Juniper Gains Channel Presence In NetScreen Buy

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Juniper Networks' pending $4 billion acquisition of NetScreen Technologies stands to open new markets to the combined company and make it more of a competitive threat against the likes of Cisco Systems, said solution providers.

The combined company will become a stronger player in the market, they added, especially as the channel starts to integrate both companies' solutions.

"There's a real opportunity because a lot of customers are sick of having to buy a firewall and router separately. It will be nice to replace [them] with one piece of equipment," said Brent Gardner, network security engineer at ICG Communications, Englewood, Colo.

Another solution provider noted that the acquisition, announced last week, will bring many capabilities that Cisco has, giving Juniper the ability to compete in new areas with a more complete solution.

"This acquisition will help Juniper because Juniper is mostly networking-focused, while Cisco has the networking piece and security," said John Kerr, certified information security professional at Security Assurance Group, Annapolis, Md. "So this acquisition for Juniper is great, with their ability to now develop and have a product solution set with security."

Juniper, which traditionally has sold direct, hopes to take advantage of NetScreen's channel presence, said Paula Reinman, director of marketing at Juniper. "We are going to leverage [NetScreen's] channel wherever we can. It's a great channel fit for us," she said.

Juniper said the acquisition of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetScreen will give it a competitive edge as more companies move to public networks.

"The reason behind the acquisition is to create a company that is best-in-class in IP networking platforms and security," Reinman said. "Those two go hand-in-hand."

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