Juniper Networks offers steep discounts to poach HP, Cisco customers

Published: April 22nd, 2010

Aiming to show it’s a major player in the networking space that will take market share at a time when some of its competitors are in transition, Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) has launched a “Switch to Juniper” program that offers up to 60 per cent of select offerings to both new and existing customers.

Through September 30th, eligible businesses can buy new Juniper Ethernet Switches through the vendor’s channel partners and save up to 60 per cent off list prices on select EX Series switches. The offer is aimed at both customers looking to upgrade switches from legacy suppliers, as well as existing Juniper security customers purchasing their first Juniper Ethernet switches.

Michael Banic, Juniper’s vice-president of enterprise marketing, said a number of situations in the market place today have led Juniper to launch this program in an attempt to gain further market share. The switch program will shorten sales cycles for Juniper partners and help them come to market more competitively.

“The primary objective of the program is to further accelerate the revenue growth we’ve been seeing in last eight quarters, and the market share that came with that,” said Banic.

In particular, the falling-out of HP and Cisco Systems, once erstwhile networking partners, is providing opportunity. As each vendor works out its own play going forward, and experience product availability issues as they source components from other vendors, Banic said Juniper can go to market with proven solutions that are available right now.

Juniper also sees a lot of pent-up market demand, with the fiscal downturn leading many customers to put upgrades on hold and now looking to upgrade their long in the tooth infrastructure.

“Lots of orders are sitting unfulfilled, so here’s an opportunity take to customers,” said Banic. “If they have an existing product they want to upgrade, take advantage of these attractive incentives to upgrade with something we can ship to you today.”

Some of the outreach that Juniper partners will be bringing to customers will be saying things like “stop waiting and start switching,” said Banic. They’ll also be emphasizing Juniper’s value proposition. He sees Cisco as having a very “disjointed” product line, with products architected with different silicon, different functionality and different management suites. Banic added with HP adding 3Com, they’re in a similar position.

“It’s very different from the Juniper value proposition,” said Banic. “We invest in innovation in our Junos software and build products to scale, tightly coupled with Junos. It allows us to create systems with architectural innovation.”

In addition to attracting new customers, the discounts will also be available to current Juniper customers that aren’t currently Juniper switch customers. It’s an opportunity for channel partners to go deeper with their current clients.

“The Canadian market has a very strong install base with our security portfolio. One of our two calls to action is if you’re a Juniper security customer, we know you have high satisfaction, so take advantage of the switches too,” said Banic.

The switch program will be supported by a direct mail campaign from partners to customers, and Banic said the program has been designed so that partner profitability will be maintained and margins protected. He added that it’s Juniper’s growth, and its new position as a top four vendor in its key product categories, that gives it the scale to launch this promotion.

“As we’ve gotten to this high level of market growth and this model, we’ve been able to reach cost models that allow us to make these offers,” said Banic.