Nokia acquisition just 'rumour' as Juniper makes software play

Juniper Networks CEO Rami Rahim (below) has insisted that rumours that Nokia is about to acquire Juniper are just that, rumours.

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Last week, Juniper's share price went up 20% when those rumours surfaced in the US media. Shortly after though Nokia went out of its way to deny any takeover talks and then Juniper's share price went down again.

At this week's Juniper Networks EMEA Media Day in London, when asked about the situation, Rahim said: "They are just rumours, that's all they are." That said, Juniper needs to do more to get its share price up by impressing the market. It's share price went down in October after a profits warning ahead of its third quarter results, and it went down again after it reported in the third quarter that the fourth quarter wouldn't meet previous targets either.

Like Cisco before it during previous results, Juniper said it was now moving to generate more sales from software solutions, rather than relying on the switches and routers that have been the bread and butter of the enterprise and telco networking industry.

At the Media Day, Rahim made a big play towards this target around the company's Contrail management software. Up to now, Contrail has mainly be known as a useful controller for SD-WANs and an offering around cloud orchestration‎.

Rahim said: "The big data centres are going to explode into smaller data centres as telcos and enterprises seek to get closer to their customers at the edge, to serve the needs of IoT and AI. They need to detect network anomolies better and faster across different networks and clouds and this is what Contrail will do."

Juniper is aiming to make Contrail a true all-encompassing business platform with built in security and full application programability, rather than ‎a simple network management layer, said Rahim. But what of those bread and butter switches and routers, particularly after analyst IDC recently said that demand for these products was going up, despite their market importance being downgraded in some quarters?

Rahim said: "We have to balance the two [software and hardware]. There is still demand for cost efficient switches and routers to serve the needs of hyperscale data centres and hyperconverged infrastructure, but telcos and enterprises are demanding ‎the features that Contrail will offer."