Juniper Cuts 500 Jobs, Denies QFabric Hit Hardest5:58 PM EST Mon. Oct. 01, 2012
Juniper Networks has confirmed it plans to lay off about 500 employees -- about 5 percent of its workforce -- but told CRN that reports that the bulk of those layoffs will come from its data center-centric QFabric group are inaccurate.
TechTarget late last week first reported Juniper's layoffs and that the cuts were especially concentrated in Juniper's QFabric group. In a statement to CRN, Juniper declined to elaborate on exactly where the cuts were happening but said they would be spread out across many different Juniper segments.
"The speculation that our workforce reductions are primarily affecting the QFabric team is inaccurate," wrote a spokesperson in an email to CRN Monday. "We are committed to our QFabric business and product innovation roadmap, and we are continuing to add both hardware and software functionality to the QFabric roadmap."
[Related: Tough Year In Tech: 10 Crushing 2012 Layoffs]
Juniper said the cuts are part of the "resource alignment" it mentioned during its fiscal second-quarter earnings conference call in July.
"As a result of this important initiative, we are reducing our workforce by approximately 500 people in functions across the company," said the spokesperson. "Our actions to reduce operating expenses fall across our support functions, including supply chain, procurement, SG&A, as well as R&D. They are being carefully planned and managed to maximize efficiencies in our cost structure while preserving the investments in innovation in our core businesses of data center, routing, switching and security."
Juniper's had a challenging year, and during its second quarter, it reported a drop in revenue and a substantial decline in profits year over year. The company already laid off a few hundred employees roughly a year ago as part of ongoing restructuring in its various business units.
QFabric is Juniper's converged data center system, launched to great fanfare about 18 months ago after several years of hyped development. It isn't one single product but rather a set of switches, interconnects and management software designed to provide better, more efficient control of data center assets. Juniper channel partners say they're encouraged by the burgeoning customer interest in the QFabric strategy, but several also admit that QFabric can be a challenging sell and that analyst criticism of QFabric as a "rip and replace" play in the data center is justified.
Juniper has added new channel resources to help support QFabric sales and also expanded its data center purview in the channel by taking on segment-centric partners like distributor Arrow.
Juniper itself has been cagey about QFabric's uptake thus far. It told analysts as of July that Juniper had 200 QFabric customers but didn't specify whether that meant customers merely buying a QFabric "node" -- that is, acquiring a QFabric top-of-rack switch -- or buying into the whole infrastructure-plus-software-plus-management stack.
PUBLISHED OCT. 1, 2012