Going into the new year, Juniper Networks‘ (NASDAQ: JNPR) director of Canadian channels, Chris Mascitelli, is urging partners to focus on expanding their product portfolio and service offerings if they haven’t done so already.
The company has made a number of revisions to its J-Partner Program to help its partners this year. In March, the company announced new specializations in product areas and new programs within the partner program. These included new specializations in product areas such as security, network infrastructure and advance network infrastructures. The new programs that were introduced within the J-Partner Program were the managed service, consultants and service provider infrastructure programs, which enable partners to specialize in specific areas.
“The goal with the program revisions was to ensure our partners are taking advantage of the services opportunities that exist and to help them maximize their profits,” Mascitelli said. “Juniper is 100 per cent through the channel and we’ve always been a profit play for our partners. They see us as a vendor where they make money.”
To further help its partners, Mascitelli says the company is doing a lot of work on demand creation activities right now. The company is set on making “big investments” to help partners build their brands in Canada. The overall goal is to grow the mutual brand between the partner and Juniper together by creating demand and raising awareness.
Mascitelli said as a result of the demand creation events, he hopes partners will begin selling outside of their top and existing accounts, because “they’ve already sold into those accounts before.”
Currently, Juniper has more than 12,000 registered partners around the world, with about 4,100 located in North America. Mascitelli said there are about 25 partners in Canada who are in the Select and Elite tiers of the J-Partner Program.
“There are three levels in the partner program, which is by invitation-only,” he explained. “Anybody can become a reseller. To become Select or Elite is only by invitation and we have a goal of not wanting to over distribute in a certain area. We don’t need two partners in the same geography on each other’s backs and eroding each other’s markets.”
As Juniper and its partners prepare to move into next year, Mascitelli said his key channel priorities will be to promote continued revenue growth and to help partners expand into other solution areas where they may not be participating in today. As an example, he says, “a lot of our security partners haven’t yet adopted areas like switching, and vice versa.”
“The goal’s to maximize our partnerships and make sure our partners are selling 100 per cent of the Juniper portfolio where it makes sense,” he added. “Companies that aren’t focused on selling services and adding value will find it challenging in this economy. We’re here to help our partners and help them build their services practices.”