Juniper Touts Channel Growth

Juniper Chairman and CEO Scott Kriens in his opening remarks at the Burlingame, Calif., event identified the channel as a key piece of Juniper&'s sales strategy.

“We&'ve made a significant investment, not only in our brand but also in our channel,” Kriens said.

Executives said Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper now has more than 6,500 channel partners worldwide, 1,000 of which have earned Juniper technology certifications. More than 12,000 individuals now hold Juniper certifications.

Juniper this year plans to expand the scope of its customer base by focusing on broader, more strategic solutions, executives said.

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“This year we&'re going to increase the number of solutions we go after, the number of vertical market customers we go after, and we&'re expanding our solutions offerings with technology from our acquisitions,” said Jeff Lindholm, chief marketing officer at Juniper.

Another big focus area this year will be managed service providers, executives said.

Juniper already is working in several large accounts that pair managed service providers with carriers to offer customized solutions to large customers, a strategy the company intends to accelerate, channel executives said in an interview Wednesday ahead of the event.

Juniper also plans to add more converged networking expertise to its channel, particularly via its partnerships with VoIP provider Avaya and distributor Catalyst Telecom.

Through Catalyst, which also represents infrastructure products from Extreme Networks and videoconferencing gear from Polycom, Juniper is working to build converged network solutions and cross-train partners to sell and service them, said Tushar Kothari, vice president of worldwide channels at Juniper.

“Over the next 12 months, lots of effort to create a larger portfolio of converged channel partners,” Kothari said. Executives from the five companies have met to discuss their convergence strategies and develop ways to make it easier for channel partners to do business with all of them, Kothari said.

Jeff Hiebert, CEO of ROI Networks, a solution provider in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., said the partnership plugs holes in the vendors&' individual portfolios and helps their partners build complete converged solutions.

“Extreme and Juniper to a certain degree are still box pushers, and Avaya has been trying to get out of that,” Hiebert said. “Collectively their story allows the conversation to change.”