Happy New Year! We kicked off the new year with a successful IDEAS/Connected partner and sale conference in Miami, with over 350 partners in attendance, where we announced several enhancements to our partner program. Additionally, we are pleased to announce positive preliminary financial results for Q4 and FY 2015. In response, Rami commented,
"2015 was a year of solid execution and product innovation for Juniper Networks. I am very proud of the many accomplishments we've made as a company to drive growth and create value. As a challenger in this industry, we plan to remain nimble, anticipate and deliver what our customers require for network innovation, and continue our relentless focus on execution to maximize long-term value for our shareholders."
Net revenues for the fourth quarter of 2015 were $1,319.6 million, an increase of 20% year-over-year and 6% sequentially. For the year ended December 31, 2015, Juniper's net revenues were $4,857.8 million, an increase of 5.0% year-over-year as reported, or 7.0% adjusted for the sale of Junos Pulse in 2014. More financial details can be found in the press release.
This month's content features an exclusive interview with CMO Mike Marcellin on what you can expect from Juniper in 2016, and dives deeper into the partner program changes as well as Juniper’s role in modernizing the U.S. Air Force’s network infrastructure.
Mike Marcellin: What's Next for Juniper Networks
1. 2015 was a year focused on innovation across Juniper’s routing, switching and security portfolios. What can we expect from Juniper in 2016?
Well, we’re an innovation company so you can be sure we’ll continue to challenge the status quo with new solutions designed to tackle our customers’ biggest challenges. And those challenges have taken an interesting twist of late. Historically, their challenges centered around keeping up with the deluge of traffic growth on their networks. That has driven Juniper to push the envelope of performance, scale and reliability. Our portfolio is measured in X. We don’t measure our competitive advantage in percents but rather in how many TIMES more scalable we are than our competition – 2X more on our firewall, 3X more on our core router and so on. But the strategy we unveiled about a year ago, while still remaining committed to pushing the boundaries on performance, gave equal weight to automation. And that’s because our customers also need to crush opex and create a more agile IT and network environment. So in 2016, you’ll see us roll out major new solutions for the management of secure networks, the orchestration of VNF offerings, and delivery of rich network analytics.
2. Those are newer areas for Juniper – how are you planning to differentiate in key areas such as virtualization, automation and orchestration?
We have a game-changing solution on our hands in Contrail. We have been cited by the OpenStack user community as the most deployed SDN controller and we continue to knock down big customer wins across all of our target verticals. Contrail’s “magic” actually starts with the team that develops it. You won’t find a better blend of top networking, IT, SDN, and software development talent on any team, anywhere. They understand software and data center orchestration and they also get networking. And they have been able to deliver a solution that not only leads in its features, functions, and scale, but also leads in simplicity of operation. So our differentiation will continue to be on all of these fronts. After all, putting a software-defined networking environment in place is only good if it’s simpler to manage, more agile, and at least as scalable as traditional solutions. And we’re starting to see the road to SDN littered with offerings that have conked out on one or more of these dimensions.
3. A lot of companies tout “openness” including Juniper. How does Juniper define “open”? How does this compare with competitors?
I was watching an interesting TED talk recently where Alex Wissner-Gross developed an equation for intelligence. When I saw that teaser, I had to watch! I probably won’t do it justice here but essentially he said that intelligence is directly proportional to optionality. That is, more intelligent people (or things) are those who keep their options open. Because then you can be more nimble and adjust and maximize your outcome (since the world throws unexpected variables our way all the time). So at Juniper, our goal is to keep our customers’ options open – I guess you could say we want to make our customers smarter! Or at least maximize their outcomes. We are relentlessly committed to open standards (and not just made up standards that only we use). And we have built a host of these protocols into our products so we can work with anyone’s SDN or orchestration environment (e.g. VXLAN, OVS-DB, OpenFlow, etc.). We have disaggregated our network operating system (Junos) to run on anyone’s ONIE-compliant hardware and we’ll allow others’ software to run on ours. We have also open sourced our SDN controller (Contrail) and we ensure that it will work the same with ANYONE’s hardware. And even down to the silicon level, we have the most programmable silicon (it’s Turing-complete just like x86) and can be manipulated down to the microcode level. The fact is, in order to get the most out of Cisco's solutions, you have to lock in with them at all levels - silicon, systems, OS, and orchestration. That's the very definition of closing off your options, which, as Mr. Wisser-Gross says, its not very intelligent 🙂
4. What are your biggest bets in GTM – where are you focusing investments in sales, services and markets in 2016?
Juniper is investing more in GTM in 2016. We saw really nice growth in our business in 2015 and want to continue to fuel that fire. We have seen growth in our services business and are continuing to focus more on “services-led” selling. That means we help our customers with strategy, design, and assessments before selling our products. And from a product perspective, we are expecting growth in all of our product areas in 2016: security, switching, routing, and software solutions.
5, Juniper is sharpening its story as a challenger brand. What does that mean to customers?
When people hear the word “challenger,” they immediately think about how we challenge our competitors. And while that’s true, it’s actually much more than that. Since our founding 20 years ago, we have challenged the status quo in networking. This means challenging design and architectural assumptions. Our very first product in 1998 separated the control plane from the data plane, something which the competitors at the time had not done and it meant we had a product that was more than 10X the scale of anything else out there (pretty critical as the Internet was feeling growing pains). In fact, the SDN movement of the past few years has been all about separating the control plane PHYSICALLY from the data plane. And being a challenger even means challenging each other internally and challenging our customers. In a time of new networking approaches and technology disruption, customers want straight talk. They want guidance and they want new approaches. At Juniper, we’re about building more than networks. We’re about enabling our customers to differentiate themselves by using IT and the network. Even that notion challenges how “box vendors” have always done things. It’s the most rewarding part of my job.
Juniper Technology Takes U.S. Air Force Network to New Heights with Modernized Open Standards
The Air Force network infrastructure, provided through BITI and powered by Juniper Networks, has 800,000 users worldwide and impacts every airman that's supported by the critical communications capabilities at each base. With the scale and high performance benefits delivered by Juniper switching solutions, BITI will have an open network that aligns with industry standards, in addition to having the capability to address the growing demand for supplementary bandwidth driven by voice, data and imagery requirements. Additionally, through its partners Affigent and ThunderCat Technology, Juniper will deliver the switching components and network management for the network element of the BITI program, enabling greater distribution, scalability, automation and user access.
Matt Hurley sat down with CRN to discuss the enhancements made to Juniper’s partner program, announced at IDEAS/Connected on the 11th. Juniper is releasing several new features like new market development funds (MDF) bundles, a data center specialization and new lead-generating features to the marketing concierge program.
"We're really trying to take the fuel of the program -- the MDF, our rewards and incentives -- and link that more and more to partners to drive their marketing efforts," said Hurley. "We're starting to focus in on what are the things our partners can do to help them grow and [help] ease of doing business. … 2016 is around partner growth.”
The MDF package enhancements will make it easier for channel partners to use marketing funds, while the new data center specialization will give our sales force preferential access to sell more business for our partners.The new lead-generating features in our marketing concierge program will help sellers impact the early stages of a buying cycle with new social selling and more dynamic web content syndication. Additionally, to help train our partners, Juniper created 44 new courses to its Partner Learning Academy in 2015, and plans to add dozens more this year.