Juniper: Partners Priority

One is that Juniper is fully committed to working with partners. Another is that he’ll work to improve channel-field relations and make the company easier to do business with, issues some partners have cited as a challenge.

“My message to partners is that our first priority is to grow our revenue and our partners’ [revenue],” said Vitagliano, vice president of worldwide channels at Juniper, Sunnyvale, Calif.

As part of its effort to grow its indirect business, Juniper will continue to invest in its channel strategy, an investment that will include tweaking and tuning its J-Partner channel program, Vitagliano said.

One issue on his radar is the ease with which partners can do business with Juniper. In particular, Vitagliano is looking for ways to improve access to the vendor’s Easy8 deal registration program and ease service activation, he said.

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“We need to bring partners earlier into the opportunity so they have the ability to sell their products and services,” Vitagliano said.

In addition, Juniper will work to improve relations between its partners and its direct sales force, which Vitagliano said are generally good but spotty in some regions.

“It depends on who you talk to [about the engagements in the field] but for the most part it has been positive … But I’ve had some of the same partners tell me that in some cases it’s spotty,” he said. “For the direct folks who don’t spend every day in the channel, they might not have as good an appreciation for what the channel does.

We will work on that.”

While details of anticipated program tweaks are still being worked out, partners will start to see evidence of changes over the next 90 days, he said.

Tony Luongo, executive vice president of sales at Go2 Communications, a Woburn, Mass.-based Juniper partner, said he hasn’t experienced difficulties using the vendor’s programs or had problems in the field. Instead, he’d like Juniper to focus on demand creation with high-level marketing that educates customers on all of the vendor’s recent acquisitions.

“People want to look at alternatives [to Cisco Systems] but they may not know that Juniper plays in all these segments,” Luongo said.