Juniper Channel Update: Multicloud at the Fore
In October, Juniper Networks announced that big changes were in the works for its Juniper Partner Advantage Program, beginning Jan. 1. At the time, the vendor said the changes would align with trends in the market, simplify partner requirements, and offer partners more profit.
Now almost three months later, we thought it would be a good time to catch up with Brian Rosenberg, corporate vice president, worldwide channels at Juniper, and Helda Lopes, head of global partner programs and marketing, to get an update on the Juniper Advantage Program. The company has more than 10,000 partners globally.
Channel Futures: Give us an update on the Advantage Program redesign.
Brian Rosenberg: When we looked at doing a redesign on our program and a kickoff of 2018, we were trying to solve three things. [First], adding simplicity and making sure that the requirements we put on partners and where they were investing were warranted and justified. [Second], being clear about where we see the growth opportunities in the market and making sure that for our benefit and our partners’ benefit that we’re clear on how we support those growth areas — think of that as largely the move to multicloud and the things that are going to be needed in order to drive that change. The third thing is profitability and making sure that we create ways for our partners to generate more profit with Juniper than with our competitors in the places that we want to grow the most — cloud, data center and security.
What this also gives us the ability to do is broaden our partner base.
Before, the program could be pretty heavy if you were a security specialist; it was great if you were a network specialist. But as we see born-in-the-cloud companies influencing multicloud deployments, and as we see a new group of security specialists emerge, we need a program that allows them to be profitable and grow business in a simple way with us.
CF: Was the rollout on schedule?
Helda Lopes: Yes. And we’ve had a good uptake of partner specializations. As Brian mentioned, we’re giving partners the opportunity to make very solid profits with us around specific specializations — data center, security and cloud.
BR: Overall, we’ve given them [specializations] — a pretty good white-glove treatment. Everything from technical certifications, sales certifications, demand creation, marketing collateral, special incentives and MDF investments — it’s a substantial amount of our weight behind these specializations and getting people to adopt because it’s good for the business.
CP/CF: Are you adding new partner types?
HL: We’re recruiting new partners in different areas. Definitely born-in-the-cloud partners are a big focus for recruitment.
BR: If you look at the industry trends, and our strategies very much aligned, I’d say we’re driving the move toward multicloud. When you’re an enterprise and you’re looking at how you secure the future of business agility, it starts with network agility and cloud agility. From an engineering standpoint we’ve been focused on building those fundamental technologies — not just from a networking standpoint but also from, how do you automate? How do you drive the agility in an open way with us doing as much of the complicated work as it takes to make it simple?
At the end of the day, it’s a new skill set that’s required to do that complex integration. If we go back historically, you could be a partner who specialized in campus and branch. Well, campus and branch are now being managed from the cloud.
So, from a holistic approach, there are two strategies: If you’re a network specialist, you’re going to be pulled more and more into the cloud. And it’s important to make those investments in automation skills and building relationships that you might not have with public cloud or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers to move up the stack. If you are a software vendor who is increasingly going to want to monetize software as a service (SaaS), you have to understand the associated security needs, how to manage workloads in the cloud, and how to give enterprises the ability to manage policies, not just within your cloud but across their different cloud environments.
HL: We’ve put a generous rebate in place to motivate our existing and new partners. Our rebates are in the vary high double-digit teens, so we’re making it appealing for partners to work with Juniper in the cloud.