Juniper Bulks Up Partner Advantage With New Services Specializations


Juniper Networks on Tuesday expanded its Partner Advantage Program to include new professional and support services offerings for its Elite-level partners.

The new services, which Juniper first unveiled in January at the company's Global Partner Conference, will be available to Juniper partners through two new specializations: Partner Support Services (PSS) and Partner Professional Services (PPS).

According to Emilio Umeoka, senior vice president, Worldwide Partners at Juniper, the new services offerings will not only drive additional, recurring revenue streams for Juniper partners but also allow them to be more of a one-stop-shop for customers.

[Related: Juniper Partners Have Mixed Feelings Over CEO Johnson's Departure]

"From a partner perspective, if you look at what's their benefit, it's [the ability] to continue to deliver additional value-add to their customers, to surround their customers more and more, and to generate profitable business," Umeoka said.

The new PSS and PPS specializations are open only to Juniper's top partners, or those in its Elite Portfolio, which have to complete more coursework and meet more dedicated sales goals to qualify for this top-notch standing. Umeoka said more than 500 Juniper partners out of the company's 13,000 partners worldwide are currently at the Elite level. He also said the new PSS and PPS specializations will likely remain exclusive to these top partners moving forward.

"At this point, it is going to be restricted and remain at that Elite level," Umeoka said. "We want to keep it to those partners who have really ... been investing in Juniper."

The first of the two new specializations, PSS, is an evolution of Juniper's current Networks' Operate Specialist program, focusing on general support and maintenance services. Partners with a PSS specialization will take level-one and level-two support calls from customers, and they will also have access to new tools that Juniper said will allow them to offer support services more proactively, instead of just waiting for an issue to arise.

According to Sundar Hariharan, director of worldwide partner services development and programs at Juniper, the PSS specialization fully replaces the legacy Networks' Operate Specialist program, which has largely sat outside of Juniper's broader Partner Advantage Program until now.

"What we have done is take a hard look at the existing [Network Operate Specialist] program and reengineered it, taking into account what partners have been asking for," Hariharan said.

In order to achieve PSS specialization, partners will need to take a new troubleshooting certification course called Juniper Networks Certified Support Professional (JNCSP), which focuses on support services related to the routing, switching and security markets.

Benefits for PSS partners will include exclusive and direct access to advanced Juniper support engineers within the Juniper Networks' Technical Assistance Center, along with value-based rewards, Juniper said.

The second new specialization, PPS, focuses more on network design and planning services, rather than maintenance and support. Juniper said it sees a $20 billion and $15 billion addressable market for PSS and PPS, respectively.

According to Umeoka, Elite Juniper partners can start applying for these specializations immediately.

Gary Fish, CEO of FishNet Security, a Kansas City, Mo.-based solution provider and Juniper partner, said he's had a good experience offering services alongside Juniper, which, unlike other networking vendors, tends to compete with partners in this space.

"Unlike some other manufacturers, Juniper understands the key to partners selling more products is to allow them to sell complimentary services. Some manufacturers see services as a direct source of revenue and don't understand that the standard partner model is to sell both products and services," Fish wrote in an emailed comment to CRN. "Manufacturers that don't try to compete with partners on services are generally rewarded with partner loyalty and increased product revenue through the channel. Juniper does a great job of not competing with partners on support and services opportunities."

PUBLISHED AUGUST 6, 2013