Westcon adds Juniper to its Canadian lineup

While Westcon Group won’t be the only source of Juniper Networks infrastructure and security products in Canada, the specialty distributor says its security focus and specialized support will set it apart.

Westcon announced earlier this month it has entered into an extended distribution agreement with Juniper Networks (NASDAQ: JNPR), a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based security and networking equipment vendor. Lynn Smurthwaite-Murphy, vice-president, Westcon Canada and SMB North America, says there are three reasons why Westcon decided to work with Juniper: it’s a good fit for both companies, Westcon offers a new and different set of value-adds to Juniper partners, and Juniper’s partners now have a Canadian alternative to Ingram Micro.

“We’ve been in the distribution of security products for 11 years now,” said Smurthwaite-Murphy, adding Weston has developed a global security focus. ”We go to market with a multi-vendor layered solution, and this was a really good fit because of that security focus.”

Juniper is already an established brand in Canada, and she adds Juniper’s entry into the switching market in January also makes it a strong player.

Westcon’s go to market strategy is to help its resellers throughout the sales cycle, says Smurthwaite-Murphy. That involves a set of support tools and resources around areas such as finance, support and training, as well as a security point program with a portal that partners can access for competitive market and product information.

“The complexity in general of ordering for security (can be daunting). It’s not always a simple order,” said Smurthwaite-Murphy.

A security solution generally requires multiple vendors, she says, including hardware and software. You need to really know what goes with what and how to place those orders in order to deliver value, something Westcon’s security focus and expertise can help with.

“Our knowledge and focus allows us to smoothly fulfill customers’ requirements,” she says.

To support the Juniper roll-out Westcon has developed training and new sets of collateral. Smurthwaite-Murphy says Weston will be looking to get partner feedback on the strategy over the next six months to solidify the strategy, and develop a customized regional approach for Canada within Westcon’s global strategy.

“We’ve been a relatively quiet company in Canada,” said Smurthwaite-Murphy, noting Westcon has had a niche in security and as a Nortel Networks distributor. “Globally Westcon is a very large company and a significant player with Cisco Systems, Avaya, Nortel and a lot of the security vendors.”

Westcon launched with Cisco in Canada in January, and is one of two distributors for Avaya in Canada, she says. With the cost and time involved in ordering equipment, there’s a benefit to being able to source multiple vendors from one distributor with one purchase order, she says.

“Weston is the only distributor in Canada where you can get Cisco, Avaya, Nortel and Juniper from the same source,” said Smurthwaite-Murphy. “I think we’ve suddenly become a more significant player in the Canadian market because we’ve become the go-to partner for security in Canada.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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