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Juniper not to add new partners to its network

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DQW Bureau
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At a time when most vendors are busy expanding their channel network and

bringing more partners on board, Juniper Networks is all set to buck the trend.

Instead the company is happy with the critical mass it has reached in terms of

its channel and will work with the partners it already has rather than add more

to this league.

The idea is to grow with the partners, not create unnecessary competition

revealed the company at the recently concluded APAC J-Partner Summit 2006 in

Bangkok. In fact the underlying message that was flashed to the channel

throughout the event was 'accelerate your business'.

Gary Kinsley, VP-Channels APAC, Juniper made his point all the more clear

with a grand entrance at the summit in a Juniper featured formula one racing

car, complete with smoke, strobe lights and loud music.

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Gary Kinsley, VP-Channels APAC,

Juniper Networks

“Our strategy to reach the market is 100 percent through partnering and we

have no aspiration to change that. We want to grow with our part-ners,”

commented Eddie Munshull, Executive VP, Worldwide Field Operations, Juniper

Networks.

This was a major point that was stressed upon during the three-day summit.

Reiterating the point Kinsley said, “We want to work with partners to

encourage business as well as help them grow their product portfolio.”

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Juniper Networks, which is involved in enabling secure and assured

communications over a single IP network, rece-ntly announced the appoint-ment of

2,200 plus partners in APAC, 100 of them in India, and said it had attained

'critical mass', translated which means that they have sufficient number of

partners to attain their business objectives. Its channel program has been

running for the past two years and in the duration the com-pany had been

aggressively ramping up its focus on the enterprise segment.

Growth strategy



The company is insistent that over-distribution would be harmful for the

growth of the channel and would lead to unhealthy competition amon-gst them. The

Juniper partner-ship advantage ensures that a minimum number of partners are

selected for maximum coverage and revenue.

“Partners too look for value proposition in a partnership. They want

acceptable margins, the opportunity to sell services on the product, training

and information flow, from us. Fewer partners mean margins are protected. While

this strategy would give rise to competitors, data shows otherwise. We are

winning market shares as per various industry analysts like Gartner,” reasoned

Kinsley.

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Commenting further on enhancing the relationship between Juniper and the

partner as a growth strategy, Munshull said, “We want to grow mutually in

revenue and profitability. No one is here for charity. Investing in channel

programs is the heart of this strategy. We are very pas­sionate about enhancing

the teaming between Juniper and the channel as duplication is also very

costly.”

Partner support



In stride with the com­pany's efforts to grow with the partners, the

company offers strong partner support in the form of market development fund (MDF),

or financial support. MDF, which steadily increases YoY, helps the partners to

expand Juniper presence in their markets. Dedicated channel marketing experts

are also provided to work with partners on go-to-market strategies, not to

mention the company const-antly culti­vates new markets for its partners.

Support also comes in the form of education programs.

Another big support part-ners get is in the form of tools that help them

understand hidden costs that come with deploying the solution and helps them

over come that. The tools and services, developed in house by Juniper, are not

fee-based and basically help to launch a profitable solution.

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“We work with tools and models to do analysis thus helping carriers and

solution providers to become profit-able,” remarked Keith Falter, Financial

and Business Anal-ysis, Juniper. “Our tools acc-ount for all costs and we

think it is the best tool in the indus-try. Other companies offer similar tools

but at a price. Ours is more of a value add to the partner and part of our

strategy to build a relationship and trust with partners,” said Falter. The

company also trains local partners on how to use the tool so that they can do

calculations by them selves later on.

Focus areas



When Juniper started its business a decade ago, there were other several com­panies

venturing in the same space. Today, it claims to be the only one left standing

at the $2 billion plus revenue bracket. While Cisco seems to be the only other

company giving some kind of competition to Juniper, Jeff Lindholm, Chief Mar­keting

Officer, Juniper Networks insisted that they do not perceive Cisco as a com­petitor

since Cisco, having been around for 20 years, would be the likely market leader.

“We have entered the enter-prise segment in the last two years only and

have already got such a huge market share and customer base. More and more

people are now seeing us as a likely alternative to Cisco, with no other players

at this level,” commented Lindholm. Today one third of Juniper business come

from the enterprise segment but the company is looking forward to enhancing this

ratio. “Our target in the coming years in to get a 50:50 percent balance and

we are well on our track to get that,” said Munshull.

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Speaking further about the company's target Lindholm said, “We want to

establish Juniper as a thought leader in open IP. We are not looking at mass

marketing but marketing to our customers. Our areas of focus are the existing

custo­mers. Key verticals that we want to focus on are financial services,

governments and R&B.”

(The writer was hosted in Bangkok by Juniper Networks)

Ruth Samson Bangkok, June 2

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