E67 - Johannes Hertel at Juniper Networks

Zack Mount
Johannes Hertel

By Zack Mount & Johannes Hertel

Our Head of Enterprise Networking Security Zack Mount was joined by Johannes Hertel, the Systems Engineering Senior Manager at Juniper Networks. His role is to build and transform his team towards software sales and create synergies across accounts in DevOps, IT Cloud, TelcoCloud, CUPS and oRAN. During this episode, Johannes touches on why he believes having a diverse skill set is more beneficial than intelligence.

Johannes was always interested in electronics, IT, and how computers work from his early years, so it made sense that he studied Electrical Engineering at university. He always saw himself in a research role or something theoretical. He very quickly was in touch with external marketing and got asked to host a trade show. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience and his colleagues liked what they saw so Johannes moved into product marketing and management. From there, he naturally progressed into pre-sales and then ultimately made his way into his current role.

Before becoming a manager, he had already had several years of experience working across the company. Not only did he cross duties between teams, but also countries. He was always able to collaborate well with his team and they received good results under his leadership. The support of his boss and colleagues was the reason that the transition was so smooth for him.

As a developer and business owner, the most dominant change he has seen is how hardware has been commoditised, on a pure hardware level it no longer matters what product you use, but how you can use it. What’s important to look at is what the software on top of these systems is and how to stay on top of it, and how can it interact with a system.

As we strive to become more diverse organisations, hiring for diversity isn’t just important in terms of race. As a leader and manager, you need to ensure that there is diversity in all aspects – geographically, culturally, and professionally. For Johannes, one of the things he has learned throughout his career is that you need to find an environment where you will be challenged and tested. A lot of learning that happens in the workplace is not necessarily things that you would learn in books. People who are good at leading are those who do it, while those who just read about leadership often don’t have the experience to implement it. At Juniper, he has seen how diversity in backgrounds and approaches can lead to innovative solutions. His advice: seek an environment where there is diversity to gain from.

A Day in the Life of Johannes Hertel…

As the Systems Engineering Senior Manager at Juniper Networks, the ‘average’ day isn’t so much an average day, in his case the variants are very high. His tasks are split up into three categories. The first is working with the Account Directors and Delivery Managers to make sure the whole organisation that surrounds the customer walks in the same direction. Second, he is heavily involved in customer projects and works around the customer’s needs and wants. And the final is making sure his team have the time and capacity to do training and education. If they don’t have it, they will ultimately be behind in the market. So, he makes sure they have a plan in terms of time and competence of where they want to go.

When he’s looking for new hires, the ideal candidate has got to know the basic knowledge. A solid education or foundation is really necessary because if you don’t know the ground principles then you won’t ever be able to catch up. Spend time at university or a company where you’re able to learn the basics and you’ll be set. Not only that but someone who can bring their own personality and ways of thinking and most importantly is authentic.

Make sure you give the full episode a listen now where you can hear Johannes’ answers to our quick-fire questions!