Certain Cisco partners are looking to "mitigate risk", as many have become overly dependent on their relationship with Cisco, according to Juniper Networks' regional partner director of UK and southern Europe, Darryl Brick.
Brick told CRN that many of Cisco's partners have become vulnerable to any change in Cisco's partner programme, and therefore are looking at "alternative routes".
"We are seeing a lot of Cisco partners looking to minimise their risk profile. Because they are so highly dependent on Cisco, they need to mitigate that risk. I'm not going to say they are moving away, but they need to open up an alternative route," Brick said.
"In the Cisco world, Cisco controls the customer, Cisco controls the services and as a partner you are a puppet. This is what the partners tell us. They are happy to take those millions in revenue at low margins, but if Cisco changes the rules, they will go out of business. The partners will take that [Cisco] business but they want to open new competencies and new routes to market to mitigate that risk in case Cisco takes one of their big customers direct, changes the services model or changes the discount model."
Brick (pictured, right) also said that Juniper is looking to take advantage of the Cisco situation.
"We are hoping to capitalise on the situation, not because we are a second player; the reason is because of the strategy of the company to address datacentre transformation and our partner programme is good – that's why it happens. Not because we are hovering around waiting for Cisco to trip up."
Brick's comments come two weeks after Juniper announced a refresh to its partner programme, with alterations made to its marketing development fund (MDF), rebates and training programme.
My enemy's enemy
Brick said that in the past few weeks, Juniper has increased its ties with virtualisation vendor VMware.
"The whole split with Cisco and VMware is playing right into our favour, because we are now best buddies with VMware. We are collaborating a lot and they are a very happening player right now," Brick said.
"I've had word in the last two weeks that VMware is knocking on all the Juniper partner doors trying to recruit our partners because they have something that our partners need, which is fine. And I am turning around to Juniper and saying we need to formalise our alliance and jointly go to customers."
Looking forwards, Brick said Juniper's main growth areas were the datacentre and the cloud.
"2015 is all about datacentre and it's all about cloud. Those are our priorities: competency in the datacentre, transforming the datacentre into more agile and cost-effective engines, and the adoption of the cloud," he said.
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