Juniper senior executives have committed to innovation, investment, and increased support for the company’s channel partners at the Juniper Partner Summit 2014 in Sydney.
The message across the board from the morning session’s speakers was that Juniper is a major player in IT technology in the routing, switching, security and related Cloud space going forward and that is still committed to security despite what it’s partners may be hearing.
The company also underscored its strong position in open standards-based software-defined networking (SDN) through its High IQ Networking and Cloud Building solutions with APAC, VP Centre of Excellence, Russell Skingsley, claiming Juniper had actually started the SDN discussion in 1998 when it separated the control plane and forwarding plane of the network. That was innovation in play then.
And now … “Innovation will be at the core of what we do,” said Juniper Networks VP APAC, Mitch Lewis.
Managing director A/NZ, Nathan McGregor, said it had never before been so important for technology partners to be able to integrate end-to-end solutions from multiple vendors in order to meet the accelerated rate of change being adopted by customers.
He named the high availability of Cloud infrastructure in applications and the fast rate of change in technology and the advent of more specialist technology suppliers as the key market changes affecting businesses.
“Much has been written about Juniper in 2014 as the media and analysts discuss the restructure of Juniper globally. Unfortunately, most of the coverage has been about what Juniper is not doing rather than what it is doing,” he said.
He was referring to April's announcement that the networking giant will shed six per cent of its workforce globally and cease product development of its application delivery controller technology which it licensed from Riverbed Technology for $US75 million in 2012.
He asked that attendees focus on the future from this point onwards. But before looking at that he dealt with two significant announcements that had impacted on A/NZ businesses.
“The first is our change of direction in the wireless networking businesses. The facts are that Juniper chooses to invest heavily in our routing, switching and security businesses,” McGregor said
“Wireless proved difficult for us to differentiate the technology with an effective method window. We therefore assessed the market and found that partnering for the wireless component with Aruba and differentiating the fixed switching end of the market made the best sense for Juniper.”
The second was the recent sale of its Pulse security software, its SA product set, MAG product line and Steel Belted Radius software.
The Pulse solution was sold as an integrated business to a company that will know be known as Pulse Security, and goes with support structure and a clear development roadmap.
What did all this mean? According to McGregor, Juniper is focused on accelerating development in the routing, switching and security solutions. This was contrary to what some of the company’s competitors were saying: that Juniper was, in fact, exiting the security business.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.
And where Juniper didn’t have all the end-to-end components for a customer requirements, then it partners played a critical role, McGregor said. “Juniper will continue to create alliances with companies like Aruba Networks and VMware in support of this goal.”
Looking ahead, he said that there was no doubt that industry was in a significant era of change. Virtualisation led to the advent of Cloud computing and now the industry was seeing the early stages of network virtualisation and software-defined networking beginning to shape the future of networking.
In fact, the changes were so profound that the industry was beginning to see the admission of such by leaders of major players such as Telstra and Goldman Sachs, the CIO of the latter recently telling the CEO of Cisco: ‘What we spent on your gear last year is not what we’re going to spend on your gear this year unless you do something really different.’
Telstra’s CEO, David Thodey, was told at an event in Silicon Valley in May that its business model was as good as dead; that it would be outdated in 10 years.
McGregor said Thodey further said, “Innovation has to start in our own backyard [and] if we don’t do it someone will do it for us.”
“Juniper isn’t immune to these changes but I firmly do believe that with change comes opportunity,” McGregor said.
However, he pointed out that the company had just recorded its eighth consecutive quarter of revenue growth. How was it doing this? By remaining committed to its partners, customers and segments, he said.
McGregor pointed to the recent partnership with Nike to “co-create a new highly scalable next generation datacentre, Cloud and retail networking infrastructure.
“Their CIO, Anthony Watson, was quoted as saying 'Nike is focused on elevating accelerating innovation our products, services and our digital ecosystem. This requires progressive and agile technology solutions that keep pace with our growth which is what Juniper solutions offer'.”
McGregor ended by re-emphasising that Juniper continued to invest and innovate in routing, switching and security.
- PHOTOS by MIKE GEE