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July 5, 2012
Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) alerted its channel partners this week that its remodeled Partner Advantage program is street ready, making good on its January promise to equip them with the right marketing support, rewards and sales and technical training to compete in today’s mobility and cloud-dominated marketplace. And also, by implication, to hold their own against main rival Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and others.
Six months ago, at its Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas, the networking vendor laid out the framework of its channel program makeover and articulated its underlying partner strategy to help VARs stay relevant in a changing market.
Now Emilio Umeoka, Juniper senior vice president, Worldwide Partners, reiterated in a note to the company’s channel partners that the vendor delivered on what it said it would do — help them engage customers at a deeper level owing to a heightened level of skill development, support and benefits.
“We are excited to deliver on our promise to differentiate our high-performance partners and create more compelling value to all Juniper Networks partners,” Umeoka wrote. “It is all about scaling with precision, investing with impact, and recognizing achievement.”
Umeoka called the channel program rework the “most significant update of our partner strategy in the history of Juniper.”
The new-look Juniper partner program is built on three main elements — skills-focused sales and technical training accessed through Juniper’s Learning Academy portal, which the company is calling Reach; co-marketing resources available through the vendor’s online Marketing Concierge, stocked with tools to build market awareness, referred to as Accelerate; and, incentives, deal registration and product promotions, housed under a Rewards offering.
With its retooled partner program, Juniper’s channel brass is betting that providing partners with the necessary skills, marketing support and financial benefits will help them to stay at speed with the trends in the market. In crafting the new offerings, Juniper evaluated every part of its channel program and, in particular, took input from partners, resulting in its biggest investment ever in channel strategy, according to the company.
Channel program renovations come and go with startling regularity but the reason Juniper has a good chance with its upgrade is the thinking behind it. Juniper’s channel officials all appear to be on the same page, repeatedly stressing that the vendor has done more than simply overhaul the program — it has responded to the changes and needs of the marketplace. That message, rather than the program’s components, is likely to resonate with partners for some time.
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