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Networks products and technology run the world's largest and most demanding
global networks - and JUNOS Software provides the intelligence and scale behind
these solutions. With service providers,
enterprises, and public sector organizations using Juniper Networks and JUNOS
to create value and accelerate business success, Juniper's online communities
are crucial part of how we support, engage and equip our users. In 2009, we've taken this to a new level by
using our online communities as the centerpiece of a campaign to spread the message about helping users
get certified on JUNOS software. Our
goal: 14,000 new JUNOS certifications.
Our focus: using social technologies to create a call to action amongst
our JUNOS users and to deliver the results.
Laying the Foundation
already laid the groundwork for a vibrant community of JUNOS users through our
industry-recognized online support program. The Association of Support
Professionals (ASP), an international membership organization for customer
support managers and professionals, recently recognized Juniper Networks for
excellence in online service and support in the Ten Best Web Support Site
category for a fourth consecutive year - becoming only the second company ever
to record four straight wins. With this
recommendation Juniper Networks also joined ASP's Web Support Hall of Fame,
which honors companies achieving "Ten Best" for a minimum of four
In November 2007, we added a new dimension to our online
support: a fully-featured online community offering user discussions across key
product and technology topics and a rich, interactive media experience. Our goal then (and now) was to create a place
for active two-way dialogue with and between our users, enlisting Lithium
Technologies for their community platform and expertise. Since formally launching, the J-Net Community
has grown to nearly 8,000 registered users. What started with 60,000 monthly
page views in 2007 has now grown to nearly 3 million monthly page views in 2009
- and still counting. And users aren't
simply passengers: we've seen average posts grow from just over 80 per month in
2007 to over 1000 per month now in 2009.
As evidenced from some of our more vibrant discussion threads, the J-Net
Community is active - and vocal:
certainly didn't stop there. We
continued to add enhancements to the J-Net Community as the viewership has
grown to ensure that users want to keep coming back, including:
Frequent use of video and user
Recognition of users through user
rankings and the "Kudos" system
Integration of RSS feeds and email subscriptions to
discussion topics and Knowledge Base articles, as well as proactive support product
alerts via Tech Bulletins
added three blogs to the J-Net Community, tailored to suit our increasingly
broad base of users and their interests:
The Network Ahead: Engages
executives and other community members in an open dialogue on topics ranging
from JUNOS Software and business model evolution to green networking and
Architecting the Network: Offers business perspectives on the trends,
solutions and driving networking innovation.
Networking Now: Technical perspectives on a wide
range of topics, from network security to routing and switching.
The JUNOS discussion area has been
one of the largest growers, going from just over 2,400 views in November 2007
to almost 200,000 views in August 2009.
As we'll describe shortly, this particular group of users would become a
particular area of focus in 2009.
Connecting the Dots
J-Net Community activated, we set our sights expanding our reach with
integrated electronic direct mail, Google search campaigns, www.juniper.net banner placements and other
online communities - namely social networks -- where our users congregate. The first challenge was in developing our own
company understanding of what familiar entities like Facebook, LinkedIn,
YouTube, Twitter and social bookmarking services like Digg could actually do to
help us drive the business. To do so,
Juniper developed the J-Social program.
J-Social is an interactive guide to social media designed to help Juniper
employees and Juniper partners engage in the online social network effectively.
In 7-10 minutes each of the nine modules provides education and engagement
vignettes describing the "old way" vs. the "new way"
fun facts and compelling content
activities driving online membership and engagement
instructional content to use later
for completion of all modules (T-Shirt and Certificate)
keep it social, the ability to share the J-Social experience with others
J-Social pilot was launched in 1H09 to the internal Juniper Marketing team
(200+), and fully launched August 24, 2009 to all Juniper employees worldwide
(approximately 7,000) and to the entire Juniper partner population globally. We also developed a set of social media icons
for Juniper employees for embedding in their email signatures. As of September 1, 2009, 1,068 users had
already registered and the number is growing daily.
the J-Social program wasn't the end game. The education and engagement was put
to the test with three major company announcements - announcements in which our
ability to spread the message was improved measurably by the company's use of
28-April 2009: IBM
Announces Dynamic Infrastructure Data Center Solution with Juniper
announces an update to its Dynamic Infrastructure of which Juniper is a
critical participant delivering shared vision, technology innovation and a
robust product portfolio. Jim Comfort, VP of Enterprise Initiatives at IBM
talks about our partnership in this video:
new blog post by Executive Vice President David Yen, video, and accompanying
presentation were posted in the J-Net Community on the day of announcement
Networks announced its next generation network infrastructure for the
distributed enterprise, including new SRX Series Services Gateways and a new
line of EX Series Ethernet Switches.
the first time, updates are published to all three J-Net Community blogs
The Network Ahead: "Enhancing
the Distributed Enterprise" By Mark
Architecting the Network:"Your Network and a Pandemic" by Alex
Networking Now:"Remote Site Strategies in Lean
Times" by Scott Lucas
new videos posted to YouTube
first, the J-Net Community hosts a live chat event on launch day; and was
promoted via Twitter and Facebook
Media Announcements were delivered Twitter, Facebook and Linked
24-June 2009: Juniper Announces NYSE
Euronext, the world's most diverse exchange group, and Juniper Networks
announced that they are working together to create a state-of-the-art,
ultra-low latency core network for NYSE Euronext's new consolidated global data
video was posted in a blog article announcing this partnership deal.
article and video were syndicated via Juniper's Facebook page and Twitter.
case, online communities played a significant role in spreading the message to
both our users and to the broader industry.
In the case of Distributed Enterprise in particular, online communities
and social networks were used for cross-reference: alerting and driving users
from one community to information in another.
By the end of July 2009, both Twitter and Facebook had become Top 10
traffic referrers to the J-Net Community.
As of August, growth of our online communities is still on
community: nearly 8,000 registered users up from 4,000 in 2008
of these initiatives we gained more insight into truly connecting the dots
between our online user communities - from J-Net to Facebook to LinkedIn -- to
scale the message and reach the broadest possible audience. Through our
increasingly inter-linked communities, we began to see the potential for
actively engaging JUNOS software users - and some early successes in reaching
our JUNOS community through these channels, including:
"Day One" booklet -- through posting a description and link on key LinkedIn
groups, we achieved a quarterly goal of five user reviews in a matter of hours.
All comments were positive and downloads increased dramatically.
Enterprise Switching book - through posting on key LinkedIn groups, Facebook
Twitter and J-Net, we were quickly able to provide valuable information to an
audience interested in new networking material. We received numerous positive
comments including things like "Just bought the book and it is great. Thanks for
telling us about it" and "Thanks,
Jeff. I plan to use this as a supplement for the JNCIA-EX".
entered 2009, the insight we gained from the use of online communities and
these early JUNOS successes would become a critical asset in one of our biggest
challenges yet: helping 14,000 new users get certified on JUNOS Software.
Turning Up the JUNOS Volume -- And Getting Results
Juniper, there is no greater priority than helping our users adopt and
integrate JUNOS Software into their high performance networks - and realize its
benefits. A key step in this process is
educating and equipping users with the know-how to make JUNOS Software a part
of their daily operations. Our JUNOS
certification and training program offers several ways for users to develop
practical expertise with JUNOS, apply those skills to their profession and
enrich their careers.
in mind, we set a company goal of helping 14,000 new users earn their JUNOS
certifications in 2009 - no small feat.
To achieve this, we redesigned our entire Fast Track program - a
streamlined portal offering users study materials, a pre-assessment exam, and
an automated process for earning discounts on four of our most popular
certification exams. We also created a
compelling limited time offer of 100% off the final certification exam for all
users of the Fast Track program. But
how to spread the message? In a word:
On July 20th,
we re-launched the Fast Track program with an integrated, multi-touch campaign
across the globe. In addition the
tried-and-true tactics of electronic direct mail, search engine marketing, and
events promotion, we also put out a massive call to our online
communities. In the first 24 hours of
the campaign, we:
the program and new offer on our official Twitter feed - and encouraged all of
our followers to re-tweet the news
an announcement in our J-Net Community along with a new video describing the
Fast Track program and its benefits
an announcement on the official Juniper Networks Facebook page and started a
discussion thread on the topic
an announcement to the JUNOS Professionals group and five other related user
groups on LinkedIn
a new JUNOS playlist on the Juniper YouTube channel
an advertising campaign on Facebook urging users to "Fast Track" their careers
by taking advantage of the 100%-off offer
JUNOS advocacy on these social media channels, Juniper's Jeff Mattan also made
a connection with another key community: the industry blogosphere. Jeff engaged in a dialogue with Network World
blogger Brad Reese, who follows the networking certification space and in
particular, Cisco. Brad has now written
two favorable posts on Juniper's Fast Track program as a result and continues
to follow Jeff on Twitter.
These community engagements yielded substantial increases in
traffic to the new Fast Track portal, namely:
to the Fast Track portal have averaged 20,000+ per week since launch
delivered 7.5M ad impressions with a CTR of .03%
800 visits to our Fast Track site directly from Brad Reese's blog
Community is the top social network referral to the Fast Track portal
engagement through social technologies has also given JUNOS Software users a
direct channel back to Juniper - a channel that yielded some very gracious
“I want to say thank you for all support from Juniper, I passed on the JNCIS-ER exam today... “
“@JUNOSJeff Good to hear that! I do work almost full-time on Juniper stuff now ;-) So I'm building loads of experience”
“I took 3 exams thanks to fasttrack vouchers, and I have passed them thanks to the study materials there. Now I am JNCIA-ER, JNCIA-EX and JNCIS-ES!! Now preparing JNCIS-ER, and looking a job with Juniper routers, I like them!!”
“@JUNOSJeff sure thing ! I'll try to win a book , that will "push" me into the JunOS world ! I wanna pass certs !”
“Awesome initiative from Juniper Networks. Two thumbs up!”
However, as we're all aware, there is no substitute for data
and since the campaign launched on July 20, the certification results speak for
vouchers earned increased from approximately 150 per week to more than 3,000
per week by the end of August, a 1,900% increase
earned have increased from approximately 150 per week to more than 1,000 per
week by the end of August, an 560% increase
dramatic increases, Juniper is now on track to achieve our 2009 company goal of
welcoming 14,000 new users to the JUNOS certification family. As a small Thank You to our JUNOS users, we used
Twitter to offer JUNOS stickers to those who replied and told us which JUNOS
certification they'd earned. This
message also crossed over to the LinkedIn community and has resulted in JUNOS
stickers being sent across the globe to proud new JUNOS certification holders in
Russia, Pakistan, China, Brazil, Germany and across the United States.
continuing to use these active JUNOS community channels to offer new
information and benefits to our users.
On September 1, we hosted a JUNOS live chat in our J-Net Community and
used Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Groups to promote the event. Within a day
of posting the event announcement, we had over 500 views of the details and
welcomed over 60 attendees to the event itself. Several users also reached out
to us directly on LinkedIn and Twitter with comments like, "I'll be there," and
"Thanks for this information. I will definitely participate in this session. As
I have lot of questions to ask."
established a rock-solid foundation through our online support forum, we
developed a basis for engaging our users in a transparent, two-way discussion. Enhancements to our J-Net Community and
integrating social media into our overall approach helped us achieve the scale
required to reach our users. Applying a
structured plan to this inter-connected ecosystem of online communities, we
were able to offer our users a clear, compelling call-to-action around JUNOS
certification. The certification results
we've seen leave no doubt that our approach is making a difference. Given what we've learned and experienced
through the examples we've shared here, we are true believers in the power of
online communities for spreading a message to valued users.
Douglas Richard Hanks Jr. is a Sr. Data Center Architect with Juniper Networks and focuses on solution architecture. He is certified with Juniper Networks as JNCIE-ENT #213 and JNCIE-SP #875.
Douglas’ interests are network engineering and architecture for enterprise and service provider technologies. He is the author of the Juniper MX Series book by O'Reilly Media and several Day One books published by Juniper Networks Books. Douglas is also the co-founder of the Bay Area Juniper Users Group (BAJUG).
Douglas can be reached on Twitter @douglashanksjr.
Lisa Lorenzin is a Principal Solutions Architect with Juniper Networks, specializing in security and mobility solutions, and a contributing member of Trusted Network Connect, a work group of the Trusted Computing Group that defines an open architecture and standards for endpoint integrity and network security. She has worked in a variety of Internet-related roles since 1994, with more than a decade of that focused on network and information security, and is currently concentrating on enterprise security including network segmentation, end-to-end identity-based access control, and integration of mobile security.