Juniper Networks has filled the big gap in its portfolio – wireless LANs – by announcing it will acquire Mist Systems, and will use the company to infuse the rest of its products with AI.
Mist makes WiFi access points, some of which integrate Bluetooth LE. But the company’s secret sauce is AI-and-cloud-powered management the company claims improves WiFi performance.
As explained by Mist CEO Sujai Hajela, Juniper and Mist have already teamed up at some common customers and introduced technology integrations.
“As partners, both companies knew that we were onto something really amazing, so the conversations deepened around how we could work even more closely together going forward,” Hajela wrote. “While there were several options available to us, it became clear that one made the most sense – for Mist to become a part of Juniper.”
Juniper’s announcement of the deal says the deal will be done for “aggregate consideration of US$405 million”
“Mist Systems is a great fit for Juniper and for our enterprise customers,” explained Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks. “Juniper and Mist share a common strategic goal. We believe in the Software-Defined Enterprise and Mist’s focus on bringing AI to IT is consistent with our core belief that we need to simplify operations and improve customer experience while lowering costs. With Mist, we are adding a market leading solution to complement our portfolio”.
Rahim also posted in Juniper’s forums where he said “Over time, as Juniper integrates Mist’s AI engine, customers will see these benefits accrue through the entire software-defined enterprise.”
“While many people think of Juniper today as a high-performance networking provider to SPs and cloud providers, many do not know that we have deliberately built our strategy to help enterprises transform in the cloud era … by combining our technologies across routing, switching and security to offer customers solutions to help them transform and simplify operations as they move to cloud.”
“Our enterprise areas of focus are enterprise multicloud—where we offer an open, differentiated solution compared to Cisco, Arista and VMware—and the software-defined enterprise, which includes campus and branch networks.”
Juniper plans to do that without absorbing Mist, which Hajela said “will continue fully intact under the Juniper umbrella.”
“Mist’s engineering and support teams will all remain unchanged … Sales and channels will continue under Mist leadership, avoiding any disruption to our go-to-market engine.” Hajela and his team also remain aboard.
The deal is expected to close in Juniper’s Q2, which ends on 30 June.