A Year In the Juniper Channel: 10 Key Events

Big Year For Juniper Partners

Big product launches, aggressive acquisitions, big-ticket hires and some seriously affirming accolades: it all happened for Juniper in the past year.

Here's a look at 10 key events for Juniper and the Juniper channel, and what many VARs will be talking about as Juniper kicks off its Americas partner conference in Phoenix Monday.

May 2010: Marketing Muscle

The knock on Juniper for so long was one of brand awareness: great products, but not the best vendor for marketing air cover. But at last year's Juniper Americas Partner Summit, many VARs told CRN that Juniper had turned the corner, thanks to an influx of marketing executive talent, a bold campaign around "The New Network," and more and better marketing and field resources for the channel. Given Juniper's big emphasis on expanding those resources and that executive pool in the past year, expect the marketing story to continue to be a big focus.

July 2010: SMobile Snap-Up

Traditionally, Juniper has not been nearly as voracious an acquirer of companies as some of its biggest rivals, at least in recent years. But that changed starting last summer, when Juniper plunked down $70 million for SMobile Systems, and kicked off a series of strategic acquisitions that lasted through the end of the year. According to Juniper, the motivation behind SMobile, which made software and mobile security products for smartphones and tablets, was to capitalize on a surging opportunity for the channel to secure a variety of mobile devices all relying on enterprise networking resources.


Aug. 2010: ARC d'Triumph

Juniper has won its fair share of categories in CRN's Annual Report Card (ARC) survey in the past, but last summer came one of the company's most significant victories. Juniper took top honors in the ARC category of enterprise networking infrastructure, and dethroning category perennial Cisco for the first time.

As Juniper Americas channel chief Frank Vitagliano pointed out, it wasn't all that long ago that Juniper finished dead last in the ARC standings for the category, but in 2010, it captured the overall win with 80.4 score, outgunning Cisco's 77.7, and also besting Cisco in the areas of Support and Partnership.

Nov. 2010: Long Rumored, Finally Done

Talk about a long-rumored acquisition. When Juniper finally did pull the trigger on a $152 million acquisition of Trapeze Networks from Trapeze parent Belden, it had been whispered about for years, and recently revived thanks to chatter among wireless LAN vendors that Juniper was kicking the tires on a number of them. The rumor mill, however, isn't as interesting as the implications, seeing as control of Trapeze's assets give Juniper a WLAN option in-house, and thrust it into new competition with vendors it competes with in other areas and those it's never much encountered before. VARs have continued to seek details about the integration of Trapeze's channel and who among Juniper VARs will be able to sell Trapeze wireless, and Juniper has promised crisp, clear communication on the topic when the time is right.


Dec. 2010: Altor Acquired

Trapeze is the one that'll probably be remembered most, but more of Juniper's acquisitions in 2010 were actually focused on the security end of the business. Juniper in December acquired Altor Networks for $95 million, a move that shortly followed its pickups of Trapeze and its purchase of intellectual property assets from Blackwave, an Internet video storage specialist. Altor brings Juniper virtualization security technology, and the two vendors were previously partners.

Jan. 2011: Hiring Spree

As Juniper's executive team continues to solidify, it's worth noting that all but a few of Juniper's top managers joined the company within the past three years. And in January, Juniper made three big moves with definite channel implications. First came the appointment of Microsoft veteran Brad Brooks (pictured) to the role of vice president of worldwide enterprise marketing and solutions. Then came Luanne Tierney, who jumped ship from her role running channels marketing at Cisco to become Juniper's vice president, global partner marketing. Finally, there was Emilio Umeoka, who joined Juniper as senior vice president, worldwide partners from his stint as president of Microsoft Asia Pacific.

Jan. 2011: Mixed Picture

Juniper's most recent quarterly earnings didn't have anyone running for the Tylenol, necessarily, but the company's lukewarm first quarter outlook did make for a few murmurs following the announcement.

But growth is growth: Juniper reported healthy service provider business and better-than-expected revenues overseas in an admirable fourth quarter, with net income of $190.2 million on 35 cents per share, and Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson sounded an upbeat tone for Juniper's new year. Observers will get a clearer picture of expectations on April 19, when Juniper reports its Q1 quarterly earnings.

Feb. 2011: Falcon Lands...

The words "Falcon" and "Stratus" may not mean a whole heck of a lot to the average techie, but to Juniper, they've meant lots: they're the code-names for some of Juniper's most anticipated product launches, both of which finally came to fruition in February. Project Falcon is in fact MobileNext, Juniper's mobile packet core, which was one of several debuts made by Juniper at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. MobileNext itself offers 2G/3G and Long Term Evolution (LTE) evolved packet core functions using the MobileNext Broadband Gateway, MobileNext Control Gateway and MobileNext Policy Manager.

Feb. 2011: ...And QFabric Revealed

What is QFabric? No less than Juniper's long-awaited data center fabric and the culmination of its three-year old Project Stratus. As Juniper positions it, QFabric is a departure from and a simpler alternative to currently employed data center infrastructure, in the way a three-layer data center network is collapsed into a single, flat layer where data center resources are more cheaply and efficiently managed. According to Juniper, QFabric offers data center architecture that is 10 times faster, requires 77 percent less power, requires 27 percent fewer networking devices and occupies 90 percent less data center floor space.

March 2011: More Marketing Mojo

If 2010 was the year Juniper finally got its marketing story straight, 2011 will be the year it fires on all cylinders. That was the word from Tierney, who Juniper would continue to invest heavily in partner marketing efforts. It stands to reason Juniper partners will hear more about that enablement during the conference.