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Juniper EX Bits

Craig Matsumoto
1/29/2008

2:30 PM -- NEW YORK -- So, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) made its big enterprise move with the EX series today. (See Juniper Storms Into Ethernet Switching.) A couple of comments from folks attending Juniper's press/analyst event:

Analyst Zeus Kerravala of Yankee Group Research Inc. thinks Juniper missed an opportunity by focusing so much on the themes of speed and reliability. "That message has been used so much it's hard to stand out with it," he says.

Juniper should have done more to hammer home the advantages of Junos -- something the company did discuss but could have gone deeper with, Kerravala says.

At least one other analyst agrees: "To win over Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) and Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR), they're really going to need to push Junos," says Ray Mota of Synergy Research Group Inc. "It'll be interesting to see how Junos resonates with the enterprise, and how much it's going to cost to get that message across."

I happen to think Juniper's opening of the network is going to be a primary factor in its enterprise bid. (See Juniper Opens Up to Apps Developers.) Kerravala seems to agree.

"The really interesting thing is the open-networks concept," Kerravala says. "When you talk about the IBM-to-Microsoft transition in computing [meaning mainframes to PCs], it was the openness of Microsoft that led to IBM's undoing." Juniper could do well to talk up the analogy of Cisco being in the (old) IBM's position, he thinks.

Another concern he's got: Amid all the talk of partners like IBM, Juniper didn't mention a channel partner. "You can have a great product, but you have to be able to sell product. When you look at the J-series, Peribit, Redline -- all of the non-security products -- they've suffered because of a lack of a channel," Kerravala says.

Still, the consensus seems to be that Juniper's had to do something more on the enterprise side, and that today's announcements were a good step.

We've got pictures, by the way, of the event at the oh-so-fab Palace Hotel. We're hoping to get those posted tomorrow.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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