Juniper Networks’ Mist Systems Propels Channel Partner Opportunity

By | Managed Services News

Apr 29

Enterprise Plus partners are the vendor’s preferred go-to-market partners for AI Access for the network edge.

The combined Juniper Networks-Mist Systems portfolio positions the vendor to leapfrog the competition, prompting new channel investments. Just one year into its $405 million acquisition of Mist, Juniper is moving full-speed ahead with its channel strategy. This includes the expected merger of the Juniper and Mist channel partner programs later this year.

Mist’s next-gen, AI solution for cloud-managed wireless networks plugs a critical solution gap in Juniper’s campus networking portfolio, and more. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Wired and Wireless LAN Access infrastructure, published last September, featured Juniper Networks‘ Mist Systems as a visionary.

With the Mist acquisition, Juniper leads with the AI-driven enterprise marketing message. Gordon Mackintosh is the company’s recently appointed vice president of global channels and virtual sales. He is rewarding partners who take that message to market. He discussed the company’s channel strategy with Channel Futures.

Mackintosh Talks Partner Differentiation

Channel Futures: What does the Juniper Networks/Mist Systems channel look like?

Juniper Networks' Gordon Mackintosh

Juniper Networks’ Gordon Mackintosh

Gordon Mackintosh: Mist had its own channel and small partner team and program. What’s happened over the last year is tremendous interest from the broader channel, post-acquisition. Seven hundred new partners have signed up and 40 new distributors, globally. The majority of new Mist partners are in the Americas, with some from Europe as well.

Juniper has about 3,000 partners transacting on a quarterly basis. A lot of the newly onboarded Mist partners come from the Juniper partner base. They want to take advantage of the new AI-driven enterprise solution. They’re seeing great differentiation in it. Many were selling security and switching products from Juniper.

CF: Do you plan to merge the separate Juniper and Mist partner programs?

GM: We’re looking to merge the programs this fall and create a new partner program. We want to take the best ingredients of both programs. Mist has a simplistic and effective program. Juniper has a very rich set of rebates and MDF program.

New Investments

CF: What investments has Juniper been making in its partners?

GM: There are 600 new technical resources within the partner community. Three hundred partners are going through deep enablement program. We’ve seen a 240% increase in deal registration as well from a Mist perspective. It’s catching on like wildfire because it’s a simple technology to get enabled for. It is highly differentiated and in high demand.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

CF: Tell us more about the investments you’ve made in the company’s enterprise strategy. 

GM: We’ve doubled down on the enterprise segment. This acquisition is rocket fuel for those investments. Within my organization we’ve brought in 50 new people this year. They focus on partners and customers through our virtual sales motion. AI-based Mist is fantastic for that kind sales motion because the technology sells itself.

We’ve had different inside sales organizations models in the past, but we’ve built a new virtual sales organization that we’re scaling to 100 people. We call it …

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