Juniper Revamps Partner Program, Teases New Product Lineup

by – Mark Haranas on January 23, 2015 – published on CRN.com
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During Juniper Networks’ first-ever Ideas/Connect event in Las Vegas this week, executives unveiled a revamped overall partner framework and teased an upcoming “innovative” product line.

“Throughout 2015 Juniper [will have] probably the best innovative product line that it’s had in a large number of years,” said Matt Hurley, Juniper corporate vice president, global partner and field marketing, told CRN. “The partners in the room were ecstatic as we went through the new product lines that we will be shortly announcing.”

Mark Sollazo, co-founder, president and CEO of Milwaukee-based SynerComm, an Elite Juniper partner, attended the Ideas/Connect event.

“I like what I see [about the new product line],” said Sollazo. “It fits right into what their wheelhouse is, which is building high-performance and highly scalable secure application delivery frameworks, cloud-based frameworks.”

Fredric Wallsten, director of cloud services at IPnett, a Nordic Juniper partner, said, “For us, the refocus on a new product portfolio seems very strong and fits very nicely into what we’re targeting.”

Juniper also will simplify its Partner Advantage Program framework, based around its new Partnering for Business Growth platform, according to Hurley.

“Every year, there were new versions of the Partner Advantage Program, but in 2015 we’re actually going to double-click up a couple levels and tell our partners that we’re gearing all of our programs towards their growth, and that is the new Partnering for Business Growth platform,” he said.

Program specifics have yet to be rolled out, but Hurley said partners will not get flooded with constant updates. The Sunnvale, Calif.-based company also will be more transparent about its direction in the future, he added.

“Partners won’t have to try to figure out where Juniper is moving toward or away from something; you’ll see simplifications,” said Hurley.

“They’re really doubling down on partners that are committed to Juniper and what Juniper stands for and the markets they’re in,” said Sollazo. “There’s a really big focus on channel enablement programs, to help channel partners bring Juniper products and services to the marketplace.”

“They’re really embracing the partner approach,” said Wallsten.

Juniper partners said the Las Vegas event was unique. Nearly 150 partner organizations flocked to Las Vegas for the conferences, which included field trips in small groups to find solutions to specific problems.

“It was a unique format intended to promote creative, abstract thinking,” said Andy Malivuk, vice president of vendor relations at Vology, a Tampa, Fla.-based IT solution provider and Juniper partner. “I had a chance to speak with many other partners at the end and it seems that most of us appreciated the new approach, a break from the standard conferences that so many of us attend every year.”

Juniper is going to gear all of its future conferences to the same type of format, according to Hurley.

“Feedback we received from those traditional events from the past few years was ‘death-by-PowerPoint.’ By the second day, you start to lose people,” said Hurley. “We’ve ended both of those traditional sales and partner motions and created something that’s going to be better for us, better for our partners and our internal sales folks as well.”