Juniper Networks Reveals 5 New Enhancements To Its Partner Program In 2016

New Year, New Enhancements

At Juniper Networks' Ideas/Connected partner event in Miami on Monday, the networking vendor unveiled several enhancements to its partner program, including new market development funds (MDF) bundles, a data center specialization and improvements to its marketing concierge program such as new lead-generating features.

"We're really trying to take the fuel of the program -- the MDF, our rewards and incentives -- and link that more and more to partners to drive their marketing efforts," said Matt Hurley, vice president of global channels and channel chief for Juniper, in an interview with CRN. "We're starting to focus in on what are the things our partners can do to help them grow and [help] ease of doing business. … 2016 is around partner growth."

MDF Packages

Juniper is working on making it easier for its channel partners to use marketing funds through packaged MDF pilots, according to Hurley.

"We're going to have traditional ways our partners use our MDF, but we're also trying to package up things that we think partners can just go, 'I want that off the shelf,' " said Hurley. "So think of a bundle, and then your able to take the bundle down and apply the MDF to it."

In 2016, Hurley said Juniper will remove some MDF barriers and make it more streamlined in order to allow partners to move quicker.

Data Center Specialization

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company is launching a new data center specialization for partners that it says will help solution providers grow their businesses with Juniper's private, public and hybrid cloud offerings.

Data center specialized partners will be endorsed and integrated as part of the data center go-to-market community within Juniper sales and marketing teams.

"Several of our partners are building hyper-converged stacks and we're obviously the networking piece," said Hurley. "Inside this data center specialization, we'll have a series of offerings of how you become specialized in different tiering. With the top tier, you've gone through one of these stacks and Juniper has recognized you, and then we're aligning those to our sales forces."

"We're actually making our sales forces know which partners have which stack, then giving them preferential access to sell more business for our partners," said Hurley. "We aren't trying to compete with our partners."

Enhancing Juniper Marketing Concierge

The networking vendor will introduce new lead-generation features to its Juniper marketing concierge program for partners this year. Juniper is launching new social selling on its Social Media Center, adding more dynamic Web content syndication and "just-in-time" sales content to help sellers impact the early stages of a buying cycle, according to Hurley.

"More and more information is being housed on there for partners," said Hurley. "There's the ability for them to pick up the phone and say, 'I need help. Can somebody help me build a campaign?' It's really about adding incremental things and continuing to build out that concierge from a demand-generation perspective."

More than 500 channel partners have built marketing campaigns on the concierge programs since February, according to Hurley.

Solutions Specialist Design Track

In 2016, Juniper will implement a new solutions specialist design track with a focus on network architecture and design to its champion program.

The company is striving to improve program alignment with systems engineer roles and job functions, streamlining program training paths by balancing technical skills, pre-sales and solution design, and offering more choice in program curriculum, according to Hurley.

New Partner Learning Academy Courses

In 2015, Juniper created 44 new courses to its Partner Learning Academy and it plans to add dozens more this year, said Hurley. The company will add courses that align with Juniper sales training and offering sales certification to partners.

"Our commitment is to train our partners and give our partners access to the same training we're giving the Juniper sales force, and that wasn't always that way in the past," said Hurley. "We've started bringing that together in 2015, and this year we'll continue to evolve that."