Juniper gets cosy with Avaya

Juniper gets cosy with Avaya

Juniper Networks and Avaya say they intend to tighten their partnership to include joint product development as well as resale and support of each others' products.

Under their current relationship, the companies have integrated some of their existing products into systems for channel partners to sell, and have worked together on some major deployments, says Tony Scarfo, vice president of business development at Juniper. Under the new relationship, outlined in a memorandum of understanding (MOU), Juniper and Avaya would develop new products that might carry either company's brand, Scarfo says. In addition, each company's sales team would be able to sell and support the other partner's products worldwide.

Details of the MOU, including what types of products the companies will jointly develop, are still being worked out, Scarfo says. The partnership is subject to the parties signing definitive agreements. The partnership is not exclusive, according to Scarfo and Avaya spokesman Jonathan Varman.

Avaya, which was spun off from Lucent Technologies in 2000, is one of the biggest vendors of enterprise IP (Internet Protocol) telephony gear and has similar partnerships with other network vendors, such as Extreme Networks. The agreement with Juniper was announced as Avaya introduced updates to its IP PBX (private branch exchange) family at the Interop trade show in Las Vegas.

The planned partnership would be the first of its kind for Juniper in the enterprise market. The California router company — the primary rival to Cisco Systems for carrier core routers — has strategic partnerships with Lucent, Siemens and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson for carrier products, says Juniper spokeswoman Susan Ursch. Lucent announced it will resell Juniper routers to BT Group PLC for its so-called 21st Century Network.

In recent years Juniper has expanded its scope to enterprise routing and last year expanded into firewall and virtual private network technology by buying NetScreen Technologies. Both partners face Cisco as a competitor in their respective enterprise product categories, extending from routers to IP phones.

The deal will probably be final by the end of the current calendar quarter, Ursch says.

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