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ARC 2010: Enterprise Networking Infrastructure

"We set out to enable partners to provide customers with a better solution at a lower cost, and we've done a fabulous job in the last nine months articulating our vision of the 'new network,' " said Frank Vitagliano, senior vice president of partners, Americas, at Juniper. "It's not the guy doing it the way it's been done before, the constant or the incumbent. It's also not the guy who's coming in and saying, 'Let me commoditize this thing to cut costs.' It's the innovator. And that's us."

If Vitagliano's sense of triumph is palpable, it should be: Juniper captured the overall category of Enterprise Networking Infrastructure for the first time, dislodging incumbent Cisco.

/**/ /**/Juniper itself is no stranger to the Annual Report Card, having won in security categories several times, but the overall "W" is, to Vitagliano and Juniper's partners, a sign that Juniper is dug in deep with networking and data center technologies and that the solution providers see it as not just an alternative, but also a go-to vendor.

As Vitagliano pointed out, it wasn't that long ago--five years earlier, actually--that Juniper was ranked eighth out of eight in the ARC standings for the category. Fast forward to 2010, and the proof of progress is in the pudding.

This year, Juniper captured the overall win with an 80.4, outgunning Cisco's 77.7 and thoroughly besting both HP ProCurve (71.5) and Avaya (60.5), too. It wasn't a total victory; Cisco edged Juniper in the Product Innovation category and notched a score of 100 in Product Quality and Reliability. But Juniper's channel strength is front, center and undeniable: a 73.7 score in the Support category, beating Cisco's 70.4, and a 78.9 score in Partnership, beating Cisco's 73.4.

Pat Grillo, CEO of Atrion Communications Resources, a Branchburg, N.J.-based solution provider, pointed to a number of reasons for Juniper's win: an impressive infrastructure product set, a robust channel program, improved marketing and, most of all, consistency.

"It's a combination of all those things coming together," he said.

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