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Along with a host of announcements related to its software-defined networking (SDN) strategy, Juniper on Tuesday made a number of updates to its Partner Advantage program, including new incentives specific to cloud, services and distribution.
Partner Advantage was the re-tooled version of Juniper's long-running J-Partner program, first announced at Juniper's Global Partner Conference (GPC) a year ago. At this year's GPC, which kicked off in Las Vegas on Monday, Juniper added several new elements, including Advantage Services, which covers support and professional services capabilities, and Advantage Cloud, which segments and rewards partners' cloud capabilities.
Juniper had a challenging 2012, but solution providers by and large are optimistic that the infrastructure company has sorted out its challenges in areas like data center and security, as well as done a good job making higher-tiered program requirements more stringent. Juniper's top partners, known as Elite Portfolio, have to complete more coursework and meet more dedicated sales and capabilities goals, for example, but are more tightly aligned with Juniper overall.
Those requirement updates, plus the addition of programs like Partner Advantage and Juniper Marketing Concierge, have added more muscle to Juniper's channel enablement, said Emilio Umeoka, senior vice president, worldwide partners and alliances at Juniper, in an interview with CRN. All of those led to some of Juniper's highest-ever satisfaction scores in its annual partner survey this past year.
Juniper plans to add lots more for the channel in 2013, including what CEO Kevin Johnson told partners from the stage Tuesday is the largest MDF allocation for partners in the company's history. The Partner Advantage programs join another major new Juniper program, Software Advantage, also announced Tuesday, which in the coming years will govern how Juniper sells its software platforms through the channel.
As for the specific Partner Advantage updates, Partner Advantage Services will include two specializations, Support Services and Professional Services, which will recognize partners for their specialties in each. Later this year, Juniper also plans to provide "troubleshooting workshops" for maintenance services, including in areas such as service provider routing, enterprise routing, enterprise switching and security. Umeoka described the partner services opportunity as a $40 billion addressable market.
Juniper Advantage Cloud, meanwhile, will offer partners training, marketing, financing and various incentives to sell cloud capabilities specific to Juniper and its strategic partners. According to Umeoka, there will soon be a Juniper Cloud Innovation Fund available to partners, who will be able to tap MDF for help building cloud infrastructure solutions. Cloud services, for the Juniper channel, represent a $100 billion TAM, he said.
A third program covers distribution, Umeoka said, and Juniper met with its top distributors -- including Ingram Micro and Arrow -- Monday to lay out new incentives and MDF for distributors to better equip the Juniper VARs they serve. A number of Juniper's distributors are also announcing new programs this week; Arrow, for example, confirmed plans to bundle Juniper's QFabric data center products with IBM converged infrastructure.