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Juniper Channel Boss Talks Partner Program Updates

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Lynn Haber**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of July’s important channel-program changes you should know.**

Juniper Networks recently announced the evolution of its Juniper Partner Advantage Program (JPAP) with the addition of new categories to its Elite partner tier and the addition of a points-based rewards program. The vendor also expanded access to its Marketing Concierge to all partner tiers.

Juniper Networks' Matthew HurleyThe program enhancements arrive just a bit over a year since Juniper overhauled JPAP in July 2015. The program has three tiers: Elite, Select and Reseller. In late July, prior to the partner-program changes, Juniper reported quarterly revenue of $1.22 billion, relatively flat from the previous year. Also late last month, Juniper signed on as a technology partner with Verizon Enterprise Solutions, with Juniper’s Cloud CPE solution serving as a foundational engine for Verizon’s Virtual Network Services.

The latest JPAP updates, particularly in the Elite tier, reflect Juniper’s shift toward becoming more of a software and services-focused company, Matt Hurley, corporate vice president, global channels and field marketing at Juniper, shared with us. Here, Hurley expands on the drivers behind the JPAP changes.

Matt Hurley: Those changes give us more flexibility around specialized services and allow us to take new partners into our program around services such as DevOps or cloud-focused X-as-a-service, or managed-services kinds of providers.{ad}

[Hurley refers to these new partners as Next Gen partners.]

We’re also rolling out a global program around a flexible points program that reaches our partner sellers, or sales reps. To date, we only had pockets of this but not a truly global program. So, this is a single unified program that allows our partner resellers to participate in actual rewards; think of an airline rewards program where you can trade in for goods and merchandise, across a whole bunch of categories. This also targets our Elite tier.

Channel Partners: Want to expand on the reseller points program?

MH: One of the things we really want to do is reach our partner resellers around Juniper and specifically around Juniper’s new security portfolio, which is our cloud-based managed services security offering.

So we’ll be able to incent those sellers with various point values. So, obviously, selling a cloud security offer from Juniper will carry a higher point value than selling a product that’s been around for a while.

The global points program also enhances our brand-new dealer registration system that we’re turning on globally on Sept. 1.

CP: Tell us more about the Elite tier changes.

MH: The new categories that we’re adding focus on Elite partners — those that have made the most investments with Juniper. The ones to highlight, as the industry and Juniper move toward …

{vpipagebreak}

… becoming software-focused and services-led, and then being able to work with cloud providers as-a-service — those are categories that we’re specifically targeting in the Elite tier.

Our partners are looking for the vision of where we’re going. The vision is monetizing the software that’s inside of the traditional hardware. I’m not going to quote a number, but the majority of the R&D efforts inside a company like Juniper are software-related, so we want to monetize that change.

It’s important to note that we’re not competing with our partners in services. We’re actually helping our partners transition to becoming more services-led, and so a services-led sale where we’re training them to use professional services assessments and teaching them how to do that and become certified — they can go into a new prospect and say, “I want to run a report on your data center and show how you’re utilizing your machines or report on the customer’s security vulnerabilities.”

Also, what the new categories will do is, say, a partner that offers services on Juniper hardware, they’d have a hard time participating in our program today, but under the changes they can come in under our Cloud Service Provider bucket and they can have access to everything that you get at the Elite level.

A services-only partner that’s investing in specialized services capability, say a niche to support the financial services sector or Juniper’s Contrail products — yesterday they’d have a hard time participating in the program because they couldn’t hit the required sales-achievement levels, but now that we have this program, we’ve expanded it to include service-only partners.

Then there’s the new Rising Star partner, another new Elite category — Those [are the ones] investing with Juniper, [are] smaller, but show a lot of promise. Now there’s an avenue for them to move into the Elite tier … we create a business plan with them, assign them a person to help them along and we evaluate their progress over the course of a year.

We’ve made our program more flexible and adaptive to the market.

CP: What about changes to the Juniper Marketing Concierge? The company revamped the Marketing Concierge portal and added new demand-generation capabilities about a year ago. What now?

MH: Today, there are two swim lanes for demand generation that exist in that Concierge: There [are] 44 prepackaged Juniper campaigns – like a marketing-campaign-in-a-box concept – with all of the assets and promotions and everything you need to execute that. The second swim lane is a full-service, white-glove concierge to help our customers build customized campaigns where they see an opportunity in the market.

The Marketing Concierge is available to all Juniper partners; we never reached that reseller tier with a lot of marketing efforts in the past.


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