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Juniper’s Acquisition of Mist Will ‘Blaze The Path To AI’

‘While Mist started by bringing AI-driven operations to WLAN, Juniper and Mist together will leverage this AI-driven approach across the IT stack,’ says Manoj Leelanivas, chief product officer of Juniper Networks.

Juniper Networks has completed the acquisition of artificial intelligence-powered networking startup Mist Systems for $405 million with the goal of leveraging Mist’s technology to boost enterprise sales with an AI-driven end-to-end approach.

“With Juniper and Mist together, we will blaze the path to AI for IT in this era of digital transformation,” said Manoj Leelanivas, chief product officer at Juniper Networks, in a blog post announcing the completion of the acquisition. “With Mist, Juniper is one of a limited number of companies that can serve enterprises end to end. While Mist started by bringing AI-driven operations to WLAN, Juniper and Mist together will leverage this AI-driven approach across the IT stack.”

Cupertino, Calif.-based Mist, which made CRN’s 2018 Emerging Vendors list, has built what it calls the world’s first AI-driven wireless platform that makes Wi-Fi more predictable, reliable and measurable. Mist, a startup founded by former Cisco Systems executives, developed an AI virtual assistant, Marvis, to simplify wireless troubleshooting and give insight into network and customer behavior.

[Related: IBM’s Consulting Arm Will Drive Juniper Networks’ Multi-Cloud Transformation]

Mist, which is now a Juniper company, will retain its commitment to an open framework so customers can leverage offerings from other vendors as well, said Leelanivas. The company said it will be sharing Mist’s AI-driven wireless offering to the wider audience of Juniper customers.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper said Mist will expand Juniper’s presence in the rapidly growing cloud-managed segment of the wireless networking market.

Mist will continue to develop new products and AI for IT services with no major changes in how customers buy Mist or Juniper products, according to Leelanivas.

“There will be no changes to how we manage partners in the short term. The Mist team will remain a separate operating unit within Juniper and we will continue to leverage Mist’s strong and growing brand,” he said. “Mist has a highly differentiated wireless solution that will strengthen and complement Juniper’s existing software-defined enterprise portfolio.”

Mist was founded by CEO Sujai Hajela and CTO Bob Friday, who were both top Cisco wireless executives. Mist has a total of 150 full-time employees and raised a total of $88.4 million in funding since its founding in 2014.

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