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Juniper Partner Advantage Program overhauled, new strategy revealed

Following an executive shakeup, Juniper Networks has announced major changes to the Juniper Partner Advantage Program and introduced a new channel strategy.

As Juniper Networks continues to get its ducks in a row in light of its recent executive shuffle -- the replacement of Shaygan Kheradpir, who held the CEO position for less than a year, with 17-year Juniper veteran Rami Rahim in November 2014 -- the company today announced its new partner strategy, Partnering for Business Growth, along with major changes to the Juniper Partner Advantage Program (JPAP).

The revamped JPAP reflects the three pillars of Juniper's new partner strategy: ease of doing business; investment in next-generation, high-growth areas; and profitability.

"It's about getting all of our programs and folks' minds around [the new partner strategy] and to let them know that we're here to focus on getting our partners to grow," said Matt Hurley, corporate vice president of global partner and field marketing at Juniper.

The revamped JPAP reflects the three pillars of Juniper's new partner strategy: ease of doing business; investment in next-generation, high-growth areas; and profitability.

For starters, Juniper is unifying multiple partner programs into one framework, which includes traditional channel partners as well as distributors selling products or services. Partner Center, the main partner portal, is now the go-to place for all Juniper partners.

The unified partner program also directs all rewards and incentives under the single framework.

Taking a closer look at the three business pillars of Juniper's new partner strategy:

  • "Ease of doing business" includes simplifications as well as increased specializations, accreditations, marketing and learning.
  • "Next-generation, high-growth areas" focuses on revenue acceleration in areas such as private, public and telco cloud, data center transformation, security and software-defined networks.
  • "Profitability" means rewarding partner who invest in Juniper and grow their businesses in the targeted high-growth areas with market development funds (MDF), rebates, incentives and simplified financing.

In rethinking the JPAP, the vendor consolidated from four tier levels to three, getting rid of the Elite Portfolio. The tiers are now Elite, Select and Reseller.

The enhanced partner program also reflects the importance of services by adding services specialization or support specialization requirements for Elite partners. Select partners are also eligible for the Partner Support Specialization.

"This rounds out the entire customer experience in our opinion, whether a partner is taking Level I or Level II support calls or a partner is designing and solving the customer's problems," said David Bankemper, senior director of worldwide channel programs at Juniper.

Juniper is also offering new private cloud and telco cloud accreditations, which are open to Elite partners.

For partners in Juniper's Champions Program, which is made up of a technically advanced partner community that collaborates with Juniper on products and technologies, the company eliminated some accreditation tracks in lieu of employing Juniper Ingenious Champions.

In the spirit of simplification, Juniper also streamlined its seven product authorizations down to three: routing, switching and security.

There are two more changes of note. The planning timeframe for spending MDF has been extended from three months to six months, and Juniper has enhanced its product discount and incentive strategy.

In terms of incentives, Juniper introduced a commercial incentive for consistent performance as well as a "make-up" incentive. If a Juniper partner has a great first quarter but misses its second-quarter performance goals, that partner will receive the make-up incentive as long as the sum total of the two quarters meets the partner's goals.

According to the vendor, Elite and Select partners can participate in the company's Base Product Incentive and new Commercial Accelerator rebate.

The vendor also announced today that it has revamped its Marketing Concierge portal, adding new demand generation capabilities. Late this past summer, Juniper launched a partner marketing initiative called Marketing for Business Growth that unified the vendors marketing resources.

The refreshed Juniper Partner Advantage Program goes into effect on July 1 to give partners time to map to the new program requirements. The company has increased staff in its program management office to help partners migrate to the new program, according to Hurley.

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