An exclusive interview with Mario Georgiou, Regional Partner Director, Juniper Middle East, to learn about the Juniper Partner Advantage (JPA) enhancements, announced last month.
Last month, at Juniper’s inaugural Ideas Connected event in Las Vegas, the company announced enhancements to the Juniper Partner Advantage (JPA) programme, which was originally launched in 2012. It was also an opportunity for the vendor’s management to interact with more than 400 partners across the globe.
Mario Georgiou, Regional Partner Director, Juniper Middle East, says, “The focus at the event was largely around marketing and partnering for business growth. We want to enable our partners by educating them on new demand generation, equipping them with the right tools and growing their customer base. We aim at going deeper with customers and our channel partners to operationalise the next wave of IP networking. We have now enhanced the JPA programme in line with the growth we have experienced over the last two years.”
The idea, he says, was to simplify the framework of the programme in order to make it more accessible for partners. From having seven specialisations, the vendor is now focusing only on three – routing, switching and security – while also integrating the services and ‘champions’ portion into it.
Georgiou says, “We are asking our partners to do more around services because this is very important, not only for extending our reach into the market but also for our partners’ profitability. And profitability for partners is a key issue we are addressing with the enhanced programme. Services is a big growth area in this regard.”
Besides simplifying the programme, Juniper also aims to “make more noise around champions.”
The company has three levels of partnership programmes – elite, select and value. And within each level, there are three different types of ‘champions’, which is a sub-programme launched in 2013 – aspiring, innovative and engineer. “The highest level is engineer champions. It is not just about product certifications but also goes around implementing solutions. We will be pushing the number of champions at both elite and select levels. We expect elite partners to be at the engineer level and be our extension. We want to focus on developing this community of champions within our partner programme, going forward.”
As part of the programme enhancement plans, Juniper will reduce the number of elite partners across the world and in EMEA to 100 from the previous 190 (approximately).
He adds, “We are bringing this down because we expect our elite partners to bring in a specific revenue level depending on the regions or countries they are from. And we aim to extend the select level even more this year. In this level, partners are specialised in one solution or many. Elite partners are expected to do all the products and also be our support partners.”
While routing, switching and security are going to be the three main focuses, the company will also concentrate around data centre, cloud and intelligent networks.
“These are the main aspects, which we will be driving forward with our partners. Partners need to be able to go out there and sell the whole data centre or cloud solution. Networking and security are important, but how about the other portions that compute, such as servers, software and storage? We are working closely with our partners as they have different storage machines and compute solutions; and having an open solution is key for them to be able to create their own stack,” explains Georgiou.
“We want to help our partners position where customers should be getting to right now, not only in the future. We want to be focused with fewer elite partners as high value selling will be with these partners.”
Partners can also expect increased product margins propelled by services at the front end and extensive rebates at the back end, if they achieve the different targets that are set by the company. Over the next couple of months, we will continue to hear more updates from Juniper, as it drives business growth.