Carving a niche

Juniper built on its success as a niche provider of IP networking and security solutions in the MENA region during 2006, appointing a new VP of EMEA and signing a new deal with UAE incumbent Etisalat to deploy its ESeries and M-Series routing platforms. CommsMEA caught up with regional director Mohamad Abdul-Malak to discuss the challenges and future opportunities facing Juniper in the region.

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By  Administrator Published  December 31, 2006

The MENA market presents particular challenges for IP networking and security supplier Juniper; the scale of bandwidth that is required in the region is markedly different from bandwidth requirements elsewhere in the world due to remnants of legacy applications and legacy services that suppliers such as Juniper still contend with.

But MENA operators, according to Juniper regional director Mohamad Abul-Malak, are still utilising the same equipment as their worldwide counterparts as, regardless of the size of the network, the primary requirement is to have a stable and robust infrastructure - and a single IP infrastructure - in order to scale and provide services.

Abdul-Malak believes what is really lacking in the MENA region is the widespread use of managed services.

“You are still seeing more private networks, versus seeing an offer from the operator to provide a complete managed solution to banks, government institutions and medium businesses, and to buy services bundled with the type of equipment that is vital for the services to be delivered to the end user. Today if I am one of those regional clients I would go to one of these operators and ask for connectivity, this is really seen as more of commodity rather than service,” comments Abdul-Malak.

Juniper intends to continue focusing on IP infrastructure and security solutions, along with wire acceleration, and looks toward consolidation of services and features into a single platform in the near future. For Abdul-Malak the success of IP multimedia services in the region is heavily dependent on market positioning.

“The Middle East is completely driven by providing a product in order to stimulate market demand. In other parts of the world you look at the market requirement and then you come up with the product that meets it, but in this region it is like reverse engineering, you have to push the technology,” he says.

Focusing on medium to large enterprises, government institutions and service providers has allowed Juniper to make an entrance into the airline and construction industries, offering a best of breed, on-site, service and expanding its product portfolio with its new M-Series M160 ethernet metro switch, all of which has fostered growth in region. “What is most important is the growth we are seeing from existing clients and the additional clients that we are taking on board".

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