Juniper announces changes to Partner Advantage

change same old sign

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) has introduced a raft of changes to the Juniper Partner Advantage programme for 2015.

The highlights – which were announced to selected partners for the first time last month – include moving to a single framework across all products, services, partners and distributors, enhanced MDF and performance rebates, and stripping back the number of its partner levels and product authorisations.

Juniper’s VP of worldwide partner and field marketing, Matt Hurley, said the changes are a direct response to feedback from partners.

In his blog, Hurley said the firm has “been given one mouth and two ears for a reason” and that “we ought to spend twice as much time listening as talking and that’s what we’ve been doing. In the past year, we took time to listen to you and asked what you liked and didn’t like about our partner programmes,” adding that partners had been “vocal and candid.”

Hurley said that partners had indicated that the vendor could be “a bit unpredictable and inconsistent”. They also told Juniper to “Stop coming out with something new all the time,” and offering “programmes with a short shelf life”. They also said they needed “greater consistency and predictability”.

As part of the overhaul, Juniper will now only have three partner levels – Elite, Select and Reseller. Darryl Brick, Juniper’s partner director for UK&I and Southern Europe says previously partners would be categorised based on different parts of the Juniper portfolio: “For example, before we had Elite in security, Elite in network infrastructure, etc. So now you’re either Elite or you’re not.”

He adds: “It’s not a class-based programme; we expect an Elite partner to lead a sale with Juniper, whereas Select, they can have us in their portfolio, they can service our customers, but we don’t expect them to lead every sale with Juniper.”

Juniper’s Select partners will be better off following the changes, with the vendor extending Partner Support Services (PSS) and Professional Services to the Select channel for the first time, meaning they can sell their own managed services to the customer.

The firm will also roll out a rebate programme for Select partners as well – previously only provided for Elite partners.

Meanwhile, the networking vendor has reduced its product authorisation requirements from seven to just three — Routing, Switching and Security.

Juniper says it is going to focus on high growth areas such as cloud and SDN, with an emphasis on services along with products. Hurley says the firm will provide partners with performance rebates, MDF, vertical market campaigns, and demand generation tools to help them grow their revenues in these areas.


Hurley says the more money partners make with Juniper products, the more the vendor will reward them through incentive programmes, aimed at each level of the partner’s organisation. It says it will also provide incentives for sales reps at partners who sell products into new customers.

Juniper’s distributors can also participate in a distributor performance incentive programme, a quarterly rebate which rewards them for growing Juniper business in commercial markets.

Elsewhere the company is extending its Market Development Funds (MDF) planning cycle from three to six months to provide partners “with greater visibility and time to earn more.”

“The enhanced rebate programme is to make it easier and more predictable,” says Brick. “If a partner misses their quota in Q1, they get to catch it up in Q2...On top of that if the partner achieves the quota in both quarters, there will be an additional bonus on top of that.”

There will also be an additional rebates for partners bringing in commercial business or net new business.


There have also been some additions to Juniper’s Marketing for Business Growth programme, introduced last year. This includes new courses added to the Marketing Academy and several new marketing training modules. It has also simplified the dashboard and streamlined the interfaces for smartphones and tablets.

Partners can also now get access to company news, product information, events, partner programmes and training via the Partner Center directly on the firm’s main portal, with

Juniper also “completely overhauling” its Marketing Concierge site to include chat capabilities with real-time access to Juniper experts.

Hurley acknowledged that 2014 was a tumultuous year for the company, with the sale of parts of the business, job losses and a new CEO.

He comments: “I know that this past year Juniper has ridden a raft of changes. High-profile exec movements, product line changes, strategy shifts. I admit it can be unnerving, but in spite of these changes the vision and values and innovation of the company has remained stable and healthy. Our partner ecosystem has been one of our constants, and we are thankful for that.”

“We are in a time of change, but those of us who embrace that change have the advantage,” says Hurley. “While these changes may lead us into new or untapped territory this year, it’s an adventure we’re looking forward to.”

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.