Juniper prepared for market recovery

Networking player has made channel improvements to support partners as customers look set to increase spending to support further digital transformation

Juniper Networks has seen its market share grow and its channel perform strongly over the past year and the vendor has taken steps to make sure it can continue to support partners.

Among those changes has been a decision to increase the number of managed partners that it works with, increase the focus on the enterprise market and more incentives for resellers to register deals early.

Sander Groot, head of EMEA and LATAM channels at Juniper Networks, said the company had started to review its channel approach in the second half of last year with the aim of improving its market position.

“We have analysed our set-up from a channel, go-to-market perspective, and we have made some fundamental changes in 2020,” he said. “I looked after 160 managed partners in my team and we have increased that to 250.

“We have seen a 25%-plus growth with our worldwide managed partners, which is spectacular growth with partners. It was a phenomenal year for Juniper in 2020 – we have grown significantly.”

Groot said the firm had also been generating business in the enterprise sector and working with partners to gain even more of a foothold at that end of the customer base.

“We believe at Juniper wholeheartedly that the future wave of growth is in the enterprise market,” he said. “Especially in enterprise new accounts, new business, there is such an enormous potential for us to tap into.”

To support that ambition, Groot has been reviewing partners to see which ones would be good to pitch an enterprise play. Key targets have been those with Wi-Fi practice and a significant campus and branch installed base.

“We have grown our base of enterprise partners and we have added new enterprise partners to the mix,” he said. “Then we have continued with our enterprise plus programme, and that is something that I refer to as the backbone of our enterprise channel business.”

On the deal registration front, Juniper has been encouraging partners to get prospective business on the system early, so they can provide rewards and support.

“We have put more money than ever before into our Juniper partner advantage programme,” Groot added. “We have increased significantly the possible earnings of rebates for our partners.”

Many of those operating on the networking side of the business are expecting a hybrid working world after the coronavirus pandemic eases off.

Groot said it was clear that for many customers, quite a lot of decisions about the future were still being decided – but it was already clear that technology had to be adopted that would support improved communications.

“After more than a year, end-users are also thinking about how to redo the IT environments in their reshaped offices,” he said. “Then, of course, the partners need to help them with that and, hopefully, Juniper technology will kick in there.

“Nobody has a crystal ball, but I believe that at some point, things will get better on many fronts, and then that will lead to more and better spending. If and when that happens, I believe that Juniper and its partners are in a fantastic place because we have prepared so much.”

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