Several hundred channel partners are set to join Juniper Networks leaders at the IDEAS/Connected conference the week of January 11 in Miami, Fla. To offer some context on where Juniper is potentially heading next, Matthew Hurley, corporate VP for Global Channels, offered this 2015 recap along with some clues for 2016.
First, a little background. Hurley previously led Juniper's global partner and field marketing efforts. But by January 2015, the company asked him to unify the partner marketing and overall global channel efforts. Fast forward to the present and Hurley says he's "over the moon on what the team has accomplished."
Juniper 2015: Three Priorities
For most of 2015, Juniper focused on three partner program pillars -- enablement, ease of doing business and growth. Among the milestones:
1. Enablements: Here, Juniper reached some new milestones with its Marketing Concierge service. Partners can now leverage the service for pre-packaged campaign or request campaign support help. The system has supported more than 1,000 campaigns, while a related learning academy has launched nearly 50 new courses for partners in the past year.
2. Ease of doing business: Partners used to potentially navigate about seven different approval processes on a deal. Now, that's been reduced to three core areas for the sake of simplicity: Routing, switching and security. There are additional rewards for partners that consistently hit goals in consecutive quarters. Partner account managers, meanwhile, are more aggressively trained on Juniper's product roadmap. And in CRN's annual scorecard survey, Juniper posted dramatically improved results in roughly eight of 14 categories, Hurley says.
3. Growth: Here, Juniper has introduced various certifications to help partners drive services growth. One example is a professional services certification to ensure key partners are empowered to help customers. The company also sharpened its midmarket strategy and strengthened its distributor engagements.
Juniper 2016: Doubling Down on Growth
Overall, Hurley is pleased with Juniper's progress. He'll be rolling out additional partner program announcements at the IDEAS/Connected conference.
"We're not making wholesale changes because we have those three pillars in place," he says. "But I can say we'll be focusing even more on the growth piece."
It's also safe to expect more software milestones from Juniper -- including a differentiated pricing model around software. Some of the effort involves Juniper's disaggregation software strategy for the data center. And I suspect Juniper will have an aggressive response to Cisco ONE -- the software strategy designed for Cisco's network, compute and storage systems.
Referring to the evolution of software licensing, Hurley says, "It's a journey." More steps in the journey could take place at the conference...
Juniper Overall Performance
Juniper is set to announce its latest quarterly results on January 27, 2016. In recent weeks, the company has been plagued by concerns about backdoors in its software -- potentially allowing rogue access to Juniper systems. Among those expressing major concerns: The Pentagon has warned contractors about the Juniper vulnerabilities.
It's unclear if or how Juniper will need to address the backdoor subject during the IDEAS/Connected.
Juniper was certainly growing before the company proactively disclosed the security issues. Revenues for Q3 were $1.25 billion, up 11 percent year over year. No doubt, Hurley hopes Juniper's three partner program pillars -- enablements, ease of doing business and growth strategies -- will help to further accelerate Juniper's business in 2016.