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As Juniper Networks' channel partners and internal sales reps convene in Miami for the vendor's second annual Ideas/Connected event, which is being held Jan. 11 to Jan. 13, Juniper partners can expect to hear about new learning courses, specializations, marketing initiatives and opportunities in 2016.
Expecting about 800 attendees -- comprised of both partners and Juniper employees -- the annual partner and leadership event is designed to help internal and external sales teams build business together in 2016.
According to Matt Hurley, corporate vice president for worldwide partner and field marketing at Juniper, the company in 2016 will continue to build on the three pillars -- enablement, ease of doing business and growth -- of the overhauled Juniper Partner Advantage Program, which was rolled out in mid-2015.
So, for example, in the area of enablement, the vendor launched a new marketing concierge and has augmented it with the ability for partners to download prepackaged campaigns, as well as have access to live agents to help plan campaigns. More than 1,000 campaigns have been executed, or are in the process of being executed, since Juniper rolled out the program in the second quarter of 2015 -- a dramatic improvement from past efforts, according to Hurley. Partners can still pull down marketing information.
This year, Juniper will introduce additional prepackaged campaigns that partners can purchase with market development funds (MDF). The company will also make enhancements to the social aspects of the program, such as social selling.
Considered an extended part of Juniper's family, partners get access to the same information the vendor provides to its own internal sales teams. On that note, Juniper added 44 new courses to its Partner Learning Academy last year -- the material is the same that's given to Juniper sales reps.
In 2016, Juniper will add at least 38 new training modules and update some existing courses.
Simplifying the way the company does business, Juniper reduced the number of approvals for partner deal requests and pricing from seven to three. And under the growth pillar, Juniper will be announcing new investments in its Champion Partner Program, which currently has 1,200 partners.
Specifically, the vendor will announce a new specialization track focused on network and architecture design. The goal is to improve program alignment with systems engineer roles and job functions, streamline training paths and offer more choices in the curriculum. The company will also launch a data center specialization and enhance the next phase of the existing cloud specialization.
Matt Hurleycorporate vice president for worldwide partner and field marketing at Juniper Networks
The company in 2015 also heavily invested in services for Juniper partners, rather than compete with partners, according to Hurley. The company rolled out a three-tier program that focuses on professional services, assessment workshops consisting of 15 Juniper assessments, and the company funds the assessments with MDF. Juniper also created a Professional Services Marketplace, where partners who deliver services can register and where partners looking for services providers can find them.
About 50 partners worldwide are currently in the marketplace, and another 20 lined up to go, according to Juniper.
When the vendor completes the roll out of its new internal ERP system, which is currently underway, partners will reap some of the new capability. So, for example, Juniper will take down some of the standalone partner systems and incorporate them in the ERP system. "We'll roll out a worldwide opportunity registration system for true deal protection -- something they don't have today," said Hurley, who added that another benefit partners would see is faster quoting.
Juniper won't say how many partners it has or the percentage of revenue partners generate for the company.
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