When ScanSource's Catalyst Telecom division signed a major distribution agreement with Juniper Networks recently, it represented a crucial piece to Catalyst's networking-solutions puzzle.
For some time, Catalyst had been searching for a vendor that could provide complementary networking gear to be featured alongside the technologies from its other top vendor partners: Avaya's VoIP technology, Polycom's video products, and Extreme Networks' data-networking hardware and software. The distributor found what it was looking for with Juniper's product set, which features IP networking and security platforms.
"Juniper has added the final piece to our networking convergence solution set," says John Black, president of Catalyst Telecom,. "We tried to build an alliance with them a couple of years ago, but they didn't really have a channel program."
That has quickly changed, however, during the past year. Juniper assembled a team of channel veterans, including former Cisco executives Tushar Kothari and Bob Bruce, revamped its indirect sales strategy and revamped its J-Partner Program for resellers (read "Change Agents" on www.varbusiness.com for more on Juniper's channel efforts). When Juniper extended its partnership with Avaya last spring, signing a strategic agreement to develop joint convergence solutions, Black knew it was time to strike up talks once again with the up-and-coming networking company.
"This is a huge partnership for Catalyst and ScanSource overall," Black says. "We see this as a chance to get to the next level. Juniper is everywhere right now, and they're getting a lot of positive attention in the channel."
Catalyst is aiming to recruit both voice and data resellers for its Juniper business. Black believes that the distributor is capable of getting 100 solution providers signed up with Juniper in the first 12 months, especially with a complete networking-convergence solution set available for newcomers.
"With Avaya, Extreme, Polycom and now Juniper, we feel we have a solution set as good as any in the industry," Black says.