What are the unique challenges for executives when joining a company via acquisition?

Top Answer : I came to Juniper via an acquisition. I led the business operations team at Mist, which was acquired by Juniper in April last year. At Mist, I was responsible for building the company's go-to-market operational framework and strategy from the ground up. Essentially, my team managed everything from lead to fulfillment, so the entire customer life cycle from acquisition of a customer to retention. We designed and built really scalable processes across marketing sales, customer success, and really transitioned to a SaaS business model. So even though we sold hardware with subscriptions, we really tried to look at it from the lens of a SaaS based business model and what that really means in terms of customer experience, in terms of agility, and all of that.  And then today, as part of Juniper, we're continuing to manage the transformation towards the whole AI driven network. So, we started with wireless, SaaSifying the wireless space, and now we're looking at switching and routing.  So we’re really looking to transform the whole AI driven network and take a holistic view of where Juniper needs to be operationally to support this software transformation and also the customer first mindset.  I joined Juniper right as they were undergoing a major transformation, and my job was to lead that.  Juniper recognized that they were primarily a hardware company, and are really looking to kind of move the needle with software. That's where they found the value with Mist. My job is to figure out, how do we support and how do we make the changes that are needed operationally for us to support a software business model.   A big challenge is managing change.   We're all creatures of habit. My single greatest challenge has been, how do you balance boldly pushing the boundaries while accepting the reality of your circumstances? And by that, I mean, I came to Juniper via an acquisition.  There’s that sense that you're not completely or fully integrated into the Juniper organization.  Yet, you are trying to -- whether it's with respect to integration, to supporting the products, to working with the sales teams -- you're still trying to influence change and make a lot of those key decisions that would actually enable all the transformation that we are doing in the product.   In addition to managing the change is influencing. How do you influence all the broader teams? At Mist, we were all of a hundred people.  It was a start-up environment. We had an open floor plan. You're right next to each other. If you want to do something, you just communicate. You talk, and you just get it done. It was a very execution-centered mindset. And so, there wasn't a whole lot of deliberation or discussion. We were super quick in decision-making.  Fast forward to today, Juniper is a much larger ecosystem.  Now, it's about interfacing with six different organizations in Juniper to influence, get buy-in, and charter the course for software transformation. And at the same time, we're continuing to support a hyper-growth business. The product portfolio for AI driven network is just continually increasing. The numbers are just up and to the right. So another challenge is, how do you stay on top of your day-to-day management, your day-to-day tactical responsibilities, and at the same time, work with this much larger organization to plan and get in front of making some of the changes that would really help us move the needle in the next 12 to 18 months?

Orange Monitor
Software
I came to Juniper via an acquisition. I led the business operations team at Mist, which was acquired by Juniper in April last year. At Mist, I was responsible for building the company's go-to-market operational framework and strategy from the ground up. Essentially, my team managed everything from lead to fulfillment, so the entire customer life cycle from acquisition of a customer to retention. We designed and built really scalable processes across marketing sales, customer success, and really transitioned to a SaaS business model. So even though we sold hardware with subscriptions, we really tried to look at it from the lens of a SaaS based business model and what that really means in terms of customer experience, in terms of agility, and all of that.  And then today, as part of Juniper, we're continuing to manage the transformation towards the whole AI driven network. So, we started with wireless, SaaSifying the wireless space, and now we're looking at switching and routing.  So we’re really looking to transform the whole AI driven network and take a holistic view of where Juniper needs to be operationally to support this software transformation and also the customer first mindset.  I joined Juniper right as they were undergoing a major transformation, and my job was to lead that.  Juniper recognized that they were primarily a hardware company, and are really looking to kind of move the needle with software. That's where they found the value with Mist. My job is to figure out, how do we support and how do we make the changes that are needed operationally for us to support a software business model.   A big challenge is managing change.   We're all creatures of habit. My single greatest challenge has been, how do you balance boldly pushing the boundaries while accepting the reality of your circumstances? And by that, I mean, I came to Juniper via an acquisition.  There’s that sense that you're not completely or fully integrated into the Juniper organization.  Yet, you are trying to -- whether it's with respect to integration, to supporting the products, to working with the sales teams -- you're still trying to influence change and make a lot of those key decisions that would actually enable all the transformation that we are doing in the product.   In addition to managing the change is influencing. How do you influence all the broader teams? At Mist, we were all of a hundred people.  It was a start-up environment. We had an open floor plan. You're right next to each other. If you want to do something, you just communicate. You talk, and you just get it done. It was a very execution-centered mindset. And so, there wasn't a whole lot of deliberation or discussion. We were super quick in decision-making.  Fast forward to today, Juniper is a much larger ecosystem.  Now, it's about interfacing with six different organizations in Juniper to influence, get buy-in, and charter the course for software transformation. And at the same time, we're continuing to support a hyper-growth business. The product portfolio for AI driven network is just continually increasing. The numbers are just up and to the right. So another challenge is, how do you stay on top of your day-to-day management, your day-to-day tactical responsibilities, and at the same time, work with this much larger organization to plan and get in front of making some of the changes that would really help us move the needle in the next 12 to 18 months?
1 upvotes
Red USB Stick
Software
Sun Tzu provides some succinct advice. Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
2 upvotes