Juniper CEO: Our AI-driven enterprise strategy sets us apart

Juniper Networks executives say the company’s artificial-intelligence (AI) focused enterprise strategy is what is behind much of the positive momentum the company is experiencing.  Speaking at the JP Morgan 49th Annual Global Technology, Media and Communications conference today, CEO Rami Rahim said that the company’s enterprise business has never been as strong as it is today and he attributes much of that strength to the company’s AI-driven enterprise strategy. “AI-driven enterprise is not just a marketing slogan,” Rahim said. “There is technical substance. We have an AI engine that drives the solutions that we are offering customers today.”

Much of the company’s AI-driven enterprise strategy is a result of its 2019 acquisition of Mist Systems, which had an AI-powered wireless platform that Juniper then used to enhance its own networking solutions.  

Related: Juniper beats 1Q expectations but component shortages are worrisome

Rahim said that he believes that as enterprises return to post-Covid normalcy, there will be an even greater opportunity for Juniper because its AI-driven products, like Mist, result in faster deployment, fewer tickets and faster resolution of any issues in the network. “We’ve been taking share [from competitors] in the face of meaningful headwinds,” Rahim said. “I expect once those headwinds lessen as we emerge from Covid, we will see even more improved dynamics.”

The company also said that it plans to extend that AI-driven focus to other areas of its business, such as SD-WAN. The company, which purchased 128 Technology last October for $450 million, is in the midst of combining 128 Technology and Mist’s AI capabilities into its SD-WAN solution.

RELATED: Juniper brings 128 Technology under Mist AI umbrella

A piece of the 5G pie?

When asked how Juniper will benefit from service provider spending on 5G, Rahim said that he believes Juniper’s IP routing and transport business will see the most opportunity because the move to 5G will mean more traffic from the radio access network (RAN) to the transport network and the cloud.

Security is also a potential area of growth from 5G investments. Rahim said that future 5G networks are going to be more prone to threats, and service providers will need to invest in more high-end security.

He also said that Juniper projects that its service provider business will grow close to 2% for the full year with the revenue increasing 17% year over year.

On the supply chain front, Juniper executives warned during the company’s first quarter earnings report last month that it could be negatively impacted by the ongoing semiconductor shortage.  Those shortages are still a concern, the company said, noting that it will continue to need extended lead times for products through the rest of the year.