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Juniper steps up partner program with services focus

Juniper Networks has enhanced its J-Partner program with new specializations and rewards for services. Also: Cisco's expanded relationship with Accenture: A bit like HP-EDS?

Juniper steps up partner program with focus on services

Juniper Networks announced a series of enhancements to its J-Partner channel program this week, including new specializations and program segments that reward partners who offer services. In the enhanced program, all Juniper products will now be sold through one of three product specializations: Advanced Security, Network Infrastructure and Advanced Network Infrastructure. Partners can also receive a new J-Partner High-Performance Networking designation, which will reward those that sell a full Juniper product portfolio and services combined. These High-Performance Networking partners will team with Juniper in strategic sales opportunities and receive a special class of enablement resources, including access to higher-level technical resources, joint business planning, and priority marketing support. There are also new specialization program segments that encourage VARs to integrate services. These programs include: the J-Partner Managed Services Provider, J-Partner Consultants, and J-Partner Service Provider Infrastructure programs.

Cisco-Accenture expanded relationship a bit like HP-EDS?

Cisco Systems and Accenture have expanded their five-year-old relationship by forming a virtual organization (staffed by personnel from both companies) that will focus on collaboration and the data center, Cisco announced Tuesday. The Accenture and Cisco Business Group will offer a unified point of contact for customers, combining services from Accenture and technology from Cisco. The move on Cisco's part may be seen as a response to Hewlett-Packard's move last year to acquire EDS, an Accenture rival. The idea behind the EDS acquisition was to vastly expand HP's channel with a consulting services practice that addressed business process technology as well as hardware. That could be the result of the extended Cisco-Accenture partnership as well. Cisco says the partnership will help clients "increase business productivity through collaboration." So the Accenture and Cisco Business Group will develop, market and sell "transformational business offerings," beginning with unified communications and collaboration technologies and services, as well as virtualization for network optimization.

Juniper expands data center push with new EX switch

One year after launching its first Ethernet switches, Juniper Networks this week unveiled an addition to the EX series, the EX2500 line of 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches. The launch is part of Juniper's continued focus on the high-performance data center and comes on the heels of major data center announcements from Cisco Systems and HP ProCurve in recent weeks. The top-of-rack switches, unveiled at the company's Worldwide Analyst Meeting this week, have 24 10 GbE SFP+ ports with 700-nanosecond latency and will be offered as fixed-configuration Ethernet platforms meant to enable wire-rate performance and high availability. Juniper said the improved performance will enable users to accelerate delivery of business applications and services across the network. Hitesh Sheth, executive vice president and general manager of the Ethernet Platforms Business Group at Juniper, said: "Customers need switching solutions that deliver speed, high availability, unified communications, integrated security and operational excellence in unison. Our EX Series fulfills these needs."

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