Uncommon Wisdom

Nov 18 2010   2:37PM GMT

Juniper Blackwave acquisition fills content delivery gap

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

Juniper added to its content portfolio today, acquiring the intellectual property of a video delivery firm called Blackwave.  This is a small deal by recent Juniper standards, but it’s potentially critically important.  Network operators are getting more sophisticated and demanding in their content plans, moving just from optimizing traffic to demanding reasonable monetization strategies.

Anyone who actually owns and/or hosts video has both a caching issue, and delivery storage and stream management issues.  Players like the MSOs have much more of the latter, as do any telcos with video on demand (VoD) plans.  Blackwave rounds out Juniper’s content repertoire, adding a solution to the storage adn stream management dimension and potentially making it a premier player in the content monetization plans now emerging.

Yet the question remains: Can Juniper create a whole from the sum of the parts?  Contrasting its approach with that of competitors, Juniper takes a bottom-up path toward strategic issues, and that risks getting to the goal long after it’s been claimed by someone else.  Competitors tend to take a top-down approach, claiming the high ground but often failing to deliver on time.  The best approach, of course, is to have everything needed when it’s needed, but nobody seems to have grokked that one as yet.  The recent flood of M&A activity from Juniper is an opportunity to do something truly revolutionary, but you can’t have a revolution nobody knows about.  The Silent Majority may as well be a minority.

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