Juniper Adds New Partner Resources

Juniper Networks on Monday unveiled a host of new program offerings at its J-Partner Summit 2008 in Las Vegas, programs the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor said will help VARs accelerate, extend and optimize their business and the value of high-performance networking.

The new resources, according to Steve Pataky, Juniper's vice president of channel development and programs, arm partners with the ability to promote their value-added brands and help them design, implement and manage Juniper networking solutions.

The new programs include the Juniper Networks JUNOS Knowledge Transfer Toolkit, the J-Partner Virtual Lab, a new Sales Specialist Advanced course and a new J-Partner Solutions Configurator. The programs fall in line with the main theme Juniper hammered home at its event: the value of high-performance networking.

"At this year's summit, that vision is being realized in the channel," Pataky said.

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Frank Vitagliano, Juniper's senior vice president of worldwide channels agreed.

"We continue to invest and offer business-building resources and service-enabling initiatives to help partners deliver the right mix of high-performance networking solutions to their customers," he said. "As we broaden our solutions portfolio with products like the EX-series of Ethernet switches and leverage JUNOS as our single-source operating system, we strengthen the overall business value our J-Partners bring to the enterprise."

First among the new resources Juniper released to partners is the JUNOS Knowledge Transfer Toolkit, a collaborative toolkit that lets partners to educate their customers on the JUNOS software.

Second, Juniper unveiled the J-Partner Virtual Lab, which gives partners free, anytime "virtual hands-on" access to Juniper's product portfolio for training, education and demoing.

Additionally, Juniper announced the Sales Specialist Advanced Course, a course designed just for sales engineers that offers them a detailed blueprint for designing and configuring Juniper's high-performance network infrastructure solutions.

Lastly, Juniper announced the new J-Partner Solutions Configurator, a tool that can speed deployment and assure partners smoother implementations. The Configurator, Pataky said, helps partners that may be new to Juniper to understand how to best deploy the solutions.

"A lot of these partners have significant networking practices that they haven't yet lit up with Juniper," he said.

Pataky added that the new resources, coupled with Juniper's recently announced Service Specialization for Implementation and accompanying playbook, can help partners realize more service opportunities in the market.

"Now there's this level of enablement around services and partners are driving services to add dollars to the bottom line," he said.

Next: Partners Weigh In On New Tools, Resources

Despite enabling the addition of more services, Pataky said both Juniper and its partners have to retool their sales mindset to ensure there are the appropriate sales resources and opportunities for upselling and cross selling.

"You can have a great professional services organization but if you can't engage at that level it doesn't matter the stable of professional services you have," he said.

Overall, Pataky said, the new resources and program helps partners better understand and device a go-to-market strategy.

Partners said the new tools and resources broaden their abilities and can ultimately help Juniper advance on the competition.

"These programs put meat on the bone," said Phil O'Reilly, CEO of Solunet, a Melbourne, Fla.-based solution provider. "Juniper is telling partners 'we'll step up if you step up.'"

O'Reilly added that by letting partners lead with their own branding and creating resources to help enable that, Juniper is differentiating itself in the market.

"As a company, Juniper continues to go to extraordinary lengths to support its partners' efforts to develop comprehensive end-users relationships," he said. "The constant innovation of new J-Partner programs maximizes our profit opportunity with Juniper products. What makes them so unique is the fact that they reward partners on the value they provide and the services they deliver versus the volume of products they sell."

Dave Gilden, partner with Tampa, Fla.-based solution provider Acuity Solutions, said the new resources will make it easier for Acuity staff to get up to speed from a technical perspective and cut the amount of time it takes to go to market with new offerings.

"It condenses the amount of time it takes to get us ramped up, which saves us money," he said. "The tools that they made available are very advanced and can help me save and make money."