At our annual user conference, I have the privilege of connecting with our customers, partners and ‘Junivators’ from around the world. This year’s NXTWORK is about the intersection of idea and practice. It’s about using unconventional thinking to solve real world problems. It’s about creativity with an eye toward pragmatism. It’s not just innovation, but innovation applied.
NXTWORK is also a time for Juniper Networks to lay out our vision for the coming year and beyond. And in 2018 we’re getting back to basics with a focus on Engineering Simplicity. This is more than a new marketing tagline, it’s an acknowledgement that in today’s complex world, the thing that impedes our collective progress is complexity.
The first time I heard our founder Pradeep Sindhu talk about his vision for Juniper back in 1998, he spoke in simple terms. He didn’t define Juniper by silicon or software, he spoke of a higher purpose: Juniper Networks would be a company built on engineering with the singular goal of solving hard problems. In 1998, the hard problem we set out to tackle as a company was a problem of scale – the internet was exploding and network operators had no choice but to bet their businesses on Juniper Networks, a young unproven startup at the time.
Complexity is the new hard problem.
As the industry’s problems became more complex, so did the solutions. While we’re no longer physically tripping over ethernet cables, we are now caught between rigid network infrastructure and complicated programing interfaces. If we keep answering complex questions with complex answers, we are doomed to continue down the same convoluted path. It’s time to get back to the basics that our Juniper was founded on.
Complexity costs us billions of dollars and tens of thousands of hours in lost productivity. It exposes us to security risks that bad actors are just waiting to exploit. It cripples some companies, and outright kills others. Complexity forces us to do unnatural things just to make everything just kind of work. Engineering Simplicity is a move towards user-friendly, intuitive networking. Juniper Networks has always been about innovation that stems from a focus on engineering and we believe that creating simplicity through engineering is the highest form of innovation.
The truth is that you can’t actually get rid of complexity, you can only control where it shows up. And that’s our job here at Juniper. We design solutions whose primary aim is to handle complexity so that you don’t have to. And if we are truly transformative in handling the complexity within our products and our solutions, what we provide to you becomes useful. It becomes elegant. It becomes … simple. And simple is powerful.
I invite those attending NXTWORK 2017 to start a conversation about getting to simple. Getting to simple is a huge feat of engineering. It’s the new hard problem – and solving hard problems is part of the DNA of Juniper Networks.