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Interview: Robyn Denholm, CFOO, Juniper Networks

R_Denholm2_HRAt its Innovation Showcase in London on 12th March, Juniper Networks unveiled new products that deliver on the company’s vision and strategy for transforming networks. New products include the QFX10000 line of spine switches as well as an enhanced Converged Supercore Architecture. Heading up the event were Juniper executives Pradeep Sindhu, Founder of Juniper Networks, and Robyn Denholm, the company Chief Financial and Operating Officer. CNME sat down with Denholm to discuss the future of Juniper Networks in relation to the Middle East.

Juniper has been experiencing some significant growth. Is your presence growing in the Middle East as well?
Our presence in the region has grown significantly over the past five years. We have been working with carriers throughout the Middle East. We have projects underway in many different areas, notably within the government arena. We have also been working within the oil and gas industry, as well as financial services industries. We have a varied and solid portfolio of different activities in the region.

What is driving your growth in the region?
It’s not all universal growth, given the different geographies in the region. However, a lot of companies have businesses that are very dependent on the network. Because reliability is so important, particularly in the Middle East, we need to make sure that we are able to service the growing needs in the region. We have an excellent set of partners in the region as well that is helping us achieve that goal.

Are there unique areas of development in the region?
Some of the government initiatives stand out uniquely in the way that they are using technology. This is particularly evident in areas such as healthcare. There is a lot of infrastructure being built, particularly in the GCC, and wherever there is new infrastructure there is opportunity. Infrastructure build out is an area on which we focus. There are some excellent use cases that highlight creative ways of using technology.

What sort of support can Juniper provide small to medium sized businesses?
SMBs provide a perfect environment for cloud technologies. For example, using virtual security provisioning from a cloud can be very cost effective. This sort of cloud application usage really helps small and medium sized businesses get the most out of their technology.

With large scale breaches making the headlines regularly, CIOs are on high alert. What is Juniper doing to help businesses protect their networks?
Network security is a core focus of ours. Security is very fragmented market, due to the fragmented threat environment. Last year we pivoted our strategy and realised that virtualisation in the security space is key – both in the data centre and the device. We also realised that the different technologies used to counter threats need a single platform within the network on which policy could be enforced. For example, a data centre of course house a lot of sensitive information, but the fact is that most data centres have been breached. The real issue is what kind of damage can be done while the bad actor is in the system. If you can detect the activity before the data is extracted, you can stop the bad actors from taking the data out of the data centre.

A year ago we bought a company called Mykonos. Through their intrusion deception methods, we can get a virtual fingerprint of a network intruder. We are hoping to collect this information from around the world and make a sort of data base of cyber-criminals.

What is the strategy behind making your technology open to all parties?
We recognise that no one company is going to have the ability to detect all threats. The pervasive nature of the threats has made us realise that we need open APIs so that everyone’s separate technology doesn’t slow everything down. Our open strategy also speaks to scalability and reliability. The reception from our customers has been quite high.

What is the goal of your recent Big Data partnership with IBM?
Our most recent partnership with IBM is focused around Big Data. I mentioned earlier collecting virtual fingerprints. With that concept, we started with the Spotlight data base this information. Now that we are collecting this data, our partnership with IBM is finding a way to use this data positively, to prevent these types of breaches.

 

 

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