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Juniper to spend millions on the channel

Juniper Networks uses partner conference to talk about bold moves to increase investment in the channel and take market share

The chief executive of Juniper Networks has talked of increasing its channel investment to make sure it can support its partners and fuel its ambition to reach customers looking to ramp up their cloud activities.

The firm held its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) partner event at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has spurred acceleration to the cloud and underlined the importance of networking infrastructure.

Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks, said it wanted to invest in the channel and work with partners in three main areas: WAN solutions that can handle cloud; the cloud datacentre; and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for the enterprise. Security would underpin all of those.

“The transformational forces that were already in place before the pandemic will only accelerate,” he said.

Rahim added that the conditions that were enabling AI had never been greater and now was the moment for the channel to get involved with the technology.

“The goal is to take the lessons from that data and translate it into autonomous operations, all towards the end goal of autonomous self-driving networks,” he said.

Wireless LAN solutions had focused on ease of deployment, said Rahim, and although that remained important, the technology it offered went further and helped drive more autonomy across the network.

“Cloud is an industry-changing inflexion point and Juniper is on the right side of this inflexion point,” he said, adding that it was not “trying to be everything to everyone” but was focusing on three clear areas.

Rahim underlined the importance of the channel in its go-to-market strategy. “We are being bold in the investments we are making with our partners,” he said. “It is a truly exciting time to be a Juniper partner today, we have a lot to offer to our partners.”

Gordon Mackintosh, Juniper’s worldwide vice-president of channel and virtual sales, said the vendor was growing and that was thanks to its partners. In the current uncertainty, he said: “We have to be bold and seize those opportunities.”

Mackintosh said it had been actively working out what partners wanted, and the feedback had been more simplification, closer field alignment and more excitement around the brand and the products.

“We haven’t had a consistent investment in partners as we have elsewhere in the business, but now is the time for that, and we will be bolder than we have been before,” he added.

“We are growing, and our competition is declining...that means we’re taking market share. This allows us to invest when others are hitting pause,” said Mackintosh.

He said it would not be over-distributed or have an overly complex partner programme, announcing that it would make a $100m investment in the partner community in 2021 and introduce a generous rebate programme. Juniper will provide more details of the programme in the next few weeks.

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