Uncommon Wisdom

Nov 16 2010   3:21PM GMT

Juniper Trapeze Networks acquisition: Not just an enterprise play

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Juniper acquired Trapeze Networks from Belden, a move that’s been expected by Wall Street for some time. Trapeze is an industrial-grade wireless LAN provider whose offerings can be targeted at the enterprise (which is how Juniper positions them in its press release) or at the now-expanding hospitality-Fi or hotspot market.

Both of these spaces are important because of the tablet explosion. Enterprises are somewhat interested in using smartphones as a way of getting communication with the “corridor warriors” and even off company premises, but they’re more interested in tablets (the 7-inch form factor is preferred) for that mission. We also noted earlier that tablets with WiFi are cheaper and more accessible to consumers, and that they’d likely promote hotspot/hospitality-Fi applications. In both cases, having technology that’s capable of delivering WiFi as an architected service component and not just as a local convenience is critical.

The Juniper decision to focus on the enterprise side with this deal, I think, underplays the value to Juniper and to the market. The integration of Trapeze with Juniper’s service-layer assets make it a realistic element in not only enterprise-based service automation but also carrier-grade content delivery to tablets, and that’s a mission that crosses product and business unit boundaries. Hopefully the execution will integrate the elements that make the deal a strong one, because the Trapeze buy puts Juniper competitors on notice and raises the risk someone will do a similar announcement with more spectacle and steal the market’s interest.

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