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Solution providers are urging Juniper Networks to be cautious as it integrates Trapeze Networks and other recently acquired product portfolios into its J-Partner channel program.
Caution is precisely what Juniper intends, said Steve Pataky, vice president of worldwide channel development.
"This is really about Juniper filling out the portfolio, but specifically thinking about, as Kevin [Johnson, Juniper's CEO] will say, we're pure-play networking and that's what it's about for us," said Pataky in a recent interview with CRN.
"Trapeze is about extending the customer experience, and looking back at Juniper for a long time, it makes sense," Pataky added. "Partners have been asking us about our wireless strategy for years, and now we're going to create more opportunities for partners in the campus and the branch."
Thanks to the Trapeze acquisition, Juniper is now a wireless LAN player, which is something to which partners aren't accustomed. They aren't accustomed to Juniper as an acquirer, either. Before a recent string that netted Trapeze and several others, Juniper's last year of significant M&A activity was 2005, and there's a lot that's changed about the networking and infrastructure landscape since then.
Juniper's other 2010 acquisitions -- its April pickup of Ankeena Networks, its July acquisition of SMobile Systems, its November purchase of video storage and delivery assets from Blackwave, and its December grab of Altor, are hardly insignificant.
But it's the $152 million acquisition of Trapeze that's drawn the interest of many longtime Juniper observers. Not only was the acquisition long-rumored, but it also puts Juniper firmly in the extremely dynamic wireless LAN space, against competitors old and new. And many of those Juniper competitors have already gone on the offensive to downplay Juniper's WLAN viability.
First and foremost, the acquisition makes logical sense, Pataky explained.
"Trapeze is interesting because while it's a completely logical integration into our portfolio, we now have a set of skill requirements that we focus on as certain specializations for wireless LAN," he said. "We're looking at that right now as an incremental program component as we fully integrate the products, technology and partners."
Juniper mapped out a "very specific schedule of communication" to partners, Pataky said. The initial discussions are underway, and the next big milestone will be when Juniper closes the acquisition successfully, which is expected to happen in the current quarter.
"The number one issue we've communicated is, 'stay focused, and preserve the business,'" he said of Juniper's communication to Trapeze partners. "We're being very sensitive about how we look at wireless LAN in the overall product landscape, and we're enabling our field folks to have those conversations with the partners."