September 22, 2015
Access to innovative ideas often makes the difference between having the inside track on an emerging use case for a technology and chasing requests for quotes, where the winner of the bidding process is often a foregone conclusion. The challenge is finding a way to effectively foster that innovation.
With that goal in mind Juniper Networks (JNPR) has launched a Solutions Incubation Program as part of an outreach effort that is tied to the company’s OpenLab program. Launched in 2012, OpenLab has served as a mechanism through which Juniper Networks partnered with other vendors and partners to come up with new technologies and solutions. Now the company is looking to extend the reach of that effort to foster the development of new applications by third parties that can’t really afford all the capital costs associated with rolling out network services just to prove the viability of an idea or concept.
Jerry Passione, general manager of the Juniper OpenLab program, said independent developers can approach Juniper Networks either directly or through one of the company’s partners to participate in the program. The idea is to remove as many of the networking roadblocks as possible to standing up a proof-of-concept for an application.
He noted that as networks become more programmable, it’s clear that developers are going to be a major source of innovation. As a result, the networking infrastructure that makes up any given solution—especially in the age of the cloud—actually may be predetermined by the application programming interfaces (APIs) the developer decides to invoke. As such, it’s only natural that Juniper Networks would want to try to get closer to a community that generally operates outside of its normal channels.
For solution providers, that end result should be a better pipeline of use cases for Juniper networking technologies. Most of the ideas that developers will see pushed to their ultimate conclusion by Juniper more than likely are going to be repeatable. In fact, it may behoove solution providers to do a little recruitment on behalf for the Juniper Solutions Incubation Program themselves. After all, IT solutions—like any other product—tend to depreciate in value the longer they are around. Therefore, the sooner solution providers become aware of a new use case before anybody else, the more time they have to maximize the profitability of that solution before it becomes the next inevitable IT commodity.
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