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Mergers & acquisitions

Juniper CEO: Still Laser Focused

LONDON -- Lightspeed Europe 2001 -- A month after Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) announced it was acquiring cable head-end provider Pacific Broadband, the industry is speculating on what is next for the company (see Juniper Buys Pacific Broadband ). Today, at the Lightspeed Europe 2001 conference in London, CEO Scott Kriens told the audience to expect more partnerships and reiterated the company’s commitment to its focused strategy.

Juniper, says Kriens, is one of the few companies that hasn’t suffered harshly from the economic downturn. In fact, while its competitors have laid off thousands of workers to save costs, Juniper has had only one round of layoffs back in June, which reduced its staff by about 8 to 9 percent.

The recent acquisition of Pacific Broadband could be construed by some as a divergence from Juniper’s core focus on IP routing (see Juniper Buys Pacific Broadband ). But Kriens explained in the question and answer period after his speech that the cable aggregation market is a natural extension to Juniper’s overall IP strategy because it helps provide IP connectivity. But he also admitted that the acquisition will likely help the company do what it does best: sell more routers.

“Yes, definitely,” he said in an interview following the keynote. “We hope it will help us sell more routers. The cable products aggregate the traffic and then they are connected to the Internet by routers. We can provide the whole solution.”

With the Pacific Broadband merger almost complete, some wonder if Juniper is gearing up for an acquisition blitz. Judging from Kriens' response, the answer is maybe.

“You can definitely expect further partnerships. I think some companies have confused the difference between acquisition as a strategy and as a tactic. There is a difference. For those that use it as a strategy, the returns there have been dubious.” Kriens also remained firm on his position toward optical switching. He reiterated again that he did not see the company building or acquiring an optical switch. Although the company has invested in optical switch startup Calient Networks Inc., he said that Juniper will continue to remain focused on IP.

“Fundamentally, electrical is different from optical. I’m not saying that a company can’t participate in more than one market. Look at G.E.; they make light bulbs, dishwashers, and engines. But we need to remain focused.”

As far as future opportunities, he said he sees Internet wireless services as a big driver of Internet expansion. Within two years there are expected to be as many wireless devices connected to the Internet as wireline devices, he said. He referred to the company’s recent announcement of support for IPv6 as a sign that Juniper is ready and willing to embrace the new challenges wireless will bring to Internet networking (see Mobile Access Drives IPv6).

He was also optimistic about the future on a macro level, telling attendees that the industry is in the midst of natural business cycle that includes a period of speculation and investment, fallout, stability and retrenchment, and finally leadership.

”I think we are entering a period of stability and retrenchment,” he said. “And retrenching creates an opportunity for leadership. It’s easier to pick the winners from the losers today than it’s ever been.”

— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com
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jssreenath 12/4/2012 | 7:28:39 PM
re: Juniper CEO: Still Laser Focused So how does a company get on the "No Bad Press From LR" list? This is not unbiased journalism, note the different tone between the recent Cisco Article and this one. How much does it cost to get on that list?
stuartb 12/4/2012 | 7:28:35 PM
re: Juniper CEO: Still Laser Focused The cost will be one bunch of sour grapes.... perhaps you have some Mr. Cisco Employee?
HarveyMudd 12/4/2012 | 7:28:30 PM
re: Juniper CEO: Still Laser Focused It is a very sad story that our wonderful companies like Lucent and Nortel have lost everthing that has been over the last 50 years to some of the crooked companies ever known to the mankind. The Cisco model simply does not work.

Juniper was succesful in marketing its routing products and has made considerable marketing but has lost a lot of it back to Cisco because lack of focus and drifting to Cable business, Despite some expansion in the Cable market, the market growth is not that tremendous.

Mre. Kriens extremely mistaken in his prediction on the groth of internet wireless market.

There are more products introduced rthan are needed by the market. This leads to unpredictable market conditions.

Mr.Kriens quoting GE (General Electric)to justify diversication of Juniper is not appropriate.

Juniper largely remains a single product and does not have the capabilioty to address multiple segments of the market.
HarveyMudd 12/4/2012 | 7:28:30 PM
re: Juniper CEO: Still Laser Focused It is a very sad story that our wonderful companies like Lucent and Nortel have lost everthing that has been over the last 50 years to some of the crooked companies ever known to the mankind. The Cisco model simply does not work.

Juniper was succesful in marketing its routing products and has made considerable marketing but has lost a lot of it back to Cisco because lack of focus and drifting to Cable business, Despite some expansion in the Cable market, the market growth is not that tremendous.

Mre. Kriens extremely mistaken in his prediction on the groth of internet wireless market.

There are more products introduced rthan are needed by the market. This leads to unpredictable market conditions.

Mr.Kriens quoting GE (General Electric)to justify diversication of Juniper is not appropriate.

Juniper largely remains a single product and does not have the capabilioty to address multiple segments of the market.
Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 7:28:22 PM
re: Juniper CEO: Still Laser Focused So how does a company get on the "No Bad Press From LR" list?

In Juniper's case, it's by making quality products, being the underdog, and being highly successful without using clout and marketing. Nothing wrong with that, Juniper deserves it.
skeptic 12/4/2012 | 7:28:19 PM
re: Juniper CEO: Still Laser Focused In Juniper's case, it's by making quality products, being the underdog, and being highly successful without using clout and marketing. Nothing wrong with that, Juniper deserves it.
-------------

Yes. But when they make mistakes, they should
get bad press like everyone else. Someone
(for example) should be asking where the M320
is or at least mention that its slipping
out.
csco 12/4/2012 | 7:28:18 PM
re: Juniper CEO: Still Laser Focused Bezlebutt

Have you personally got exhaustive (or for
that matter any) experience with either company's
products to be to make the claim that you do ?
Do you perhaps work for a company which OEMs
Juniper routers just because you feel threatened
by Cisco and are seeking to spread FUD about
product quality ?

Have you not read about the *many* deficiences
as tested by third party testing authorities
in the Juniper product line compared to Cisco's ?
Why do you think Cisco is winning back market share ? Customers who are spending money
(very carefully in this economy) have spoken
with their wallets about how the products really
stack up.

Meanwhile LR staff (under various delusions
and pretensions which cause them to behave in
this manner) has simply spoken with their
laptops from where they dash off their brilliant
insightful articles.
red1969 12/4/2012 | 7:28:18 PM
re: Juniper CEO: Still Laser Focused yep, nothing like announcing that Juniper shipped IPv6 weeks after Cisco did and claiming to be first.
Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 7:28:17 PM
re: Juniper CEO: Still Laser Focused Promises to customers mean a whole lot more to
a business in the long run than what is said
in public. The M320 is way late and there is no
reason to pretend that it isn't.


And out of curiosity, what customer was promised the M320 for this year?
Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 7:28:17 PM
re: Juniper CEO: Still Laser Focused Have you personally got exhaustive (or for
that matter any) experience with either company's
products to be to make the claim that you do ?
Do you perhaps work for a company which OEMs
Juniper routers just because you feel threatened
by Cisco and are seeking to spread FUD about
product quality ?


I have first hand experience with both products, I wouldn't have spoken about it otherwise. After using both boxes, I (and most other people who used both) find Juniper to be a better designed box, with a much better interface. And it's no wonder really, it was designed by the same people who basically had a chance to "do it over again and do it right".

Keep in mind I wasn't stating in my original post that Cisco sucks, just that "Juniper is a quality product". Yes, I do prefer it to Cisco personaly, but that wasn't my original point.

As for Cisco winning back some market share, could that not be due to some powerful marketing due to Juniper's success, and some late product introductions (12400)?

Keep in mind Juniper never said publicaly when the M320 would come out, so it's not really "late" is it. Late is when a vendor announced something like OC-192 and ships it a year later.

But then again I am biased, so go ahead and flame me.
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