Despite some fits and spurts, Juniper Networks
has long been about the only major networking vendor without a major wireless LAN strategy. It’s possible that working with a WLAN switch vendor might change that. Meru Networks probably hopes so.
The two companies have entered what Meru’s vice president of marketing, Ben Gibson, calls a co-marketing relationship, saying that “Meru is partnering with Juniper to essentially bring to market a joint solution that combines the Juniper enterprise security” with Meru’s own WLAN and in particular wireless voice over IP (wVoIP).
The two companies will work to train their respective sales channels to treat them as a joint solution, specifically focusing on wVoIP.
This is not Meru’s first big corporate partner — that honor goes to enterprise IP telephony vendor Avaya. Gibson says the synergy Meru is chasing with these companies is not haphazard. “We wanted to focus on players that were already jointly cooperating,” he says of Avaya and Juniper. Meru is also working with mesh infrastructure equipment maker FireTide.
Of course, since Cisco spent millions buying out former Meru competitor Airespace a few months ago, the question comes up: will Juniper think the same way? At this point, Juniper isn’t even thinking of reselling or re-branding Meru equipment, according to Gibson. “We can see potential for work with them beyond the co-marketing, maybe integration, but nothing is defined yet,” he says.
Juniper does resell Wi-Fi hotspot kits from Colubris. Colubris has its own WLAN switch architecture, which focuses on sales to companies with existing wired infrastructures — that isn’t always the case with other WLAN switches.
Juniper and Meru are ramping up now to have resellers in the channel address co-marketing and sales. Gibson said he couldn’t officially announce anything yet, but that some joint engagements with customers are already underway.