CHANGING New Zealand distributors was a key move in a new strategy for Juniper Networks. Talking at the vendor’s Asia-Pacific partner conference in Bangkok, Brian Allsop, the company’s channel director for Australia and New Zealand, says appointing Ingram Micro in March was the first step in a more structured approach to the reseller market.
“Effectively the strategy was to shift the investment from having technically savvy distributors to having a technically skilled channel,” says Allsop. “That was a major change. In return we have given a lot more of the margin to the resellers and that has been really well accepted in New Zealand.”
Since appointing Ingram, about eight of Juniper’s 30 local partners have invested significantly in technical capability behind the product, says Allsop.
Juniper was previously supplied by Lan1 and Renaissance. It inherited these relationships with the acquisition of Netscreen last year.
Lan1 originally launched Netscreen in New Zealand, with Renaissance appointed as second distributor in mid-2003.
Allsop says a special team within Ingram is responsible for the marketing and supporting of the brand, including recently appointed product manager Ryno Steyn.
“We have three people at Ingram including a fully certified Netscreen engineer to assist resellers. The decision to go with Ingram Micro has delivered not only the value-add elements we require in the market, but also the economies of scale resellers were demanding,” he says.
Despite being available through a broad-based distributor, Juniper is not flinging its range open to the full market in order to ensure the sustainability of its resellers’ business.
“In Australia and New Zealand we want deeper relationships with fewer partners rather than a bit of a relationship with everyone. It is the Pepsi model, not necessarily the Coca-Cola model,” says Allsop.
“When four or five resellers turn up for the same opportunity the rivalry created can really destroy margins.”