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Juniper Networks Channel Chief: ‘We’re Investing Over $100M Into Partners’

The networking giant is putting its money on partners in a big way to go after enterprise opportunities, Juniper Networks Channel Chief Gordon Mackintosh tells CRN.

Juniper Networks is on a mission to pump more resources into its indirect sales efforts to the tune of $100 million.

That’s according to Juniper’s channel chief, Gordon Mackintosh, who told CRN exclusively that the networking giant will be introducing a revamped Juniper Partner Advantage program (JPA) targeting enterprise sales opportunities.

“The headline is we’re investing over $100 million next year into channel partners. We’re increasing our virtual sales resources to help build demand for partners, and we’re really making a big investment in the partner program,” Mackintosh said.

[Related: Magic Quadrant for Wired, Wireless LAN 2020: Mist Launches Juniper Into Leader’s Circle ]​

Juniper in November revealed its plans to simplify its approach to partner programming during its virtual Juniper Partner Summit. The separate Juniper Networks and Mist Systems’ channel programs are being integrated into one program as of January, which will focus on growth in the enterprise space, Mackintosh said. The revamp will speed up the deal registration and sales process for both Juniper and its partners, he added.

The updated partner program will feature new tools and resources so partners can see how they are performing, but perhaps even more importantly, offer new rebates and incentives, Mackintosh said.

“We’re [introducing] back-end incentive rewards up to 27 percent, which is really significant—we’ve never been at that level before,” he said.

Juniper will introduce a deal registration reward with a multiplier for partners that have specializations. The incentive, Mackintosh said, will begin at dollar number one, a feature that partners have been asking for, so it’s not a target-based reward, he said Juniper will also offer a growth reward for partners selling into the commercial and enterprise space, as well as a total product reward for Elite partners seeing success with deal registration and their growth targets.

“You pull all of this together, and I think we have one of the most compelling profitability programs in the industry,” Mackintosh said.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor launched its Juniper Enterprise+ program to propel sales growth in the enterprise space in March. Enterprise+ is an exclusive program for select Juniper partners and it sits alongside the traditional JPA program. However, Juniper wants to more tightly align this group with its sales organization to capture more enterprise opportunities, Mackintosh said.

But overall, the company has seen revenue increases this year even despite the global COVID-19 pandemic bringing down revenue for some of Juniper’s competitors. In fact, Juniper’s deal registration for partner-led sales grew 65 percent year over year, led by its Enterprise+ partners, Mackintosh said.

“In times like this, it’s incredible growth fueled by great success with our Mist acquisition,” he said. “It’s great to see partners growing in challenging times.”

Juniper has been on an acquisition tear as of late, having revealed plans earlier this month to buy intent-based networking startup Apstra, SD-WAN specialist 128 Technology in October for $450 million, and network and services assurance software provider Netrounds in September. Once combined, Juniper’s portfolio will deliver a differentiated experience for customers, Mackintosh said.

“Looking at the investments in the sales organization, the recent acquisitions and the differentiation it will give us, and also how we are being perceived by the analysts, we think now is the time for Juniper to be bold, but also for the partners to be bold.”

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