Juniper, Mist Partner Program Revamp Signals ‘Bold’ Channel Moves, Says Gordon Mackintosh

‘We haven’t had consistent investment in partners the way we had elsewhere in the business, but now is the time and we are going to bolder than ever before,’ says Juniper Channel Chief Gordon Mackintosh.


Juniper Networks is making bold moves and wants its channel partners to come along on the journey to sell more cloud-delivered, AI-based services and solutions, according to Juniper Channel Chief Gordon Mackintosh.

The networking giant is simplifying its approach to partner programming. The separate Juniper and Mist programs are being integrated into one program, which will focus on growth in the enterprise space, said Mackintosh, Juniper’s worldwide vice president of channel and virtual sales who joined the company this year, during the virtual Juniper Partner Summit on Tuesday.

“We haven’t had consistent investment in partners the way we had elsewhere in the business, but now is the time and we are going to be bolder than ever before,” Mackintosh told partners.

Sponsored post

[Related: Juniper Networks: 'We Made The Hard Pivot And Are Now Set For Great Growth']

The revamped partner program will feature real-time visibility with tools and resources partners can use to see how they are performing, as well as new rebates and incentives, and a brand-new tiering system that based on value, in addition to volume, for partners. The integration between the Juniper and Mist partner programs into one interface and deal registration process will save both Juniper and its partners time, while allowing partners to scale and move faster, the company said.

The refreshed partner program comes as good news to EOS IT Management Solutions, a Banbridge, U.K.-based global VAR and Juniper partner.

Many large IT vendors have very complex partner programs with many hoops to jump through that at times, act as barriers between solution providers and technology giants, said Bryan Osoro​, vice president of sales for EOS.

“Simplification is certainly welcomed,” Osoro said. ”As these programs get more complex, you can easily miss out on resources from the vendor.”

Juniper Networks’ CEO Rami Rahim during his keynote at the partner summit said that as transformation is happening faster than perhaps it ever has been, Juniper is “investing heavily” in the channel this year.

“Even if it’s meant that we had to disrupt ourselves, we’ve shown that we’ve had the courage to do just that,” Rahim said. ”It’s a truly exciting time to be a Juniper partner -- we are being bold with the investments we are making in our partners.”

Overall, Juniper is growing as a company, especially in the enterprise space. During its Q3 2021 earnings call for the quarter which ended on September 30, Juniper’s enterprise business enjoyed double-digit sequential growth and climbed slightly to $1.14 billion compared to $1.12 billion year over year thanks to momentum in the U.S. and Asia. The order growth for the quarter, which Juniper said was largely driven by Mist Systems, which Juniper acquired in 2019 for $405 million, exceeded expectations, the company said in October.

Mackintosh said that while the COVID-19 pandemic impacted growth during the year, Juniper is growing while its competition is declining. “We are taking market share. This allows us to invest while others are hitting pause,” he said.

In fact, Juniper’s deal registration for partner-led sales grew 65 percent year over year, Mackintosh said.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor launched its Juniper Enterprise+ program to propel sales growth in the enterprise space in March. Enterprise+, an exclusive program focused on about 100 partners located globally, contains the most benefits for select Juniper partners and Mackintosh said that the company plans on building out even more features into its Enterprise+ program.

Partners participating in the Enterprise+ program are growing at 25 percent year over year in the midst of a global pandemic, Mackintosh said. “This really shows what we can do when we get focused. We win together,” he added.

But Juniper has no plans of becoming “over distributed” like its competition, Mackintosh said. While Juniper would like more partners to sign up for the Enterprise+ program, space is still limited.

In keeping with its theme at last year’s NXTWORK customer and partner summit, reaching more customers with software and services will continue to be an area of focus for Juniper through its channel partners, Mackintosh said.

“This will allow us to sell a wider solution to the customer and build in recurring revenue, and ultimately, more stickiness with customers.”