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Juniper whips out knife, slices off security products

Remember that, er, 'end-to-end' security play? Yes, forget that one, please

Months after Juniper Networks confirmed the prioritisation of revenue-generating projects, the firm has quietly dumped several security products, causing upset to some of its nearest and dearest in the channel.

Following a “disappointing” set of calendar Q3 financials, Juniper’s then CEO, Shaygan Kheradpir, said it was cutting costs by “careful management of headcount” and concentrating on money-making areas.

Of course the man had left the building less than three weeks later due to a disagreement with the board over his conduct in relation to a single customer, but his successor is pushing ahead with plans to lower exposes.

A Juniper spokeswoman confirmed to The Channel that it will jettison the FireFly Host, WebApp Secure and DDoS Secure products from 2015, though current customers will “continue to receive support”.

The PR person did not answer why those products are to be shelved, clearly they were not doing the numbers. Neither did the company representative reveal the replacements channel partners should propose.

This has left channel types scratching their heads as leading with security opened more customers doors than switches and routers.

“Juniper does not have anything to replace the dropped products, which I remember were launched with huge fanfare as their new holistic ‘end to end’ (awful phrase) security solution (again sorry),” one told us.

He added the SRX firewalls are “tough to sell” against Checkpoint and Cisco in the large enterprise where many customers have already invested in those vendors, “and they get roundly beaten on price in the SME space by Fortinet and Sonic Wall”.

This all feeds into persistent talk in the industry that Juniper is looking at exiting security, leaving it with service providers and switch customers as their target audience.

In Q3, revenues were down eight per cent year-on-year to $1.12bn though it was up for the nine months of the year to $3.52bn from $3.4bn. Operating profit for the nine months was down 23.8 per cent to $282m as operating expenses went through the roof.

The spokeswoman at Juniper said it remains “committed” to the security business “which is critical to the successful execution of our strategy for delivering High-IQ networks for cloud builders in the areas of Cloud Data Centre, IT Data Centre and Cloud-Enabled Campus.” ®

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