Juniper & Symantec: Close But No Merger

Symantec and Juniper Networks are about to get a lot closer than they’ve ever been, thanks to a new strategic partnership announced today. But they aren’t going to merge.

John W. Thompson, chairman and CEO of Symantec, denied on a morning conference call that a merger with Juniper had been a topic of discussion for the partnership.

“While there will certainly be speculation on that point, I can assure you that Symantec is fully occupied with the work that we’ve had to do over the last year or so in integrating Veritas,” Thompson said.

“The problem to be addressed here can be addressed in a meaningful way without having to merge the two companies.”

The partnership initiative includes plans to cooperatively build out endpoint compliance and access control solutions.

The two companies will also collaborate on Unified Threat Management (UTM) solutions and Intrusion Protection Systems (IPS), as well as share security intelligence between their respective security team infrastructures.

“Juniper today already supports Symantec’s anti-spam capabilities on our technologies, but this is about the licensing of additional technology across IDS, IPS, antivirus and URL filtering,” Scott Kriens, chairman and CEO of Juniper Networks, said on the call.

“There are deliverables around this in the next 90 to 120 days as well as coming together immediately for work on some of the intelligence in being able to deploy some features that are very near term.”

The two CEOs noted that there isn’t much if any overlap between what the two companies are bringing to the partnership.

Symantec will, however, be exiting the custom hardware business for UTM and will now rely on Juniper, in effect becoming a channel for Juniper product.

“This partnership allows us to concentrate on the content that helps to eradicate the problem and allows Juniper to focus on the custom hardware design,” Thompson said.

“We have certainly indicated well ahead of this that we were going to get out of the custom hardware development business for UTM-related technologies. “For custom hardware development we will no longer be in that business. We will rely on our partner Juniper to deliver the hardware capability.”

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