Tech Prediction 2022

Partnership Programs, Automation, and Alignment of Channel Marketing with Direct Sales will Call the Shots 

Harshavardhan Kathaley, Director – Partner Sales, India & SAARC, Juniper Networks

Amid the increasing blare of the pandemic and the spectre of omicron casting its long shadows over the tech landscape, we have ushered into 2022. Channel success which has always been the holy-grail for any business is all set to get a makeover in the new year.

As part of our effort to get the channel community better informed and get an earful of what the who’s who of Indian IT are thinking, expecting, and planning for the channel community in 2022, we have started this new section to record the channel predictions of the most prominent players of the IT industry.

Here, as part of this special series of Tech Forecasts, Juniper Networks India registers its predictions for 2022.

[quote font=”tahoma” font_size=”13″ font_style=”italic” color=”#262626″ bgcolor=”#f9f9f9″]“To unlock the power of channel and in continuation of the journey of hyper connected channel, this year’s JPA provides an opportunity for Juniper Partners to invest in SaaS & services though our UMSP program.”

Harshavardhan Kathaley,
Director – Partner Sales, India & SAARC,
Juniper Networks[/quote]

As a leading networking solutions player, Juniper strives to transform network experiences. By challenging the inherent complexity in the 5G and cloud era, Juniper’s solutions has been powering the connections in sectors as varied and as critical as education and healthcare to secure banking.

Juniper’s Director – Partner Sales, India & SAARC, Harshavardhan Kathaley, has been at the forefront of this growth drive. A Partner-first executive, Harshavardhan has stood by the channel community through thick and thin. Under his leadership, the company along with its partners extended support to all customers irrespective of their level.

In an exclusive interaction with SME Channels, Harshavardhan Kathaley, Director – Partner Sales, India & SAARC, Juniper Networks, shares his company’s Channel Predictions for the year 2022 and how Juniper is transforming networking for the cloud era. Edited excerpts

Give a brief introduction of your company.  

Juniper Networks is dedicated to dramatically simplifying network operations and driving superior experiences for end users. We are a collection of innovators coming together to fully connect the world so that our customers, partners and the communities they build can continue to solve our greatest challenges of health, well-being, sustainability, and equality.

We place a strong emphasis on software innovation, with products ranging from Junos to Apstra to Paragon to Mist AI that push the boundaries of predictability, programmability, automation, and insights. Together we will shift the focus from operations to outcomes, which will forever change the network and the experiences of the people it connects. This is what we mean when we say we are Driven by Experience.

As the pandemic is still there and a new variant has surfaced, what are the major market trends you are forecasting for 2022?   

Since the pandemic started in early 2020, technology has helped industries all over the world. As the world increasingly relied on technology to ensure remote operations, we saw new innovations and advancements that ensured business continuity.

And as we usher into 2022, the world will continue to see technological advancements sweep the world off its feet. Moreover, with the arrival of 5G, operations in large enterprises, small enterprises, and even a small kirana store will be transformed.

With its low latency and enhanced security, private 5G will give enterprises the platform they need to implement breakthrough applications that require near-real time responses and actions, as well as faster data processing for AI/ML. The adoption of private 5G is set to transform sectors like health care, gaming, manufacturing and emergency services, with production deployments becoming more common over the next 18-24 months.

The home will be further cemented as a staple enterprise micro-branch in 2022, prompting enterprise IT teams to take an even closer look at their network edge. We can expect enterprise-grade networking solutions to begin permeating remote and hybrid workforces to ensure end-to-end network visibility, reliability, and security.

As the pandemic continues to drive down building occupancy mandates, indoor location will become a requirement for facility managers. Businesses of all sizes should plan to invest in AI-driven data analytics and indoor location technology, including Bluetooth LE technologies (BLE).

Previously thought to be a “nice to have,” indoor location technology is now considered a must-have for nearly any business, from retailers to warehouses to large enterprises that need to know who is on their premises. Even as the world slowly opens up and mandates are reduced, the way facility managers think about indoor location has changed forever.

What major trends are you forecasting in the channel market?   

Today more and more enterprise technology vendors are turning to channel partners to optimize reach and relevance of their solutions across markets.

In view of this, I believe these trends will see an uptick in the channel market industry:

  1. Partnership programs: In the current industry scenario, technology is expected to deliver business value coupled with agility and flexibility. And partnership programs are enabling vendors to provide exactly that to their customers. Today, vendors and channel partners must collaborate to create and deliver value. Recently, Juniper Networks announced new enhancements to the global Juniper Partner Advantage Program (JPA). Starting January 2022, a new top-tier level of the partner program will be introduced, and a modernized engagement platform that embraces a collaborative sales approach. The JPA 2022 program updates also deliver an enriched learning experience to enable partners to quickly expand their knowledge of Juniper and maximize their business growth opportunities.
  2. Today customers need a personalized experience and to deliver that automation will come in the forefront. Automating solutions and channel marketing will result in integrated data, data management and optimization of ROI on MDF investments.
  3. Customer experience calls for a one unified team. 2022 will witness technology vendors streamlining and aligning channel marketing with direct sales and marketing strategy for better outcomes and achieving channel partner goals and objectives.

Which areas you want to focus in the channel – skillsets – sales and marketing, vertical and technology practice development, service capability, etc.?   

In 2022, Juniper will prioritize collaboration in the channel. The areas of focus are given below:

  • Outcome-Based Enablement – In keeping with our focus on collaboration, our JPA partners will have access to the Juniper Networks Learning Academy, which will include new content and webinars for partner education, as well as easy access to valuable training in bite-sized, easy-to-consume modules.
  • UMSP Acceleration – Expand Routes for Partners
  • Elevating Partner Success – Building Strong Relationship
  • Co-Investing for Growth – Elite Plus Program rewards highly invested upper echelon Elite partners with a premier status.
  • Hyperconnected Communities – Seller Rewards to Individual Commitment and Success

Accelerating Partner Time to Revenue – Introduction of Virtual Sales Pods, which enable partners and our sales team to communicate about account plans and sales efforts.

What percentage of budget growth are you expecting for channel development?   

As a partner centric company, we recognize that partners play a vital role in the success of the business. Globally, our deal registration for partner-led sales having grown 65 percent year over year.

In India, we will continue to invest in our channel partner ecosystem and are committed to helping our partners deliver best-in-class solutions tailored to customers’ needs, build strong revenue growth, and reward them as they invest, innovate and grow with Juniper.

What is your expectation from channel this year?   

Over the years we have been accelerating the winning partnerships to unlock the power of channel. In continuing with this journey of hyper connected channel, this year’s JPA provides an opportunity for Juniper Partners to invest in SaaS & services though our UMSP program. There will be a greater emphasis on exceeding customer expectations and providing an experience rather than merely a product or solution.

Also, for our top tier Elite partners, this year Juniper offers Co-Investment funds upon business plan and formal MOU to support their business growth.

Are you planning any new product addition for the channel market?   

We empower and reward our partners to best capitalize on customer opportunities through our comprehensive JPA program, which has been enhanced for 2022. These enhancements will help grow their expertise to address current and upcoming industry trends across focus areas such as the Cloud, Data Center, Security, Routing, and Wired & Wireless.

Is there any channel expansion plan in terms of numbers in 2022?   

We anticipate rapid growth and expansion in 2022 with a channel partner ecosystem bolstered by JPA program enhancements. In India, we are looking to expand our footprint across geographies & verticals.

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