting dual vendor networks to mitigate security vulnerabilities and to ensure a standards based network that does not force unwarranted refreshes, support contracts, or dependence on proprietary protocols that could get stranded. This move doesn’t change those longstanding tenants. (Unless of course you are talking about a Juniper only network :-)

I’m one of your former analyst colleagues, will you ply me with alcohol and fancy dinners?

You?!? No way.


Posted in Admin.

  • bethinsf

    Congrats on the new role Abner!

    Beth Johnson
    HP Software AR

  • Thanks Beth!

  • bethinsf

    Congrats on the new role Abner!

  • Sit vis vobiscum. I wish you every success and look forward to keeping up with your new role on your blog. Will certainly ping you when next in SV.

  • You better!

  • steven wastie

    good luck abner - Lots of great opportunities at J.

  • Thanks Steven. I ran into Evan the other day and heard a little about what you are up doing lately. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

  • gerryvanzandt

    Congratulations, Abner. Best of luck with your new position.

  • Thanks Gerry!

  • smithwill

    I'm sure Juniper will reap great rewards...and Cisco will feel the results. Best of luck.

  • Abner - Congratulations on your new position. It sounds exciting. We also have a relationship with Juniper so maybe we'll work together in the future. We are especially interested in data center technologies and helping enterprises understand what "cloud ready" means. Please stay in touch!
    Paul Lopez, GM Operations Development & Planning, NEC
    @lopezunwired

  • Thanks Paul. Likewise and let me know when you are in the neighborhood. Lots happening on the cloud and datacenter front.

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