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Juniper’s Gordon Mackintosh On Partner Program Changes, Apstra, And ‘Winning’ The Next Decade Of Networking

‘We asked partners to be bold a year ago. Many of them did, and many of them have been highly rewarded. We want to stay simple and focused and continue to execute on the things that are working and add more fuel to the fire,’ Channel Chief Gordon Mackintosh tells CRN.

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Answering The Call  

Networking giant Juniper Networks this year saw unprecedented, triple-digit growth in partner-initiated business. After the networking specialist last year unveiled plans to invest heavily in the channel, partners reciprocated by investing in Juniper, Channel Chief Gordon Mackintosh told CRN.

Mackintosh spoke with CRN following the company’s annual Partner Summit, where the theme was “It’s our time”—a fitting theme punctuating a year marked by the highest-ever software orders and consistent quarters of double-digit revenue growth. At the summit, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider highlighted additions to its Global Juniper Partner Advantage Program, including Partner Communities, a new learning academy, incentives, and a new top partner level: Elite Plus. For Juniper, it’s going to be all about removing as much friction as possible to make it as simple as possible for partners to work with the company as it prioritizes shorter sales cycles with an easy-to-understand partner program.

Mackintosh talked about the changes to the program, the growing opportunity that partners have around acquired data center networking provider Apstra’s technology, which Juniper acquired nearly a year ago, and what partners can expect in 2022. Here are excerpts from the conversation.

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