Juniper Looks Toward Future, Eyes Integrated Security

At Juniper's annual analyst meeting, CEO Scott Kriens and other company executives discussed the road ahead for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor, stating flatly that channel partners would play a key role. "We only successfully see the way to grow this business by connecting to partners," Kriens said.

"We are focused on a value-based channel model and on ensuring that our partners have a total financial opportunity when they partner with us," added Krishna "Kittu" Kolluri, vice president and general manager at Juniper.

Speaking to a gathering of about 50 analysts, Kriens said Juniper's growth strategy hinges on the Infranet, a network that combines the reach of the Internet with the assured performance and security of private networks to support all communications. The idea was developed in April by the Infranet Initiative Council, a team of industry leaders chaired by Juniper.

Kriens said Juniper's goal with the Infranet is to deliver and ensure application performance over a virtual network. The vendor will move away from traditional point security tools and instead deliver that functionality as part of new, integrated appliances, he said.

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"Stand-alone point security is not secure," Kriens said. "I think it's clear that a move toward integration and away from silos of security is the next wave in this market."

Giving some insight on products Juniper is readying for fiscal 2005, Kolluri said the company will continue its work with its SSL VPN technology, incorporate new functions such as antivirus and antispam, and increase the market-share lead it has established over the last three years. Down the road, he said, Juniper aims to virtualize its SSL VPN products, a direct response to functionality now available in products from Seattle-based competitor Aventail.

Kolluri also promised that Juniper would deliver new intrusion detection and protection products, as well as new offerings for securing wireless LANs and a new security service layer in line with Microsoft's Network Access Protocol (NAP), which would ride over a customer's existing infrastructure and protect networks at the application level.

"Our new efforts will provide admission control to a trusted domain only once someone has cleared particular protocols," Kolluri said. "By combining security and networking, we can create a compelling value proposition for our enterprise customers."

Last month, Juniper reported that third-quarter earnings surged to $48.8 million, or 9 cents per share, from $7.2 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding charges, the company's earnings rose to $73.5 million, or 13 cents per share, from $14.7 million, or 4 cents per share, the year before.