In February, we celebrated our 20th anniversary at Juniper, and this moment brought with it both the desire to reflect and enjoy the excitement of focusing on what’s to come.
Some of my favorite life moments are intertwined with those related to Juniper. Shipping our first product in 1998, the M40, is a feeling I will never forget. That excitement and anticipation could only have been exceeded when I was appointed CEO in 2014. I’ve never felt more humbled and more grateful than I did standing in front of my Juniper colleagues on that day.
In almost 20 years at Juniper Networks, I’ve worked with some incredible people and have seen the company accomplish some incredible things. I’ve also seen many ups and downs in the company’s history. There were a few difficult periods in which trusted colleagues left the company because they stopped believing. During these times I recall asking myself if the skeptics were going to discourage me, or if they were only going to motivate me to prove them wrong. I’ve always chosen the latter. In fact, one of the most motivating periods in Juniper’s history for me was a time in which a small team, that I was fortunate to be a part of, sketched out the beginnings of what became our most successful product line to date – the MX series.
In the race to keep up, it is too easy to become complacent and lose sight of what’s possible and being the biggest or strongest has never been enough. Juniper was founded on an idea that dared to do things differently. We don’t just challenge the status quo, we challenge ourselves to solve some of the most important problems in ways that have never been solved before. This is our DNA.
So what does this mean for Juniper going forward?
We need to challenge our own history as a hardware company and move to developing, operating, and selling software products and support. We challenged conventional thinking with the launch of the MX for Juniper, and I believe the next “MX moment” will not be hardware, but software.
Our goal is to become the world’s most trusted technology provider for next-generation networking solutions. As the boundaries around networking products evolve over time, achieving this goal will require that software become a much more meaningful component of the value we deliver to our customers and of our own business. Today, the vast majority of our R&D investment is in software and yet software revenue still represents a relatively small fraction of our overall revenue. I expect this to change over time and I am confident that the strategy we are focusing on sets us on a path to significantly increase software and recurring revenue as a percentage of our overall revenue. And as the world moves to the cloud, we plan to not only develop the infrastructure that powers it, but also, in essence, become a cloud provider, delivering software-driven value to our customers from the cloud.
The future of Juniper is about growth. Today we serve a $43 billion market opportunity with roughly 10 percent market share. I believe with great confidence that we will expand that share because we challenge the industry every day with the steps we’ve taken to capitalize on market shifts, and we’re kicking off a 2016 that will be full of product innovation and bold moves.
To the employees of Juniper, I want to offer this advice: learn from everything and everyone. Work hard, work smart and work outside of your comfort zone. Build relationships. And come to work every day with the intention to solve the unsolved. Thank you for being the backbone of our company.
I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support of our customers, partners and shareholders who have supported us along the way.
The next 20 years will be our best adventure yet. Here’s to being disrupters, challengers, innovators and connectors obsessed with turning possibilities and ideas into realities.