Juniper Taps Ingram Micro To Distribute Enterprise Networking Gear

Under an expanded agreement, Ingram Micro will now distribute Juniper's enterprise routing portfolio, including its J-series and entry-level M-series products.

Ingram Micro, Santa Ana, Calif., already handles the enterprise security portfolio Juniper acquired from NetScreen Technologies earlier this year that includes integrated firewall and VPN, intrusion-detection and -prevention and secure access solutions.

"They have all the resources and capabilities to service the multiple markets we want to service, both the security-specialized reseller base as well as the broader networking reseller base," said Tushar Kothari, vice president of worldwide channels at Juniper, Sunnyvale, Calif., in a recent interview with CRN. "We expect them to become an extension of our channel sales force in both recruiting and training resellers, as well as offer a lot of presales support services," he said.

Juniper Monday also revamped its channel partner program, adding a new three-tier certification structure and technology-specific specializations. The company also said solution providers could count equivalent certifications from competitors toward qualification for the program.

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The bolstering of Juniper's channel strategy comes as the company tries to gain a stronghold in the enterprise market against rivals in both the security and networking markets, including Cisco Systems.

Some solution providers said Cisco has left the door open for Juniper to stake a strong claim by offering top-quality products that offer higher margin opportunities to partners.

"I think Cisco, unfortunately for them, is a company that has over-saturated the market, especially in the VAR partner space," said Luis Laranjeira, vice president of business development at SMS Data Products Group, a government-focused solution provider in McLean, Va., that works with both vendors. "Juniper has an excellent opening here to fill in where Cisco has left off."

Juniper's new J-series routers, announced in June, are scheduled to begin shipping this month, said Kothari, a former Cisco channel executive who took over the role as Juniper's channel chief in July.