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December 23, 2022
Juniper Networks says it is grabbing market share from its enterprise rivals as it continues its transition away from its legacy service provider business.
Recent years have seen Juniper on a mission to recruit new enterprise partners. At the same time, it has been steering its existing service provider partners in that direction.
Juniper’s Dale Smith
Dale Smith, channel director UKI, Juniper Networks described this as a “transformation period” for the company.
“We’ve had a very good legacy channel, which has driven our growth in the service provider markets. We’ve been working hard with those channel partners to bring them into the enterprise narrative and technologies we now have. Those partners are really adapting well. They’re transforming their own infrastructures, their go-to-markets, to complement our change in those markets.”
The result is that last quarter, Juniper’s enterprise segment overtook its service provider and cloud businesses for the first time. It outgrew the business in both growth rates and revenues, said Smith. “We’ve got to the point where it’s superseded those other businesses,” he said.
2022 saw Juniper roll out its Elite Plus partner classification as part of an overhaul of the Juniper Partner Advantage Program (JPA). That, said Smith, brought with it “multiple million dollars’ worth of investment.”
The Elite Plus 50-50 co-investment model sees Juniper match the partners’ own investments and drive mutual plans. “We have taken these traditional partners and thrown a lot of investment at them,” he said.
At the same time, Juniper has fast tracked lower partners to Elite Plus to take advantage of their go-to-market and access to the enterprise.
“We are seeing great success,” said Smith. “The Elite Plus partners that we have [are] growing 22% faster than our Elite partners, which is phenomenal. And those Elite partners are growing really well.”
“When they see the technology in the production POC, we convert it to an order 95% of the time. Therefore the role of Elite Plus partner is to drive as many POCs as they can.”
Smith pointed to Juniper’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, secured by its acquisition of Mist Systems in 2019.
“If you sell legacy infrastructure, you have to build in support costs, PS costs, resourcing. With artificial intelligence, we have a self-healing network. [That] means you don’t need to spend as much supporting it. You don’t need to cost in as much. The cost cycles are coming down and we can become a more cost-effective solution.
“When we go head-to-head with legacy technology … we’re winning multiple million pound deals. But sometimes we’ve been more expensive on occasion because the cost savings in the long term on operational support gains are there. [That] makes us far cheaper on a 3, 5, 10 year basis. That’s our opportunity to grow the market share because of those global pressures right now.”
The strategy is paying off, said Smith. “Over the last 12-24 months, Juniper UKI has grown our market share in networking enterprise from 4% to around 7%. You may say another 3% isn’t huge, but the revenues mean it is really huge, because of the level of business that we’re doing.”
The new goal, he said, is to double the enterprise business in the next three years.
To achieve this Juniper is planning additional investment, including increasing headcount. Smith said the firm will add sales people to its direct touch teams, to his channel team, and to system engineers and marketing. “Our footprint in the market is there to support our channel partners in which right away,” he said.
Contributing Editor, Channel Futures
Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.
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