Routers, switches, SDN and network management – it may not be exciting, but networking technology is still the heartbeat of enterprise IT. It’s also an area of pricing commoditization among vendors, including Juniper Networks.
Juniper’s pricing continues to be very competitive. But that doesn’t mean its customers aren’t overpaying, overbuying and signing sub-optimal agreement terms. To keep network costs in check, customers need to go beyond price to optimize agreements with Juniper. Areas to focus on include:
Maintenance alignment. Juniper’s maintenance options are numerous and require careful scrutiny – ranging from direct, tiered support to shared support through reseller partners. Determine which support options best suit your budget and IT requirements, and validate whether you’re getting fair market rates for these services.
Competitive leverage. Networking technology vendors rely on lock-in to keep revenues moving in the right direction. Juniper knows just how difficult it is for customers to conduct competitive bidding processes for each facet of their network infrastructure. Don’t sacrifice leverage for convenience. The effort required to competitively bid network IT will ultimately translate into buyer-side leverage at the negotiation table.
Concessions and incentives. What’s motivating Juniper’s sell-side behavior? One example is the vendor’s drive to capture more market share among mid-size enterprises. Another is Juniper’s focus on growing its core network solution business. It’s important to understand how to use these (and many other) levers during the buying process to maximize discounts, secure freebies and optimize contract terms.
Reseller transparency. Juniper has a strong and active reseller channel and many customers view these resellers as advocates. While they may be excellent resources, their own revenue objectives make them biased. Customers need to infuse objectivity into reseller sourcing event. This includes gaining transparency into OEM discounts, incentives and back-end credits. With this knowledge, customers can ensure resellers are passing on discounts and incentives.
It may be easy to go on autopilot when it comes to renewing or purchasing networking technology – but complacency has a steep price. Avoid this trap and take the extra time to competitively source Juniper’s solutions. Know what’s driving its behavior at the negotiation table (as well as the behavior of its channel partners). Validate that pricing is best-in-class. Remember that NPI can provide you with the pricing and vendor-specific purchasing intelligence needed to optimize every networking purchase or renewal.