Juniper Networks: We're Stepping Up Our Partner Marketing Efforts

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Juniper Networks is rolling out a new set of partner marketing resources aimed at helping solution providers strengthen their brands in the market and sell more effectively to non-IT customers, the networking vendor said this week.

According to Matt Hurley, vice president of worldwide partner marketing at Juniper, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company also has launched a new partner marketing program, called Partner Marketing for Business Growth, which rolls multiple Juniper partner marketing programs into one.

In addition, Juniper has combined its field marketing and partner marketing organizations in order to drive more alignment and consistent messaging across the two units.

[Related: Juniper Exec: Our Channel Team Can Go 'Toe-To-Toe' With Any In The Industry]

"We are unifying all of our marketing dollars and all our marketing messaging around partners into a single program," Hurley said this week at the XChange 2014 event in San Antonio.

One of the new resources offered to Juniper solution providers as part of the new program is partner case studies. Hurley said partners can submit customer win stories to Juniper who will, in turn, provide writers to draft formal case studies that can be shared on both Juniper's and the partners' websites.

"We provide the writers and the framework and actually produce the case study back to the partner, and then they can publish it on their logo," Hurley said.

While not all partner submissions will ultimately be turned into a formal case study -- Hurley said there is a vetting process in place -- Juniper is hoping to produce more case studies around partner wins in specific verticals, like the public sector or service provider markets.  

Hurley said Juniper is publishing each of the case studies on its Partner Center portal.

"When our company produces content, it's been a challenge in the past to get that content to partners in a timely manner," Hurley said. "Those walls are completely broken down."

Meanwhile, Hurley said, Juniper is planning two partner marketing training courses, or Partner Marketing Academies, in October. The courses, which will take place in Europe and North America, will be led by members of Juniper's own corporate marketing team.  

Lastly, Hurley said Juniper is planning a major refresh to both its Partner Center portal and its Marketing Concierge portal by the end of the year, and is bulking up each with more partner resources, such as best practices for selling to line-of-business teams.   

Hurley, who replaced former Juniper partner marketing head Luanne Tierney in April, said broader cutbacks at Juniper as part of CEO Shaygan Kheradpir's recent restructuring efforts have not had any impact on the Juniper partner marketing organization. In fact, he said, Juniper has invested more, in terms of both head count and dollars, into that unit.

Hurley told CRN in June that Juniper's MDF investments are actually up 9.1 percent this year compared to 2013. Those funds, however, are being allocated to a smaller group of partners than in the past, as Juniper looks to invest more in its top, more strategic, partners, Hurley said this week.

Dominic Grillo, executive vice president of Atrion Communications, a Branchburg, N.J.-based Elite Juniper partner, said Atrion still receives MDF support from Juniper, but that the amount it receives tends to vary. "They still do discretionary MDF," Grillo said. "There is no set amount."

That said, Grillo noted that Juniper's Partner Advantage program offers rich back-end rebates that Atrion also has used to power its own marketing engine.

Grillo said marketing, in general, has become a bigger priority for Atrion over the past few years.

"We went through a whole rebranding exercise probably about two-and-a-half years ago," Grillo said. "We changed our logos, changed all our literature, and brought in an outside firm to do all that homework for us."

Grillo said Atrion has stepped up its marketing game in areas like social media, and has placed a greater focus on hosting customer events and webinars to strengthen the Atrion brand.

"We are doing a lot more around marketing," he said. "For the last few years, we had no one really even focused on it, but then, eventually, we had one of our internal employees take on the marketing role about 16 to 24 months ago, and that's really driving a lot more effort, too, from a marketing perspective."


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