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Juniper Enhances Partner Program

Tushar Kothari is putting his stamp on Juniper Networks' channel program.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based networking vendor this week is rolling out updates to its J-Partner Reseller Program that will incorporate a new three-tier certification structure and technology-specific specializations--hallmarks of the program Kothari helped develop during his tenure at rival Cisco Systems.

J-Partner launched in July, about two weeks before Kothari joined Juniper as its channel chief.

>> Some resellers think Juniper has done a better
job than Cisco of protecting partner margins.

With the updates, Juniper is introducing Elite, Select and Reseller certification levels, which grant qualifying partners varying level discounts and support. Juniper will accept equivalent certifications from competitors--such as the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert or the Check Point Certified Security Principles Associate--toward qualification for its program, Kothari said.

"We're making it easy for partners to do business with us by reducing the expense to enter into the Juniper world," said Kothari, vice president of worldwide channels at Juniper. "If a partner has certain skill sets from any other player in the industry's training, then we will accept that where appropriate and then offer the delta training and coursework for learning the difference between those products and [Juniper's]," he said.

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