Ixia Communications Poaches Former Juniper Exec As First Channel Chief


Network monitoring and testing specialist Ixia Communications has poached a former Juniper Networks channel executive to be its first-ever worldwide channel chief.

Ixia confirmed Monday that Lori Cornmesser, formerly the head of worldwide partner development at Juniper, is Ixia's new vice president of global channel sales.

Cornmesser joins Ixia after an 11-year stint at Juniper, where she most recently headed up Juniper's partner enablement efforts. Prior to her role as senior director of worldwide partner development at Juniper, Cornmesser was Juniper's vice president of service provider alliance sales and. Before that, she was head of Juniper's global managed services and service provider alliance partnerships.

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"I wasn't necessarily looking to make a move," Cornmesser told CRN. "And I made a conscious decision that I didn't want to go out and compete with a company I helped build for 11 years. Ixia really fit all the things I was looking for in terms of my next move."

Cornmesser's departure comes on the heels of several other executive exits from the Juniper channel team. Last week, Juniper confirmed the upcoming departure of Emilio Umeoka, senior vice president of worldwide partners, who left the company amid plans to merge Juniper's channel and commercial sales organizations into one.

In August, Steve Pataky, former vice president of worldwide partner development at Juniper, jumped ship to security vendor FireEye, and in March, former Senior Vice President of Americas Partners Frank Vitagliano left Juniper to head up channel sales at Dell.

Cornmesser said she plans to leverage her 11 years at Juniper, and 18 years in the channel, to implement a formalized partner program for Ixia's roughly 100 global partners.

"We are going to be a launching a new program at the end of the year that will allow partners to differentiate themselves in the market," Cornmesser said.

The new program, according to Cornmesser, will segment Ixia partners into different tiers based on the sales commitment they show Ixia. New technical certifications will also be introduced to help categorize partners, Cornmesser said.

The program will also include revamped versions of Ixia's existing demand and lead generation tools and give way to a larger Ixia channel team with dedicated account managers positioned around North America.

Cornmesser said the program is also being designed to formally integrate Ixia's partner base with that of Anue Systems and BreakingPoint Systems, the two companies Ixia acquired last year. As that happens, Ixia partners will benefit from a greater network security and visibility play, given the legacy Anue and BreakingPoint product portfolios, Cornmesser said.

In addition to attracting new solution providers, the newly designed Ixia partner program is meant to help Ixia do more business with existing partners, some of which are Solution Provider 500 powerhouses including Dimension Data and World Wide Technology.

"They are doing some business with us today, but it's not enough," Cornmesser said.

For its fiscal year 2012, Ixia reported a 34 percent year-over-year jump in revenue to $411.7 million, with $54.9 million of that being attributable to the Anue and BreakingPoint acquisitions. Not accounting for the acquisitions, Ixia said its revenue still grew 16 percent year-over-year, totaling $356.8 million.

PUBLISHED OCT. 14, 2012