February 10, 2010
Changes are afoot in the upper ranks at Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), as the company has elevated executive vice president Kim Perdikou, who was in charge of routers, to the office of the CEO.
In addition, Manoj Leelanivas, the senior vice president who led the development of Juniper's upcoming MX 3D router line, is now in charge of a new group: Junos Ready Software (JRS), which will develop an ecosystem for applications that run on the Junos operating system. (See Juniper Creates Apps Group and Juniper Looks Inward for Wireless.)
Perdikou led Juniper's Infrastructure Products Group (IPG), which includes the company's router products. Her new role will be to concentrate on Juniper's service provider relationships. As part of the office of the CEO, she'll be working with CEO Kevin Johnson, naturally, though the two won't actually share an office or anything.
Perdikou will be facing some big questions. Juniper is late in getting a mobile packet core strategy rolling, partly because its partner in that field, Starent Networks, got snapped up by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Juniper's answer is Project Falcon, which centers on a packet core that will run on the MX 3D routers. (See Cisco to Buy Starent for $2.9B and Juniper Challenges Cisco in the Mobile Core.)
And while Juniper has elaborated a packet-optical strategy with partner Nokia Siemens, some analysts question whether the company is ready for the coming convergence of packet and optical networks. (See Is Juniper Junior-Grade?)
In Perdikou's stead, Stefan Dyckerhoff will be the executive vice president in charge of IPG. Dyckerhoff was one of Juniper's earliest engineers. He'd defected to Cisco, where he was senior vice president of the edge routing business unit, but recently rejoined Juniper, according to the press release.
Meanwhile, the creation of JRS shows how much Juniper thinks the future is keyed on software. The idea of building applications on Junos has become important enough to fuel its own business group. [Ed. note: We're tempted to make a Soapstone joke here, but we won't. Just sayin'.]
In 2007, the company started letting other vendors develop applications for Junos. That was followed in October with the release of the Junos Space development platform and the announcement that Blade Network Technologies Inc. had licensed all of Junos, the first vendor to do so. (See Juniper Opens Up to Apps Developers, Juniper Takes Over the Network, and Blade Secures Series B.)
Junos Space is included in JRS, but the group's first priority, according to the press release, lies in development of mobile applications as part of Project Falcon.
Juniper also hopes to expand the range of third-party applications for Junos. To that end, JRS will include an initiative called the Junos Innovation Ecosystem.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading
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