Juniper Networks Restructures Its Top Channel Tier: 5 Changes Partners Need To Know

Welcome To Juniper's New Elite Level

Juniper Networks has re-engineered what it means to be a top-tier channel partner for the vendor. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based networking company is breaking down its Elite level into five new categories as it looks to drive software and services profitability for the channel, while also on-boarding new partners.

"The industry is moving to services-led, more virtualization and today our program doesn't really enable those partners to be as successful as they can be and as quick as possible," Juniper channel chief said Matt Hurley said in an interview with CRN. "The new categories allow us to address those various spaces around software, services and X-as-a-Service business models … and lets us develop the right rewards and incentive programs for each of these areas as the market continues to evolve in the next couple of years."

"The five categories give us the ability to focus on ... the needs of a partner to bring their skills to the table and helping us get our arms around how to best serve them,'" Hurley said.

Here are the new categories and what channel partners need to know about them.

Next Gen

The Next Gen category is for solution providers focusing on software, services and X-as-a-Service. Partners can make the cut, for example, by creating cloud security services on Juniper platforms, DevOps solutions for private cloud users and service providers, as well as self-service automation for co-located companies.

"Next Gen includes programs to support both software-only partners that have software-defined or virtual solutions; services-only partners, since Juniper has rolled out things like Contrail [Cloud Platform] -- so some partners have services-only skills they're bringing to the table; as well as partners that deliver virtual solutions as-a-service," said Hurley.

Rising Star

For new Juniper partners, the network and security provider is opening a Rising Star category to help accelerate growth. "We created this so we can almost fast-track [new partners] to the top when we sit down and come up with a joint business plan together," said Hurley.

These "rising stars" have easier access to Elite-level business and marketing development opportunities offer by Juniper.

"This allows partners who haven't been in Juniper to come into the company with a business plan that we'll work with them on, and then jointly help them onboard and ramp up through Juniper support capabilities and our Champion [Program] training requirements," said Hurley. "We'll work with them over a year to do that."

Cloud Services

The Cloud Services category is for partners who are developing cloud and managed services on top of Juniper's infrastructure or virtual equipment, such as its vSRX and vMX product lines.

"This allows those people to get specific focus and attention from the right people in Juniper as they roll out that next generation [of] technologies for us," said Hurley.

Federal Partner

Hurley said Juniper is trying to expand its federal business by working with the likes of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. This new category is for solution providers focused on the federal vertical.

"This allows some of these large system integrator partners to work in an easier manner with Juniper around the federal [sector]," Hurley said.

Volume Partner

The Volume Partner category is for global channel partners that help Juniper in servicing customers with high-volume needs.

"These are some of our largest customers. There are some very skilled partners in this bucket that focus really on logistical support more than product or technical support," said Hurley.