Juniper Networks’ Rami Rahim: ‘We’re Taking Share’ With ‘Significant,’ Growing Software Business

“We’re competing extremely effectively. The level of differentiation that we have, especially in the enterprise today, I don’t think we have seen in the history of the company,” Juniper Networks’ CEO told CRN.


Juniper Networks is smashing software sales records and partner-driven orders. That’s because the company’s “experience-first” networking strategy is working against the competition, according to Juniper Networks CEO Rami Rahim.

Product innovation isn’t what separates vendors in the networking space right now, Rahim said during Juniper’s virtual 2021 Global Analyst, Influencer, and Media Summit on Tuesday.

“I think right now there is a bit of a divergence that has arisen between us and our competitors. I’m not even sure that we agree on the problem to solve anymore,” he said. “Box [innovation] is important, but it’s no longer sufficient.”

Sponsored post

[Related: Juniper Networks’ Rami Rahim: ‘It Won’t Be Long Before Enterprise Is Our Largest Vertical’]

Juniper, along with its popular AI platform Mist, is changing AI skeptics into believers, Rahim said. “Honestly, we’re having fun doing it. We’re winning logo after logo and taking share in the process.”

Rahim told CRN that Juniper is winning mindshare when put up against the likes of competing networking giant Cisco Systems in its three key solution areas: automated WAN, cloud-ready data center, and AI-driven enterprise.

“We’re competing extremely effectively. The level of differentiation that we have, especially in the enterprise today, I don’t think we have seen in the history of the company,” he said.

The numbers, he said, speak for themselves.

Juniper’s fiscal Q3 was the company’s fifth consecutive quarter of year over year revenue growth, with orders growing more than 50 percent both during this most recent quarter and Q2 2021, even in the face of supply chain challenges.

Juniper also captured its highest-ever quarter of software orders, with software revenue up 67 percent year over year. Manoj Leelanivas, Juniper’s chief operating officer, called Juniper’s software business “significant and growing.”

Juniper‘s annual recurring software revenue, or ARR, grew at 34 plus percent year over year. “That’s the portion of software that we care the most about, honestly, because this is a recurring revenue stream is sticky. It’s very strategic,” Rahim said.

Juniper Mist, said Rahim, saw its first quarter of triple-digit bookings during Q3 2021. The company said that the top ten retailers in the world are now using Juniper Mist.

“We have built a substantial backlog that has given us unprecedented visibility into our future quarters, and honestly, amazing confidence that the success we are seeing will continue well into next year,” he said of the growth.

Juniper is the only vendor with a AI-powered solution -- its Mist Marvis virtual network assistant for enterprise WLANs, LANs, and WANs -- that was build “from the ground up” that is tapping into data from a wide array of sources from 150 users states, every two seconds from every client on the network, Rahim said.

“I would challenge our competitors to show a conversational assistant as smart as Marvis to offer a user-centric policy that can tell us, for example, in a retail customer, where the issues are down to a specific point of sale in a specific location. Who can do that? Or to present the solution that literally identifies and fixes issues before humans even know that those issues have hit?” he said.

Juniper’s experience-first approach to networking begins with harnessing data in the hopes of radically simplifying the day to day life of the network operator. Experience-first networking is Juniper’s calling, or “true north,” Rahim told CRN. “Everything from configuring, optimizing, visualizing, planning, managing, should be dead simple for the network operator,” he added.

Juniper’s AI-Driven Enterprise business, which includes Mist wireless access points, EX switching portfolio, Branch SRX secure routing and SD-WAN, grew 35 percent year over year during the third-quarter, the company said.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company wants partners to continue be a big part of its experience-first networking strategy, Rahim said.

“We’re seeing a record number of partners that are coming to us and asking us how they can participate in the sales process,” he said. “So, that of course, is music to our ears, because we rely heavily on our partners.”