This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Alastair Edwards, Channel Analyst at Canalys.
There is a consistently optimistic streak running through Juniper’s channel partners at its Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas this week. Most partners I’ve spoken to over the last few days are predicting business growth in 2012, and not just in the US. Even in EMEA, where Eurozone instability threatens to push the region back into recession, partners are generally highly positive about prospects for 2012. I had the opportunity to put this to the test on Tuesday, presenting to around 300 of Juniper’s EMEA partners at the theatre break-out. Using a live, real-time polling engine (we analysts love these tools, particularly when they work this well), I asked the audience about their expectations for the year. An impressive 64% of respondents plan to grow their business by more than 10% year-on year! Most of the remaining 36% expect revenues to increase by up to 10%, with only 7% predicting flat or declining sales.
Just take a second to absorb those stats. Two thirds of the channel expect double digit growth in 2012. And that’s against a background of economic uncertainty, lengthening sales cycles and greater budget scrutiny by end-customers. The state of the economy (and budget pressure) is by far the channel’s greatest concern, according to another live poll question: 49% of audience respondents see this as their biggest challenge in 2012. So how can we square these two apparently contradictory trends? The important question, of course, is where all this growth will come from?
At Canalys, we believe that IT industry growth in 2012 will be defined by some important, inter-related themes, including enterprise mobility, data center/cloud and the consumerization of IT. The traditional Wintel PC market is evolving fast towards mobile devices (smart phones and tablets, many running non-Windows operating systems). Combined with trends like ‘bring your own device’, there are huge implications for the way data and applications are accessed, managed and secured. The need for customers to reduce their operating costs, while freeing themselves from the inflexibility of legacy infrastructure is driving a lot of interest in cloud. In reality, this is translating into large scale investments in data center transformation, and secure, high performance networks. Channel partners who are able to fulfil these demands will benefit; those who are able to help customers to navigate successfully through the complexities of these trends will prosper!
Of course, developing the skills needed to capture this growth is not easy. My poll showed that, after the economy, a shortage of appropriate skills is the next greatest challenge for partners. This is where vendors need to step up in terms of partner training and skills development. Juniper’s commitment this week to increase investment in enablement, enhanced sales and technical education, and a new partner program will be well received by partners. Translating this promise into reality will not be easy, but will be crucial for Juniper and its partners to take advantage of these lucrative opportunities.
Do you agree or have differing opinions to the above mentioned polling results taken at the partner conference? Then post your comments below, I would be interested in hearing from you.
I have been in the networking industry for over 30 years: PBXs, SNA, Muxes, ATM, routers, switches, optical - I've seen it all. Eleven years in the US, over 20 in Europe, at companies like AT&T, IBM, Bay Networks, Nortel Networks and Dimension Data. Since 2007 my focus has been on services at Juniper: support services, professional services, service automation. Our market is characterized by amazing technological innovations, but technology is no use if you cannot get it to work and keep it working. That is why services are so exciting: this is where the technology moves out of the glossy brochures and into the real world!
For more about me, go to my LinkedIn profile: http://fr.linkedin.com/pub/joe-robertson/0/4a/34a
Justin has held a variety of positions at Alternative Networks since 1997 including responsibilities for running sales, product management, marketing, and training functions.
More recently he has been incubating a Wide Area Network division, and running cross sales in the enterprise sales division following an acquisition.
Justin Scopaz is senior director of Juniper Networks’ Worldwide Distribution organization. In this role, he is leading a global team driving worldwide distribution strategy, sales, and operations.
Prior to Juniper, Scopaz spent nearly two decades at Ingram Micro in a variety of senior leadership positions. Most recently, he served as vice president and general manager of Ingram Micro’s Data Capture and Physical Security business units. He also had responsibility for major national partners.
Based in Orange County, California, Scopaz is involved in both private and charitable organizations. He holds a B.A. in Business Management from California State University.
Zoe Sands is Head of Digital Marketing at Juniper Networks and is responsible for digital marketing and social media across EMEA. She is an experienced Digital Marketer since 1997 with PRINCE2 practitioner status, during this period Zoe has successfully launched many new online innovations for Juniper Networks, Cisco, Dialogic, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and Hyundai, including content managed and e-commerce based websites to integrated social media programmes. She has International exposure running projects globally, regionally and at a country level.
Zoe’s approach is to create an environment where those around her can share her passion for the Internet and the opportunities it presents. She says sharing knowledge, championing and communicating the benefits of digital capabilities enhances both the user experience and offers additional online communication channels and business opportunities. Zoe has a blog ‘Learning and sharing...’ to share her experience of all things online marketing, social media, chat online, SEO, SEM and mobile related content. You connect with Zoe via LinkedIn or find her on Twitter: @zoe9 and @ZoeSands.
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