Partners Cheer As Juniper Unveils Points-Based Rewards Program To Boost Recurring Revenue

Partners are applauding as Juniper Networks is set to launch a points-based global rewards program that incentivizes them to sell products that better align with the company’s vision of becoming a more software-oriented company.

’This industry is changing and partners know that you can’t just show up next year with a faster router -- they know that’s not going to work and they know it’s getting more complex,’ said Juniper channel chief Matt Hurley in an interview with CRN. ’We built this as partners are looking to Juniper to tell them where to invest, where the industry going and how to help them get there.’

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based networking vendor’s new rewards program allows channel partners' sales reps to accrue points for selling a variety of different products with an emphasis on solutions that provide recurring revenue. Solution providers can then use those points for rewards such as discounts on Juniper products.

[Related: Juniper Reinvents Partner Program’s Top-Tier: 5 Changes Solution Providers Need To Know]

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The goal of the program is to drive sales around Juniper’s ’differentiating’ solutions such as its software-defined subscription-based Sky Advanced Threat Protection and its high-end QFX data center switching line, according to Hurley. The heavier incentives in the program will be around software, security and services, he said.

’The software-defined secure networking will be an absolute focus of this program,’ said Hurley. ’For some run-rate switching products, we might decide to incent those down.’

Partners said not only will the new program increase profitability, but it provides a strategic road map for the channel on where Juniper is heading.

Mark Miller, principal partner at M&S Technologies, a Dallas-based top Juniper partner, No. 355 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500 list, said Juniper revenue for the company has increased a whopping 100 percent year over year due to M&S aligning itself with Juniper’s strategy. Miller said the new program will further drive revenue by giving M&S even more insight to where Juniper is placing its bets.

’We’re following their lead and it's helping us,’ said Miller. ’If their strategy is to grow a specific area of their business with this program, we’ll come along.’

Chris Becerra, president and CEO of Terrapin Systems, a San Jose, Calif.-based solution provider and Juniper partner, said the program is part of Juniper’s effort to become more of a software-centric business.

’You need a [vendor] who knows how to sell software and subscription-based licensing, contracts, agreements, where in the past you were just selling hardware and software line-items -- and that is changing,’ said Becerra. ’Our business is more valuable if you’re able to sign them up on recurring revenue models that we both like. … I’m all for the new [rewards] program.’

The program, set to launch Sept. 1, is also integrated with Juniper’s new global Deal Registration System to ensure deal preference and pricing advantages.

Juniper has made a big push in the channel this year, according to partners, with the vendor striving to enable partners to better sell software and services.

Another new initiative partners will notice is the change in its top-tier Elite level. Juniper is breaking its Elite level partners into five new categories depending on their area of focus.

Partners said in this new world of software and services, networking channel partners are playing a more important role than they did in the past.

’Overall from what we’ve seen in 2016 from Juniper is their channel strategy has been better than it has been in the past. They seem more aggressive in their willingness to work with us and if we invest in them, they are turning around and reinvesting in us,’ said M&S' Miller. ’It’s one-plus-one equals three.’