Juniper Networks expects to ramp up SD-WAN deployments with service providers later this year

Rami Rahim
Juniper Networks CEO Rami Rahim expects SD-WAN revenues to start trickling in later this year. (Juniper Networks)

When it comes to SD-WAN, Juniper Networks has trailed the field, but it does expect to get on the revenue scoreboard with some service provider deployments later this year.

During Tuesday's first-quarter earnings call, Juniper CEO Rami Rahim said his company had three major telco wins for its Contrail SD-WAN offering. To date, Alaskan service provider GCI is the only announced customer for Juniper's Contrail SD-WAN. Juniper targets both service providers and large enterprises with its SD-WAN solution.

"This year is really around wins and deployments," Rahim said, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript. "We are in the process of deploying the solutions so that we can take it to market by the end of the year and start seeing some revenue growth next year."

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Juniper could use the added revenue from its SD-WAN customers as its revenues were down 11.3% year over year in Tuesday's first-quarter earnings report. Juniper is counting on service providers investing in 5G to offset the effects of virtualization, such as white boxes, that has hurt its bottom line.

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As for SD-WAN, Rahim said on the conference call that it's a "fantastic opportunity" but a broader element to its overall cloud customer premises equipment portfolio.

"We're offering not just an easy managed solution for connectivity, but also one that offers security embedded and the ability to leverage third-party virtual network function," Rahim said. "We are initially targeting our service provider customers as a way of enabling them to go after the SD-WAN market opportunity. That way we get to leverage the great relationships we have with our service providers."

"We also can leverage their go-to-market muscle that can complement our own in going after the enterprise end users."

While most every major service provider has some sort of SD-WAN offering in play, Rahim said it was still "early days." Juniper could take a page out of TiVo's playbook of targeting midsize service providers with some form of SD-WAN, but in the short term it has a lot of catching up to do in a field that is crowded with vendor and service provider SD-WAN solutions.

"Juniper is not seen as a major player in SD-WAN, and seeing it as just another approach to CPE shows the limit of their vision," said Scott Raynovich, founder and president of Futuriom.